Delphi versus PHP: A side by side comparison between Delphi and PHP.
Some languages support object-based concepts such as Paradox, Access, and VB Classic. Other languages have OO extensions and fully support object orientation in a hybrid fashion (such as C++ and Dephi for Win32). Finally, some lanages such as C#, VB.Net, Prism, and Java are entirely written in OO. Meaning, every line of code written must occur within a class).
In short, a class is a data type, and an object is an instance of a class type. A class has methods (routines), properties (member variables), and a constructor. The current values of the properties is the current state of the object. The UML is one of the diagraming disciplines that allows you to document the various changing states of a series of objects.
The concept of a class makes it possible to define subclasses that share some or all of the main class characteristics. This is called inheritance. Inheritance also allows you to reuse code more efficiently. In a class tree, inheritance is used to design classes vertically. (You can use Interfaces to design classes horizontally within a class tree.) With inheritance, you are defining an "is-a" relationship (i.e. a chow is-a dog). Analysts using UML call this generalization where you generalize specific classes into general parent classes.
A class variable defined with a specific class visibility, usually private visibility. A member property is different than a member field. A member property uses a member field to store values through accessor methods (getters and setters). For example, it is common to use a private member field to store the current value of a property. The current values of all the class member fields is the current state of the object.
What modifiers apply to member fields, if any? Typical member field modifiers include scope modifiers (private, protected, etc.) and read-only. Can you initialize the value of a member field when declared ensuring a default value?
A code routine that belongs to the class or an object instance (an instance of the class). Methods that belong to the class are called class methods or static methods. Methods that belong to an object instance are called instance methods, or simply methods.
When a method returns a value, it is a function method. When no value is returned (or void), it is a procedure method.
Methods frequently use method parameters to transfer data. When one object instance calls another object instance using a method with parameters, you call that messaging.
Traditional private, protected, public, etc. member modifiers are documented under the member visibility topic of the Cross Reference Encyclopedia. With member modifiers here, we address additional member modifiers such as method and field modifiers.
In OOP languages, members of a class have a specific scope that indicates visibility. Standard visibility includes private, protected, and public. Private members are usable by the defining class only (fully encapsulated). They are invisible outside of the class except by friendly classes.
Protected members are usable by the defining class and descendant classes only (plus friendly classes). Public members are usable wherever its class can be referenced.
Traditional member visibility specifiers for fully OOP languages are private, protected, and public. Many modern OOP languages implement additional member visibilities.