The use of derived classes and virtual functions is often called "object- oriented programming". Furthermore, the ability to call a variety of functions using exactly the same interface - as is provided by virtual functions - is sometimes called "polymorphism".
[The Author notes this is a functional view of polymorphism (as provided in C++). [Stroustrup 91, p. 136] has an example of polymorphism with void *'s, but a newer template function is incomparably preferable, as implied in [Stroustrup 90, ch 14]]
Rumbaugh's Definition [Rumbaugh 91, p. 2]:
"Polymorphism" means that the same operation may behave differently on different classes.
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