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Method (computer science)

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A method is a special kind of subprogram belonging to a class.

An instance method is a method invoked with respect to an instance of a class. Instance methods are often used to examine or modify the state of a particular object. In Java and C++, constructors are instance methods which have the same name as their class. In typical implementations, instance methods take a hidden reference to the object they belong to.

In contrast to instance methods, a class method (a.k.a static method, shared method) can be invoked without reference to a particular object. These affect an entire class, not merely a particular instance of the class. A typical example of a class method would be one that keeps count of the number of created objects within a given class.

An abstract method is a method which has no implementation[?]. It is used to make a place-holder to be overriden later.

An accessor method is a kind of method that is usually small, simple and provides the way to bypass access control. Although it introduces new dependency, use of the methods are preferable because they provide a certain layer. An accessor method that changes the state of an object is sometimes especially called mutator or update method. Objects with that method is considered mutable object.

A method called initially in object creation is called constructor.



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