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Tip of the Day
Language: C++
Expertise: Intermediate
Feb 20, 1998

IsA or HasA?

When designing a class hierarchy, you may face a decision between inheritance (aka IsA ) vs. containment (aka HasA) relation. For instance, if you are designing a
 Radio 
class, and you already have the following classes implemented for you in some library:
 Dial, ElectricAppliance. 
It is quite obvious that your Radio should be derived from
 ElectricAppliance. 
However, it is not so obvious that
 Radio
should also be derived from
 Dial
. How to decide? You can check whether there is always a 1:1 relation between the two, e.g., do all radios have one and only one dial? You may realize that the answer is
Danny Kalev
 
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