Minimal public interface
- Implement a minimal public interface which all classes understand (e.g. operations such as copy (deep versus shallow), equality testing, pretty printing, parsing from a ASCII description, etc.). --Riel's Heuristic 2.4, Arthur Riel 1996
Chapter 2.4 in Arthur Riel 1996 states that:
If the classes that a developer designs and implements are to be reused by other developers in other applications, it is often useful to provide a common minimal public interface. This minimal public interface consists of functionality that can be reasonably expected from each and every class. The interface serves as a foundation for learning about the behaviors of classes in a reusable software base.
Chapter 9.5 continues with:
The minimal public interface gives users of a collection of reusable classes a basis for understanding the collection's architecture. Users come to expect a minimal functionality from anything they use in the collection.
Riel then goes on to describe a public interface that implements the following:
- Copying objects
- Assigning objects
- Equality testing