Scala For Beginners - Crash Course - Part 2
Object-Oriented Programming in Scala
6 min read
Welcome to the 2nd part of scala beginners crash course, here we will go through the object-oriented way of scala programming language and concepts like anonymous class, case classes and traits!
It will be a no-nonsense, to the point kind of article (like part 1) with all necessary links wherever needed.
Without further ado, let's get started.
Before We Start
Before we start coding out, first create a new object in
crashcourse package (please go through part 1 for more information on creating packages and objects).
Let's name it
ClassAndObject like below:
Now, we can start coding out examples on this scala application.
Classes And Objects
In scala, to define a class we use the
We can directly use the
Student class later in the program. That's it! that's how we can create a class in scala.
It is different from writing
object Student as it is not instantiated right away, we have just defined it and are not using it anywhere. To instantiate a class we can use the
A class can have parameters, like this:
Note: Class parameters are not class fields, which means we can not use these parameters with instantiated objects.
To make class parameters as class fields, we have to use the
val keyword along with the name of the parameter, like this:
We can use class parameters within the class code block by using the
this keyword if value name conflict occurs, like below:
If value name conflict does not occur, then the class method by default (implicitly) uses the
this operator on class parameters values.
Some other important concepts:
- Overloading occurs with only different signature methods. More on overloading in scala here.
- Auxiliary constructor are generally used for default parameters. More on auxiliary constructor here.
- Instances are fixed, whenever we want to do something with the given class, say creating/updating something, then we would need to instantiate a new class, it is the clause of immutability, useful in functional programming.
Conceptually, scala does not provide class level functionality, like a static class. However, scala provides something called an
object, using which we can obtain class level functionalities.
Scala objects are singleton instances by definition. We can create an object like the below code:
We can create an object with the same name as that of a class in the same scope, creating such an object/class is called companion object/class, known as companions.
Companions can be used to make a factory method in objects, that can help instantiate a class in a certain way. Using companions does not require using the
new keyword to instantiate a scala class, we can define a method named
apply within the object to handle instantiation.
We can create a companion like below:
Well, that's about it on classes and objects in scala. You can check out official docs on scala classes here and on objects here.
Anonymous And Case Classes
To create an anonymous class we can directly define the class like this:
Things to remember when creating an anonymous class:
- Pass proper parameters whenever required.
- Anonymous class declaration works for abstract as well as for non-abstract classes. It works for traits as well.
Note: We will discuss abstract classes and traits in the next section.
- Useful for on-spot declaration in some scenarios.
case keyword in front of the
class keyword will make it a case class, like this:
Case classes promote class parameters to fields, it has a predefined
toString method that evaluates to a representation that is understandable.
Equality and hashcodes are implemented out-of-the-box with a handy
copy method to copy instances. Case classes come with their companion objects predefined.
Things to remember when creating a case class:
- Case class is a quick lightweight data structure with little boilerplate.
- Case classes are serializable and used with the Akka framework.
- Case classes have extractor patterns that can be used in pattern matching.
- Case objects are the same as case classes but don't get companion objects as they themselves are objects.
Well, that's about it on anonymous class and case class in scala.
Inheritance, Abstract Class And Traits
Scala offers single level inheritance. Inheriting a class inherits public methods and protected methods can be used within the child class.
Important notes on inheritance overriding:
- To override methods, use the
overridekeyword. Override works for
defor anything within in the class.
- To prevent override, we have to use the
- Put a
classto altogether prevent the inheritance of a class.
- Use the
sealedkeyword to restrict inheritance in different scopes of the program.
Moving on to abstract classes in scala, we have to use the
abstract keyword to make an abstract class and an abstract class cannot be instantiated, however, we can create an anonymous class using the
new keyword and defining all the methods within that anonymous code block.
Traits are similar to interfaces in java. They are also used to declare undefined or unimplemented methods. We have to use the
trait keyword to define traits in scala.
Important points to note for abstract classes and traits in scala:
- Abstract class can have both abstract and non-abstract methods. It is the same for traits.
- Traits does not have constructor parameters.
- Classes can inherit multiple traits, but not multiple classes.
- Traits are used to define the behaviour of a class.
- Abstract class is the type of thing itself.
Note: If you see
???in abstract/trait methods, it means that method is not implemented and evaluates to
Well, that's about it on inheritance, abstract class and traits in scala.
Below are some of the external links you can go through to get a more in-depth understanding of object-oriented programming in scala.
Well, that wraps up part 2 of this crash course.
In the next part, we will discuss functions, HOFs, curries and much more related to functional programming in scala.
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