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How to implement polymorphism using inheritance in Ruby

Polymorphism allows us to execute different implementations for the same function or method.

Polymorphism helps with code reusability as it enables the use of the same interface for a variety of different implementations.

In Ruby, we can utilize polymorphism through inheritance to ensure that the same method defined in a parent class will have different implementations and outputs once a child classes call it.

Code

class Element # parent class
    def symbol
        puts "this method returns the symbol of the element"
    end
end

class Sodium < Element
    def symbol # override the parent method
        puts "symbol for Sodium: Na"
    end
end

class Copper < Element
    def symbol # override the parent method
        puts "symbol for Copper: Cu"
    end
end


element = Sodium.new

element.symbol

element = Copper.new

element.symbol

Line 22 and Line 26 show the same method being called for different child classes. The output shows that the implementations specific to the child class in question were called. The implementation provided by the parent class for the symbol method was overwritten.

Depending on the object the element variable is referencing, the implementation that belongs to that object will be executed.

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