Monthly Archives: March 2011

Inheritance, ABCs and Polymorphism

Technical Consultant at Feabhas Ltd
Glennan is an embedded systems and software engineer with over 20 years experience, mostly in high-integrity systems for the defence and aerospace industry.

He specialises in C++, UML, software modelling, Systems Engineering and process development.
Glennan Carnie

Virtual functions

Virtual functions in C++ exist to maintain the consistent behaviour of polymorphism when accessing derived objects via base class pointers. (If that statement has made your head spin, I’d suggest reading this article before carrying on)

class Base
virtual void v_op();

class Derived : public Base
virtual void v_op();

I can access either a Base object or a Derived object via a Base pointer; and I should get the appropriate behaviour for the actual type of the object I’m pointed at:

Base* […]

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