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

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119
votes
19answers
88k 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, ...
118
votes
15answers
39k views

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

Isn't the whole point of an interface to for multiple classes to adhere to a set of rules and implementations?
54
votes
7answers
54k 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 ...
53
votes
6answers
20k 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 ...
53
votes
4answers
30k views

Why should I prefer composition over inheritance?

I always read that composition is to be preferred over inheritance. A blog post on unlike minds, for example, advocates using composition over inheritance, but I can't see how polymorphism is ...
51
votes
10answers
16k 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 ...
42
votes
7answers
11k 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 ...
41
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) ...
38
votes
11answers
4k 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 ...
35
votes
4answers
6k 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 ...
35
votes
4answers
29k 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 ...
32
votes
12answers
14k 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 ...
31
votes
9answers
5k 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? ...
28
votes
4answers
4k 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 ...
27
votes
3answers
5k 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.
26
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 ...
26
votes
2answers
2k 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. ...
25
votes
9answers
12k 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 ...
25
votes
4answers
18k 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 ...
23
votes
8answers
2k 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 ...
23
votes
9answers
3k 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. ...
22
votes
10answers
28k 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 ...
21
votes
10answers
5k 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
20
votes
8answers
8k 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 ...
19
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
4k 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
3answers
1k views

Would adding award points or game features to workplace software be viewed poorly amongst the programming community?

So one of my responsibilities at work is to build an internal tool that helps the workers enter in all their information. It's an enterprise application that is similar to a Windows forms database ...
16
votes
8answers
24k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
2k 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 ...
16
votes
4answers
2k 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 ...
16
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 ...
14
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
18k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
2k 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. ...
13
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a different usage rationale for abstract classes/interfaces in C++ and Java

According to Herb Sutter one should prefer abstract interfaces (all pure virtual functions) to abstract classes in C++ to decouple the implementation as far as possible. While I personally find this ...
13
votes
4answers
588 views

Two interfaces with identical signatures

I am attempting to model a card game where cards have two important sets of features: The first is an effect. These are the changes to the game state that happen when you play the card. The interface ...
13
votes
5answers
3k 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. ...
13
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

How to implement only a part of an interface

When developing in OOP, sometimes an interface / contract is given by a library that you cannot alter. Let's call this interface J. Now you have an object of class A that consumes objects that ...
12
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
758 views

Is it good practice to implement two Java 8 default methods in terms of each other?

I'm designing an interface with two related methods, similar to this: public interface ThingComputer { default Thing computeFirstThing() { return computeAllThings().get(0); } ...
12
votes
2answers
532 views

UnsupportedOperationException in java collections framework interfaces

Looking through the Java Collections Framework, I've noticed quite a few of the interfaces have the comment (optional operation). These methods allow implementing classes to through an ...
11
votes
6answers
9k 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, ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Is an interface considered 'empty' if it inherits from other interfaces?

Empty interfaces are generally consider bad practice, as far as I can tell - especially where things like attributes are supported by the language. However, is an interface considered 'empty' if it ...
11
votes
4answers
14k 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: ...
11
votes
4answers
10k views

Should interfaces extend (and in doing so inherit methods of) other interfaces

Although this is a general question it is also specific to a problem I am currently experiencing. I currently have an interface specified in my solution called public interface IContextProvider { ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it bad practice to use an interface for categorization only?

For example: Say I have classes A, B, C. I have two interfaces, lets call them IAnimal and IDog. IDog inherits from IAnimal. A and B are IDogs, while C is not, but it is an IAnimal. The important ...