What is Polymorphism in Java
Polymorphism in Java is the task that performs a single action in different ways.
So, languages that do not support polymorphism are not ‘Object-Oriented Languages’, but ‘Object-Based Languages’. Ada, for instance, is one such language. Since Java supports polymorphism, it is an Object Oriented Language.
Polymorphism in Java is the ability of a single method or class to take on multiple forms. It allows objects of different types to be treated as objects of a common type, providing a way to achieve flexibility and abstraction in programming. Polymorphism is achieved through two mechanisms in Java: method overloading and method overriding.
1. Method Overloading:
- Method overloading is a form of compile-time (static) polymorphism, where multiple methods with the same name are defined within a class, but they differ in their parameter types, number of parameters, or both.
- The compiler determines which method to invoke based on the method signature during compile-time.
2. Method Overriding:
- Method overriding is a form of run-time (dynamic) polymorphism, where a subclass provides a specific implementation for a method that is already defined in its superclass.
- The decision of which method to call is made at runtime based on the actual type of the object.
In this example, the
makeSound method is overridden in the
Cat subclasses, providing a different implementation for each. At runtime, the actual type of the object determines which version of the method is called.
Polymorphism allows for more flexible and extensible code by enabling code to work with objects of multiple types in a unified manner. It enhances the readability, maintainability, and scalability of the code.