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prototype pattern

Posted on 2006-11-23
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can any one explain whats prototype pattern in laymans terms (without pointing me to a website :)

a simple example would be appreciated.

also is this pattern  widely used/ rarely used/ never used.

thanks
J
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Question by:jaggernat
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by:gkishoreji
ID: 18005894
if u r familiar with java and the clone() method of an object, then
the object which u are going to clone is the prototype...
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by:girionis
ID: 18006784
The prototype patterns states that when the creation of an object is too expensive or complex, then you make copies of the original object instead of creating more objects.

For example, if you have a Person object that is created by querying the database several times and you want to create another Person object, instead of doing all the database stuff again, you just clone the first Person object and you get a copy. This is the prototype pattern.
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by:jaggernat
ID: 18008109
is this pattern ever used in real life programming? Is it used in j2ee scenario?

thanks
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girionis earned 2000 total points
ID: 18017716
Yes, it is and I have used it personally in the exampel I mentioned above. We had a Customer object that was very complicated and we needed to return it to the caller. This Customer object had loads of information inside it, it had an Address object, a BillingAccount object, an Order object, a Visit object etc. Each one of them was taken from the database and we had different queries, for instance one query for the customer itself, another for the address, another for the billing account etc. As you could see it was very expensive and time consuming. Later in the flow of the application we needed to create a customer instance, which would be the same customer with only a couple of fields different. Instead of querying the database again for the information we just used the prototype pattern and cloned the original Customer object. Then we made the changes in the secon d object. This saved us tremendous effort in system resources and execution time.
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