although the implementation of each step may differ the set of steps is the

Although the implementation of each step may differ

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although the implementation of each step may differ, the set of steps is the same for all variants; hence it is usually implemented using inheritance. With Strategy, the overall task is the same, but the set of steps may be different in each variant; hence it is usually implemented using composition. Figure 11.12 shows how either pattern could be applied to the report formatter. If every kind of formatter followed the same high-level steps—for example, generate the header, generate the report body, and then generate the footer—we could use Template Method. On the other hand, if the steps themselves were quite different, it would make more sense to use Strategy. An example of the Strategy pattern in the wild is OmniAuth (Section 5.2 ): many apps need third-party authentication, and the steps are quite different depending on the auth provider, but the API to all of them is the same. Indeed, OmniAuth even refers to its plug-ins as “strategies.” A different kind of OCP violation arises when we want to add behaviors to an existing class and discover that we cannot do so without modifying it. For example, PDF files can be generated with or without password protection and with or without a “Draft” watermark across the background. Both
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features amount to “tacking on” some extra behavior to what PdfFormatter already does. If you’ve done a lot of object-oriented programming, your first thought might therefore be to solve the problem using inheritance, as the UML diagram in Figure 11.13 (left) shows, but there are four permutations of features so you’d end up with four subclasses with duplication across them—hardly DRY. Fortunately, the decorator pattern can help: we “decorate” a class or method by wrapping it in an enhanced version that has the same API, allowing us to compose multiple decorations as needed. Figure 11.14 shows the code corresponding to the more elegant decorator-based design of the PDF formatter shown in Figure 11.13 (right). Figure 11.13: (Left) The multiplication of subclasses resulting from trying to solve the Formatter problem using inheritance shows why your class designs should “prefer composition over inheritance.” (Right) A more elegant solution uses the Decorator design pattern. 1 class PdfFormatter 2 def initialize ; ... ; end 3 def output ; ... ; end 4 end 5 class PdfWithPasswordFormatter < PdfFormatter 6 def initialize(base) ; @base = base ; end 7 def protect_with_password(original_output) ; ... ; end 8 def output ; protect_with_password @base.output ; end 9 end 10 class PdfWithWatermarkFormatter < PdfFormatter 11 def initialize(base) ; @base = base ; end 12 def add_watermark(original_output) ; ... ; end 13 def output ; add_watermark @base.output ; end 14 end 15 end 16 # If we just want a plain PDF 17 formatter = PdfFormatter.new 18 # If we want a "draft" watermark 19 formatter = PdfWithWatermarkFormatter.new(PdfFormatter.new) 20 # Both password protection and watermark 21 formatter = PdfWithWatermarkFormatter.new( 22 PdfWithPasswordFormatter.new(PdfFormatter.new))
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Figure 11.14:
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  • Spring '19
  • Dr.Marcos

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