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Part 09 - Methods

Definition: Method

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A function exclusively associated with a class

Defining a Method

Methods must be defined in classes. They are declared just like functions are.

arguments example
Output
Meow!

An object of Cat must be instanced, then its methods can be called.

Recommendation

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Names of methods should always be verbs.
They should also be declared in PascalCase.

Class Constructor and Destructor

Constructors and Destructors are special methods that are called on when a class is being instanced or destroyed, respectively.

Both are optional.

arguments example
Output
Whiskers
Whiskers is no more... RIP

If a constructor has arguments, then they must be supplied when instancing. Destructors cannot have arguments.

arguments example
Output
Buttons

Be Careful

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Do not depend on the destructor to always be called.

Method Modifiers

Modifier

Description

abstract

an abstract method has no implementation, which requires that an inheriting class implements it.

static

a static method is common to the entire class, which means that it can be called without ownership of a single instance of the class

virtual

See Part 10 - Polymorphism, or Inherited Methods

override

See Part 10 - Polymorphism, or Inherited Methods

All these modifiers also apply to properties (If they are explicitly declared).
static can also apply to fields.

static example

This will cause the Id to increase whenever an Animal is instanced, giving each Animal their own, unique Id.

All the methods defined in an interface are automatically declared abstract.
Abstract methods in a class must have a blank code block in its declaration.

abstract example

Both declare roughly the same thing.

Member Visibility

Visibility Level

Description

public

Member is fully accessible to all types.

protected

Member is only visible to this class and inheriting classes.

private

Member is only visible to this class.

Important Information

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All fields are by default protected. All methods, properties, and events are by default public.

Recommendation

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Fields are typically either protected or private. Usually instead of making a public field, you might make a public property that wraps access to the field instead. This allows subclasses to possibly override behavior.
Methods can have any visibility.
Properties can have any visibility, and typically have both a getter and a setter, or only a getter. Instead of a set only property, consider using a method instead (like "SetSomeValue(val as int)").

Recommendation

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It is recommended you prefix field names with an underscore if it is a private field.

Declaring Properties in the Constructor

One very nice feature that boo offers is being able to declare the values of properties while they are being instanced.

abstract example
Output
42

The constructor didn't take any arguments, yet the Value: 42 bit declared Value to be 42, all in a tighly compact, but highly readable space.

Exercises

  1. Create two classes, Predator and Prey. To the Predator class, add an Eat method that eats the Prey. Do not let the Prey be eaten twice.

Go on to Part 10 - Polymorphism, or Inherited Methods

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