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[Page 118]

3.12. Wrap-Up

In this chapter, you learned how to create user-defined classes, and how to create and use objects of those classes. In particular, we declared data members of a class to maintain data for each object of the class. We also defined member functions that operate on that data. You learned how to call an object's member functions to request the services it provides and how to pass data to those member functions as arguments. We discussed the difference between a local variable of a member function and a data member of a class. We also showed how to use a constructor to specify the initial values for an object's data members. You learned how to separate the interface of a class from its implementation to promote good software engineering. We also presented a diagram that shows the files that class-implementation programmers and client-code programmers need to compile the code they write. We demonstrated how set functions can be used to validate an object's data and ensure that objects are maintained in a consistent state. In addition, UML class diagrams were used to model classes and their constructors, member functions and data members. In the next chapter, we begin our introduction to control statements, which specify the order in which a function's actions are performed.


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