Book Image

Python 3 Object-Oriented Programming - Third Edition

By : Dusty Phillips
Book Image

Python 3 Object-Oriented Programming - Third Edition

By: Dusty Phillips

Overview of this book

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a popular design paradigm in which data and behaviors are encapsulated in such a way that they can be manipulated together. This third edition of Python 3 Object-Oriented Programming fully explains classes, data encapsulation, and exceptions with an emphasis on when you can use each principle to develop well-designed software. Starting with a detailed analysis of object-oriented programming, you will use the Python programming language to clearly grasp key concepts from the object-oriented paradigm. You will learn how to create maintainable applications by studying higher level design patterns. The book will show you the complexities of string and file manipulation, and how Python distinguishes between binary and textual data. Not one, but two very powerful automated testing systems, unittest and pytest, will be introduced in this book. You'll get a comprehensive introduction to Python's concurrent programming ecosystem. By the end of the book, you will have thoroughly learned object-oriented principles using Python syntax and be able to create robust and reliable programs confidently.
Table of Contents (15 chapters)

Introducing object-oriented

Everyone knows what an object is: a tangible thing that we can sense, feel, and manipulate. The earliest objects we interact with are typically baby toys. Wooden blocks, plastic shapes, and over-sized puzzle pieces are common first objects. Babies learn quickly that certain objects do certain things: bells ring, buttons are pressed, and levers are pulled.

The definition of an object in software development is not terribly different. Software objects may not be tangible things that you can pick up, sense, or feel, but they are models of something that can do certain things and have certain things done to them. Formally, an object is a collection of data and associated behaviors.

So, knowing what an object is, what does it mean to be object-oriented? In the dictionary, oriented means directed toward. So object-oriented means functionally directed toward modeling objects. This is one of many techniques used for modeling complex systems. It is defined by describing a collection of interacting objects via their data and behavior.

If you've read any hype, you've probably come across the terms object-oriented analysis, object-oriented design, object-oriented analysis and design, and object-oriented programming. These are all highly related concepts under the general object-oriented umbrella.

In fact, analysis, design, and programming are all stages of software development. Calling them object-oriented simply specifies what level of software development is being pursued.

Object-oriented analysis (OOA) is the process of looking at a problem, system, or task (that somebody wants to turn into an application) and identifying the objects and interactions between those objects. The analysis stage is all about what needs to be done.

The output of the analysis stage is a set of requirements. If we were to complete the analysis stage in one step, we would have turned a task, such as I need a website, into a set of requirements.  As an example, here or some requirements as to what a website visitor might need to do (italic represents actions, bold represents objects):

  • Review our history
  • Apply for jobs
  • Browse, compare, and order products

In some ways, analysis is a misnomer. The baby we discussed earlier doesn't analyze the blocks and puzzle pieces. Instead, she explores her environment, manipulates shapes, and sees where they might fit. A better turn of phrase might be object-oriented exploration. In software development, the initial stages of analysis include interviewing customers, studying their processes, and eliminating possibilities.

Object-oriented design (OOD) is the process of converting such requirements into an implementation specification. The designer must name the objects, define the behaviors, and formally specify which objects can activate specific behaviors on other objects. The design stage is all about how things should be done.

The output of the design stage is an implementation specification. If we were to complete the design stage in a single step, we would have turned the requirements defined during object-oriented analysis into a set of classes and interfaces that could be implemented in (ideally) any object-oriented programming language.

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is the process of converting this perfectly-defined design into a working program that does exactly what the CEO originally requested.

Yeah, right! It would be lovely if the world met this ideal and we could follow these stages one by one, in perfect order, like all the old textbooks told us to. As usual, the real world is much murkier. No matter how hard we try to separate these stages, we'll always find things that need further analysis while we're designing. When we're programming, we find features that need clarification in the design.

Most twenty-first century development happens in an iterative development model. In iterative development, a small part of the task is modeled, designed, and programmed, and then the program is reviewed and expanded to improve each feature and include new features in a series of short development cycles.

The rest of this book is about object-oriented programming, but in this chapter, we will cover the basic object-oriented principles in the context of design. This allows us to understand these (rather simple) concepts without having to argue with software syntax or Python tracebacks.