Method

Classes can be broken into two core parts:

  • The data that is attributed to a class’s members or properties.
  • The behaviors that are defined or inherited in the class.

Methods are the “behavior” part of the class. When an instance variable is created from a class, it has access to the class’s associated methods. Methods can accept parameters (sometimes they’re called “arguments”) and can return a result.

In object-oriented programming, methods promote reusability and keep functionality encapsulated inside an object.

Example

In the Python example below, a class for a character in a game, Character, is defined with certain behaviors. The character can:

  • Introduce themselves via .introduceSelf().
  • Move left given an integer amount via .moveLeft().
  • Move right given an integer amount via .moveRight().
class Character:
def __init__(self, name, movex):
self.name = "Player" # Character's name
self.movex = 0 # Character's starting position
def introduceSelf(self):
# Print out an introduction phrase
print(f"Hello! I'm {self.name}.")
def moveLeft(self, x):
# Move the character left by x pixels
self.movex -= x
def moveRight(self, x):
# Move the character right by x pixels
self.movex += x

Now, when an instance of Character is created, the game character can introduce themselves, move left, or move right.

Methods in Different Langauges

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