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ortsa

What does abstract mean in programming?

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Iv never really encountered this word in anything except programming, i hear it used quite a lot so if someone could explain to me what its all about that would be great. Thanks.

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u can find out with a little goolging...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class_(computer_science)#Abstract_classes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abstraction_(computer_science)#Abstraction_in_object_oriented_programming

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It means exactly the same as it does in English; the object doesn't really exist as such, it's a concept.

In C++ you can create an abstract class (Also called an Interface). You can't create an instance of the class because the methods don't exist. You can however create a class derived from it. So the class doesn't really exist, only other versions of it exist.

If that makes any sense... [smile]

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As a keyword in a language, 'abstract' typically means 'skeletal'. As in, the structure your are defining is just the skeleton, and you will fill in the meat and potatoes later. There is an abstract idea of what it is, but no definition.

Normally, it serves as a declaration for later derived types. For example, you might define an abstract concept of 'automobile.' An automobile should be able to turn on, move, and reverse -- but there is no instantiation of automobile. Rather, there is a truck or a car, both of which have the properties of the abstract automobile. In our case, the automobile is the abstract concept, which has certain innate (declared) properties, which the car and the truck both inherit by virtue of them both being automobiles.

The process of abstraction might shed some light.

In general though, abstract typically means non-concrete, and normally applies to a larger set of objects (though, in noun form, it can mean a summary of a larger text...)

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Quote:
Original post by ortsa
Iv never really encountered this word in anything except programming


Every academic article has abstract, which is equivalent to summary.

There's also abstract art.

And many more...

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