Introduction to Objects from a C++ Perspective

This article provides an overview of the elements of C++; specifically, the 'C' portion of C++.

Note how section 2.2 describes tokens as the "minimal chunks of a program". The root goal of programming is solving problems using the 'chunks' of a programming language. Of course, the chunks must be appropriate for the type of problems to be solved. Generally, smaller chunks are applicable to many types of tasks, but involve more effort; larger chunks involve less effort, but are designed for more specific tasks.

Introduction to Objects

The genesis of the computer revolution was in a machine. The genesis of our programming languages thus tends to look like that machine.

But computers are not so much machines as they are mind amplification tools ("bicycles for the mind," as Steve Jobs is fond of saying) and a different kind of expressive medium. As a result, the tools are beginning to look less like machines and more like parts of our minds, and also like other expressive mediums such as writing, painting, sculpture, animation, and filmmaking. Object-oriented programming is part of this movement toward using the computer as an expressive medium.

This chapter will introduce you to the basic concepts of object-oriented programming (OOP), including an overview of OOP development methods. This chapter, and this book, assume that you have had experience in a procedural programming language, although not necessarily C. If you think you need more preparation in programming and the syntax of C before tackling this book, you should work through the "Thinking in C: Foundations for C++ and Java" training CD ROM, bound in with this book and also available at

This chapter is background and supplementary material. Many people do not feel comfortable wading into object-oriented programming without understanding the big picture first. Thus, there are many concepts that are introduced here to give you a solid overview of OOP. However, many other people don't get the big picture concepts until they've seen some of the mechanics first; these people may become bogged down and lost without some code to get their hands on. If you're part of this latter group and are eager to get to the specifics of the language, feel free to jump past this chapter – skipping it at this point will not prevent you from writing programs or learning the language. However, you will want to come back here eventually to fill in your knowledge so you can understand why objects are important and how to design with them.

Source: Bruce Eckel,
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