Adobe Interview Question for Computer Scientists

Team: Big Data
Country: United States
Interview Type: In-Person

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A virtual function is a member function of a class that can be overridden at runtime in a derived class (dynamic rather than static binding). Calling the function via a base-class pointer will result in a call to the derived class version. The reference is resolved at runtime, using the virtual function table (vtable), which is just a table of function addresses. The base class function need not even be defined, it can be "pure virtual", meant to be defined only in derived classes. This of course makes the base class abstract so it cannot be instantiated, only used as a common ancestor for subclasses.

It's important to make base class destructors virtual, so that the in the event your derived-class object is deleted via a base-class pointer, the derived version of the destructor is called, because your derived class could allocate memory that needs freeing, register for events using a pointer to itself which needs unregistering, etc.

- Adam Smith November 01, 2014 | Flag Reply

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