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Naresh Jain's Random Thoughts on Software Development and Adventure Sports
     
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Goodbye Simplicity I’m Object Obsessed – Example

Suppose we had the following (utterly) simplistic requirement:

@Test
public void politiciansDontNeedToPayTax() {
    whenIncomeIs(10000).verify(POLITICIANS).pay(0);
}
 
@Test
public void residingAliensGetAwayByPayingLittleTax() {
    whenIncomeIs(10000).verify(ALIENS).pay(1000);
}
 
@Test
public void richPeopleArePunishedWithHighestTax() {
    whenIncomeIs(10000).verify(RICH_PEOPLE).pay(3000);
}

where:

TaxPayer RICH_PEOPLE = new RichPeople();
TaxPayer ALIENS = new ResidingAliens();
TaxPayer POLITICIANS = new Politicians();

To fullfil this requirement, we’ve the following code:

Tax Payer

Parent Class:

public abstract class TaxPayer {
    protected abstract double getTaxPercentage();
 
    public double calculateTaxAmount(final long income) {
        if (getTaxPercentage() == 0)
            return 0;
        return income * getTaxPercentage() / 100.0;
    }
}

Each child class:

public class Politicians extends TaxPayer {
    private double taxPercentage = 0;
 
    @Override
    protected double getTaxPercentage() {
        return taxPercentage;
    }
}
public class RichPeople extends TaxPayer {
    private final double taxPercentage = 30;
 
    @Override
    protected double getTaxPercentage() {
        return taxPercentage;
    }
}
public class ResidingAliens extends TaxPayer {
    private final double taxPercentage = 10;
 
    @Override
    protected double getTaxPercentage() {
        return taxPercentage;
    }
}

One would wonder what good are these child classes? Feels like a class explosion. Sure enough! This is the pathetic state of Object Oriented programming in many organizations, esp. the Enterprise software side of the world.

One could have easily used an enum to solve this problem:

Refactored Tax Payer

public enum TaxPayer {
    Politicians(0), Aliens(.1), RichPeople(.3);
 
    private double taxPercentage;
 
    private TaxPayer(double taxPercentage) {
        this.taxPercentage = taxPercentage;
    }
 
    public double calculateTaxAmount(final long income) {
        return income * taxPercentage;
    }
}
  • JF

    Was this a real life example where those child classes were that simple and stupid? Did those child classes do more than just what your showing ? if not then they were definetely useless abstractions 🙂

    • This s a real life example, except I’ve changed the class names so it cannot be tracked about to the original domain. Those child classes just did that, nothing more.


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