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Chapter 1. Introduction to Object-Oriented Concepts

1. Introduction to Object-Oriented Concepts

Although many people find this bit of information surprising, object-oriented (OO) software development has been around since the early 1960s. Objects are now used throughout the software development industry. It is no secret that the software industry can be slow-moving at times. It is also true that, when systems are working fine, there has to be a compelling reason to replace them. This has somewhat slowed the propagation of OO systems. There are many non-OO legacy systems (that is, older systems that are already in place) that are doing the job—so why risk potential disaster by changing them? In most cases you should not change them, at least not simply for the sake of change. There is nothing inherently wrong with systems written in non–OO code. However, brand-new development definitely warrants the consideration of using OO technologies.

Although there has been a steady and significant growth in OO development in the past 15 years, the continued reliance on the Internet has helped catapult it even further into the mainstream. The emergence of day-to-day business transactions on the Internet has opened a brand-new arena, where much of the software development is new and mostly unencumbered by legacy concerns. Even when there are legacy concerns, there is a trend to wrap the legacy systems in object wrappers.


  

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