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class

1. <programming> The prototype for an object in an object-oriented language; analogous to a derived type in a procedural language. A class may also be considered to be a set of objects which share a common structure and behaviour. The structure of a class is determined by the class variables which represent the state of an object of that class and the behaviour is given by a set of methods associated with the class.

Classes are related in a class hierarchy. One class may be a specialisation (a "subclass") of another (one of its "superclasses") or it may be composed of other classes or it may use other classes in a client-server relationship. A class may be an abstract class or a concrete class.

See also signature.

2. <programming> See type class.

3. <networking> One of three types of Internet addresses distinguished by their most significant bits.

3. <language> A language developed by the Andrew Project. It was one of the first attempts to add object-oriented features to C.

(1995-05-01)


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