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Inversion of control

What inversion of control means and why it's useful when building applications

Basic idea

  • Separate code defining how something is done from code defining when it is done
  • Ensure that both of these parts know as little as possible about each other

Benefits:

  • Decoupling between "how" and "when" parts
    • The less they need to know about each other, the easier it is to replace/adjust one of them without breaking the other
  • More focused classes/modules

Implementation

  • Events
    • Separate code handling events ("how" part) from code triggering events ("when part")
  • Dependency injection
    • Pass dependencies of a class/function/module as constructor arguments, method parameters, ...
    • "How" is defined inside the dependencies that are injected + in the code that determines which specific implementation will be injected (as opposed to the class/function/module instantiating its own dependencies)
      • Second part is very useful for reusability and also makes it easy to pass in specific implementations for running automated tests
    • "When" is defined by the code of the class/function/module that uses the dependencies
  • Template method pattern - Separate implementation of template method ("how" part) from logic for calling the template method ("when" part)
  • Strategy pattern - Strategy itself defines the "how" part, code calling strategy defines the "when" part - Good use case for dependency injection

Resources