Friday, January 30, 2009

what is interface?  

0 comments

There are a number of situations in software engineering when it is important for disparate groups of programmers to agree to a "contract" that spells out how their software interacts. Each group should be able to write their code without any knowledge of how the other group's code is written. Generally speaking, interfaces are such contracts. 

For example, imagine a futuristic society where computer-controlled robotic cars transport passengers through city streets without a human operator. Automobile manufacturers write software (Java, of course) that operates the automobile—stop, start, accelerate, turn left, and so forth. Another industrial group, electronic guidance instrument manufacturers, make computer systems that receive GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) position data and wireless transmission of traffic conditions and use that information to drive the car. 

The auto manufacturers must publish an industry-standard interface that spells out in detail what methods can be invoked to make the car move (any car, from any manufacturer). The guidance manufacturers can then write software that invokes the methods described in the interface to command the car. Neither industrial group needs to know how the other group's software is implemented. In fact, each group considers its software highly proprietary and reserves the right to modify it at any time, as long as it continues to adhere to the published interface.

In the Java programming language, an interface is a reference type, similar to a class, that can contain only constants, method signatures, and nested types. There are no method bodies. Interfaces cannot be instantiated—they can only be implemented by classes or extended by other interfaces

What next?

You can also bookmark this post using your favorite bookmarking service:

Related Posts by Categories



0 comments: to “ what is interface?

Extension Factory Builder