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Last Post by firstPerson

An abstract class is a concept, not a real thing. It's a verhicle or art, or beauty. The technical definition you should look up, 'cause this sounds like a homework question.


Abstract: exists only in concept, not in reality. In C++ this would be a class with virtual member functions that have no implementation. Exampe:

class abstract {
    abstract(const abstract& cpy);
    abstract& operator=(const abstract& rhs);

    virtual unsigned computeArea() = 0;

Note the virtual method declaration that has an implementation = 0. That means that it is not implemented in this class, so this class cannot be instantiated. A derived class will have to be created that does implement this method. This is somewhat (not exactly) analogous to a Java interfact class; however, in C++ you can have abstract/virtual classes like this that do implement some of their interfaces, which you cannot with a Java interface class.


You can think an Abstract class as a class that combines the similarity of many things into one object. Thus when inheriting from the ABC, you will have to type less redundent code.

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