Questions tagged [interfaces]

Questions about interface related design considerations, such as programming to the interface.

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239
votes
15answers
102k views

Do I need to use an interface when only one class will ever implement it?

Isn't the whole point of an interface that multiple classes adhere to a set of rules and implementations?
166
votes
9answers
27k views

I changed one method signature and now have over 25,000 errors. What now?

I started a new job recently where I am working on a very large application (15M loc). In my previous job we had a similarly large application but (for better or for worse) we used OSGi, which meant ...
158
votes
19answers
147k views

Why are interfaces useful?

I have been studying and coding in C# for some time now. But still, I can't figure the usefulness of Interfaces. They bring too little to the table. Other than providing the signatures of function, ...
109
votes
5answers
57k views

Why should I prefer composition over inheritance?

I always read that composition is to be preferred over inheritance. A blog post on unlike kinds, for example, advocates using composition over inheritance, but I can't see how polymorphism is achieved....
100
votes
6answers
64k views

What is the point of having every service class have an interface? [duplicate]

At the company I work at, every service class has a corresponding interface. Is this necessarily? Most of these interfaces are only used by a single class and we are not creating any sort of public ...
99
votes
5answers
84k views

Why were default and static methods added to interfaces in Java 8 when we already had abstract classes?

In Java 8, interfaces can contain implemented methods, static methods, and the so-called "default" methods (which the implementing classes do not need to override). In my (probably naive) view, there ...
91
votes
15answers
16k views

Should we design our code from the beginning to enable unit testing?

There's a debate going on in our team at the moment as to whether modifying code design to allow unit testing is a code smell, or to what extent it can be done without being a code smell. This has ...
90
votes
12answers
18k views

What is meant by the phrase “Software can replace hardware”?

Studying beginners course on hardware/software interface and operating systems, often come up the topic of if it would be better to replace some hardware parts with software and vice-versa. I can't ...
72
votes
7answers
38k views

Should interface names begin with an “I” prefix?

I have been reading "Clean Code" by Robert Martin to hopefully, become a better programmer. While none of it so far has been really ground breaking it has made me think differently about the way I ...
70
votes
7answers
75k views

When to use abstract classes instead of interfaces with extension methods in C#?

"Abstract class" and "interface" are similar concepts, with interface being the more abstract of the two. One differentiating factor is that abstract classes provide method implementations for derived ...
59
votes
10answers
51k views

Is better Show() + Hide() or SetVisible(bool visible)?

What is better and why? (From interface-design point of view) : a) To have two Show() and Hide() functions b) To have one SetVisible(bool visible) function EDIT: For example some object have ...
46
votes
3answers
65k views

Why does C# allow properties in interfaces?

In C#, the following code is valid interface I{ int property{get;set;} } Which doesn't make any sense to me. This seems to break one of the most important principles of interfaces: lack of ...
43
votes
10answers
96k views

Why use an interface when the class can directly implement the functions? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why are interfaces useful? Like most faculty, my java faculty introduced interface without explaining or even mentioning its practical use. Now I imagine interfaces have a ...
42
votes
9answers
4k views

Programming for future use of interfaces

I have a colleague sitting next to me who designed an interface like this: public interface IEventGetter { public List<FooType> getFooList(String fooName, Date start, Date end) ...
41
votes
4answers
8k views

What did Rich Hickey mean when he said, “All that specificity [of interfaces/classes/types] kills your reuse!”

In Rich Hickey's thought-provoking goto conference keynote "The Value of Values" at 29 minutes he's talking about the overhead of a language like Java and makes a statement like, "All those interfaces ...
40
votes
11answers
5k views

Is it bad habit not using interfaces? [closed]

I use interfaces rarely and find them common in others code. Also I create sub and super classes (while creating my own classes) rarely in my code. Is it a bad thing? Would you suggest changing ...
37
votes
11answers
10k views

Are abstract classes / methods obsolete?

I used to create a lot of abstract classes / methods. Then I started using interfaces. Now I am not sure if interfaces aren't making abstract classes obsolete. You need a fully abstract class? ...
35
votes
11answers
19k views

Why does PHP have interfaces?

I noticed that as of PHP5, interfaces have been added to the language. However, since PHP is so loosely typed, it seems that most of the benefits of using interfaces is lost. Why is this included in ...
34
votes
8answers
25k views

Default vs Impl when implementing interfaces in Java

After reading Should package names be singular or plural? it occurred to me that I've never seen a proper debate covering one of my pet peeves: naming implementations of interfaces. Let's assume ...
34
votes
4answers
28k views

Model-View-Presenter implementation thoughts

I'm trying to get a good grasp of how to implement good decoupling between a UI and the model, but I'm having trouble figuring out exactly where to divide the lines. I've been looking at Model-View-...
31
votes
3answers
11k views

If I implement an Interface, is it called an Inheritance?

If my class implements an interface then can I say that I'm following inheritance? I know that when a class extends another class then it's inheritance.
30
votes
6answers
3k views

Better to have 2 methods with clear meaning, or just 1 dual use method?

To simplify the interface, is it better to just not have the getBalance() method? Passing 0 to the charge(float c); will give the same result: public class Client { private float bal; float ...
30
votes
4answers
7k views

Why is .compareTo() in an interface while .equals() is in a class in Java?

I want to know why the .compareTo() is in the Comparable interface while a method like .equals is in the Object class. To me, it seems arbitrary why a method like .compareTo() is not in the Object ...
30
votes
5answers
15k views

Implementing an interface when you don't need one of the properties

Pretty straight-forward. I'm implementing an interface, but there's one property that is unnecessary for this class and, in fact, shouldn't be used. My initial idea was to just do something like: int ...
29
votes
10answers
19k views

Interfaces on an abstract class

My coworker and I have different opinions on the relationship between base classes and interfaces. I'm of the belief that a class should not implement an interface unless that class can be used when ...
29
votes
6answers
24k views

Understanding “programming to an interface”

I have come across the term "programming to an interface instead of an implementation" a lot, and I think I kind of understand what it means. But I want to make sure I understand it's benefits and it'...
29
votes
11answers
11k views

Declaring interface in the same file as the base class, is it a good practice?

To be interchangable and testable, normally services with logic needs to have interface, e.g. public class FooService: IFooService { ... } Design-wise, I agree with this, but one of the things that ...
29
votes
9answers
6k views

Interface naming: prefix 'Can-' vs suffix '-Able'

It's common to use '-able' as a suffix for interfaces e.g. Serializable Printable Enumerable Drinkable Shootable Rotatable I was thinking that 'Can-' might better because it may be more descriptive. ...
28
votes
2answers
3k views

What is the name of the following (anti) pattern? What are its advantages and disadvantages?

Over the last few months, I stumbled a few times over the following technique / pattern. However, I can't seem to find a specific name, nor am I a 100% sure about all its advantages and disadvantages. ...
27
votes
2answers
4k views

Implementation of pure abstract classes and interfaces

Although this isn't mandatory in the C++ standard, it seems the way GCC for example, implements parent classes, including pure abstract ones, is by including a pointer to the v-table for that abstract ...
24
votes
8answers
3k views

Interface design where functions need to be called in a specific sequence

The task is to configure a piece of hardware within the device, according to some input specification. This should be achieved as follows: 1) Collect the configuration information. This can happen at ...
22
votes
5answers
7k views

How do you evolve & version an interface?

Say you have an interface IFoo: public interface IFoo { void Bar(string s); int Quux(object o); } In version 2 of your API, you need to add a method Glarg to this interface. How do you do so ...
20
votes
3answers
18k views

Generics vs common interface?

I don't remember when I wrote generic class last time. Every time I think I need it after some thinking I make a conclusion I don't. The second answer to this question made me to ask for ...
20
votes
4answers
34k views

Who extends interfaces? And why?

AFAIK, my class extends parent classes and implements interfaces. But I run across a situation, where I can't use implements SomeInterface. It is the declaration of a generic types. For example: ...
19
votes
8answers
56k views

What is the point of an interface? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When to use abstract classes instead of interfaces and extension methods in C#? What other reasons are there to write interfaces rather than abstract classes? This question ...
17
votes
6answers
6k views

What does the author mean by casting the interface reference to any implementation?

I am currently in the process of trying to master C#, so I am reading Adaptive Code via C# by Gary McLean Hall. He writes about patterns and anti-patterns. In the implementations versus interfaces ...
17
votes
5answers
8k views

Do enums create brittle interfaces?

Consider the example below. Any change to the ColorChoice enum affects all IWindowColor subclasses. Do enums tend to cause brittle interfaces? Is there something better than an enum to allow for ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

Should a front-end developer ever specify JSON format for back-end developers?

I am taking the front-end role in a project. Should I be specifying for my back-end teammates the exact format of JSON that their PHP returns to my JavaScript? For example, should I be telling them ...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

Principle of least astonishment (POLA) and interfaces

A good quarter of a century ago when I was learning C++, I was taught that interfaces should be forgiving and as far as possible not care about the order that methods were called since the consumer ...
17
votes
5answers
5k views

When to use interfaces (unit testing, IoC?)

I suspect I've made a schoolboy error here, and am looking for clarification. A lot of the classes in my solution (C#) - dare I say the majority - I've ended up writing a corresponding interface for. ...
16
votes
5answers
3k views

Use of keyword “Using” in C# interface

When I'm using C# to write some code and I define an interface using Visual Studio 2010, it always includes a number of "using" statements (as shown in the example) using System; using System....
15
votes
5answers
4k views

Pass object twice to same method or consolidate with combined interface?

I have a method that creates a data file after talking to a digital board: CreateDataFile(IFileAccess boardFileAccess, IMeasurer boardMeasurer) Here boardFileAccess and boardMeasurer are the same ...
15
votes
6answers
13k views

What are the differences between abstract classes, interfaces, and when to use them

Recently I have started to wrap my head around OOP, and I am now to the point where the more I read about the differences between abstract classes and interfaces the more confused I become. So far, ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Illegal in PHP: Is there an OOP design reason?

The below interface inheritance is illegal in PHP, but I think it would be fairly useful in real life. Is there an actual antipattern or documented problem with the below design, that PHP is ...
15
votes
5answers
14k views

Can I consider interface methods as abstract methods?

I was thinking about that, and I had some doubts. When I declare an interface, for example: public interface MyInterface { public void method1(); public void method2(); } Could these ...
15
votes
5answers
5k views

What is the functional-programming alternative to an interface?

If I want to program in a "functional" style, with what would I replace an interface? interface IFace { string Name { get; set; } int Id { get; } } class Foo : IFace { ... } Maybe a Tuple<&...
15
votes
3answers
5k views

Why are interfaces more helpful than superclasses in achieving loose coupling?

(For the purpose of this question, when I say 'interface' I mean the language construct interface, and not an 'interface' in the other sense of the word, i.e. the public methods a class offers the ...
14
votes
4answers
3k views

Is it permissible to use explicit interface implementation to hide members in C#?

I understand how to work with interfaces and explicit interface implementation in C#, but I was wondering if it's considered bad form to hide away certain members that would not be used frequently. ...
14
votes
5answers
3k views

Should I write an interface API before an implementation?

I've been delving into more "organized" programming recently and I've been learning that I should be programming to an interface, not an implementation. With that in mind, would it be better to "...
14
votes
3answers
8k views

Should I implement an interface directly or have the superclass do it?

Is there a difference between public class A extends AbstractB implements C {...} versus... public class A extends AbstractB {...} abstract class AbstractB implements C {...} I understand that in ...