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21. Explain the principle of polymorphism.

Posted on 2015-01-24
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Last Modified: 2015-02-11
Explain the principle of polymorphism.
Provide examples.
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Question by:Nusrat Nuriyev
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by:jkr
jkr earned 1000 total points
ID: 40568240
Polymorphism is the concept of accessing objects through pointers to common base classes. This allows to define a common interface for a group of classes that have common traits, e.g.

class Vehicle {
public:
  virtual void Drive() {speed = 0;}
protected:
  int speed;
};

class Bicycle: public Vehicle {
public:
  virtual void Drive() {speed = 10;}
};

class Car: public Vehicle {
public:
  virtual void Drive() {speed = 50;}
};

void Race(Vehicle** vehicles, size_t count) {

  for (size_t i = 0; i < count; ++i) {

    vehicles[i]->Drive();
  }
}
int main () {

  Car car;
  Bicycle bike;

  Vehicle* arr[] = { &car, &bike};

  Race(arr, 2);

  return 0;
}

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You will find another nice example at http://www.cplusplus.com/doc/tutorial/polymorphism/
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phoffric earned 1000 total points
ID: 40568724
Just wanted you to be aware of static vs. dynamic polymorphism.
http://www.cpptutor.com/static-polymorphism-and-dynamic-polymorphism-in-c++.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Template_metaprogramming#Static_polymorphism

You have two identical function names, but they go to different functions - polymorphism. If the compiler can call the function directly - that's static polymorphism. If it cannot, and the correct function is only known at runtime - that's dynamic polymorphism.
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