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James Gosling on Java, May 1999
A Converstion with Java's Creator, James Gosling
by Bill Venners
First Published in JavaWorld, June 1999

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The Idea Behind the Interface

Bill Venners: You once said that the core of object-oriented design is "figuring out what the interfaces are." Could you elaborate on that?

James Gosling: The interfaces are the things that connect the pieces. You've got a toaster and a power plug in the wall; it's the way you connect. The core of the object-oriented design thing is to try to figure out what the interfaces should be. The actual technology of object-oriented design in a programming language is how you express those interfaces.

From a developer's point of view, the art is in figuring out the important things to have in the interface. Actually, the hardest part is figuring out the things you should leave out. Because one of the important aspects to designing interfaces is to make them say just enough so that people who want to use them can use them and do what they need to do -- but not so much that it makes it difficult for people to change things.

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