faq5 - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS October 19, 2011 Content...

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS October 19, 2011 Content Questions What is a virtual method? You can think of a virtual method, or virtual function, as a kind of variable function, i.e. a function that acts like a variable. Classes can have mem- ber functions (“methods”), and an abstract base class might not have all its functions specified when the function is defined: this kind of abstract, undefined function is a “virtual function”. It needs to be defined in a derived (inherited) class, and only then can the abstract class be instantiated. I’ll go through some of these C++ concepts next class. Here’s an example from Wikipedia: “A base class Animal could have a virtual function eat . Subclass Fish would implement eat() differently than subclass Wolf , but you can invoke eat() on any class instance referred to as Animal , and get the eat() be- haviour of the specific subclass. This allows a programmer to process a list of objects of class Animal , telling each in turn to eat (by calling
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faq5 - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS October 19, 2011 Content...

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