[O] The Open-Closed Principle

[O] The Open-Closed Principle: Extending Behaviors Without Modifying Code

The Open-Closed Principle (OCP) is a fundamental principle of the SOLID design principles. It promotes the idea that a class should be designed to be open for extension but closed for modification. This means that the behavior of a class should be easily extendable without changing the existing code. By adhering to this principle, developers can create code that is more flexible, maintainable, and easier to scale.

One of the common mistakes that violate the OCP is to have a class that hard-codes behaviors for different shapes. For instance, consider the following code:

class AreaCalculator {
    private val shapes = listOf("circle", "square", "triangle")
    fun calculateArea(shape: String): Double {
        return when (shape) {
            "circle" -> 3.14 * (5 * 5)
            "square" -> 5 * 5
            "triangle" -> 0.5 * (5 * 5)
            else -> 0.0

Here, the AreaCalculator class calculates the area of different shapes. If we want to add more shapes or change the calculation of area for any shape, we have to modify the AreaCalculator class, which violates the OCP principle.

To adhere to the OCP, a better practice is to define an interface Shape that defines a method to calculate the area, and create separate classes for each shape that implements the Shape interface. This way, the behavior of the class can be extended by creating new classes that implement the Shape interface, without modifying the existing code. Here’s an example:

interface Shape {
    fun calculateArea(): Double

class Circle(private val radius: Double) : Shape {
    override fun calculateArea() = 3.14 * (radius * radius)

class Square(private val side: Double) : Shape {
    override fun calculateArea() = side * side

class Triangle(private val base: Double, private val height: Double) : Shape {
    override fun calculateArea() = 0.5 * (base * height)

With this approach, adding new shapes or modifying the calculation of an existing shape only requires creating a new class that implements the Shape interface. This adheres to the OCP principle, making the code more flexible, maintainable, and scalable.

In conclusion, the OCP principle helps developers to create software that can be easily extended without modifying the existing code. By using interfaces and inheritance, the behavior of a class can be extended without changing the existing code, making it more flexible and easier to maintain.