20.4. Reuse Through Composition¶
Inheritance is not the only way to reuse code. Composition occurs when an object stores a reference to one or more objects in one of its instance variables. The object is thus able to reuse code in the objects it embeds within itself.
For example, our LabeledPoint example could have been implemented as follows:
The first thing to notice about this version of LabeledPoint
does not inherit from Point. Instead, its constructor
instantiates a Point and stores a reference to it in its
instance variable so that it can be used by the other methods.
Next, notice how the
distanceFromOrigin() method reuses the code in
Point` by invoking it. We say that ``LabeledPoint’s
delegates its implementation to
Finally, notice how the
__str__() method also reuses the code in
Point by calling