||This will be an attempt to explain what object-oriented programming
is, why it is useful, and how it may apply to programs you make in Flash
with an asterisk or two). It will attempt to explain OO programming as
a new system, unrelated to 'normal' procedural programming styles. This
tutorial will likely be most useful (and least annoying) to either those
who have almost no programming experience, or those who have an advanced
understanding of OO techniques but are coming from a different language.
Inexplicably, it is aimed at all you fine people in the middle.
The hurdle to learning OO programming is not that it is complicated. It isn't. The hurdle is that it requires you to change the way you think about things that you already understand. That is tough. It requires the same mind shuffle that happens when you meet an 'internet friend' in person for the first time. Especially if you had the gender wrong. It's the same person - nothing has changed - yet it's also a new person with a face and voice (and perhaps, unbelievably, breasts or a beard...). At first you just deny it. You mentally treat the 'online person' and the 'real person' as two different people. That only gets you so far though; there is too much overlap between them. Simple conversations get confusing - you mix them up, and even start to doubt you actually knew him/her/them in the first place. Probably at one point you backtrack, trying to fit old facts to new information. You reread some old e-mail, have a few laughs and perhaps blushes. Things start to slowly gel; it even clarifies the odd thing that seemed out of place. Time goes by, and eventually you get used to it - even expect it. Indeed, before long, you wonder how you could have ever thought it to be otherwise. Things are where they should be. You are now an OO programmer.
So just what is Object-Oriented Programming then? Well, the best place to start may well be with the thing that starts it all off, the humble object.
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