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intro/polymorphism

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The generic definition of the word polymorphism is the occurrence of something in several different forms. When considered relative to computer science, software engineering, and all things related to developing a software system, it is often said that polymorphism is lacks a clear explanation. Nothing could be further from the truth. In this section, you will gain an understanding of polymorphism, including theory and practice, as it applies to C++


Polymorphism: Just the C++ facts

In 1985, Luca Cardelli and Peter Wegner released their seminal paper On Understanding Types, Data Abstraction and Polymorphism. The work built on work previously done by Liskov and Strachey, to provide a clear definition of polymorphism in modern software systems. C++ provides some of the richest support for the varied types of polymorphism as well the concepts of type and class.

We'll start with the concepts of type and class in C++, as the rest of this article depends on these fundamental concepts. The type of an object is defined by what it can do, the class of an object determines the implementation of the what, or rather, how what it can do gets done. This concept can also be seen in the adage, "Implement to interface, not implementation.". In C++11, for the first time, the developer has the capability to implement constructs that in spirit, embody the concept of type/interface than ever before.

editors note: saving what I have to go research the correct mechanism to put samples into a wiki article.