Object orientation in Octopus


Since version 10, Octopus is gradually being converted into a fully object oriented code, using the OOP features of Fortran 2003.

The main features of OOP used in Octopus are:

The benefits of OOP design are:

What is an object?

An object refers to a data-structure, which is bundled with the functions (methods) acting on that data. Usually, it is good practice to declare the data as private, and allow access only through so-called access functions (getters and setters). This is called encapsulation, and allows later to change details of the implementation without affecting the rest of the code.

Objects are instances of classes, which define the data structures and the methods for its objects.

Inheritance and class hierarchy

Object oriented programming allows to build more complex classes by inheriting the structure and behaviour of other classes. This reduces duplicated code, and ensures consistency between different classes, which share some functionality.

Example: linked list


Languages like C++ allow to use templates to write functions or algorithms independent of the data type, they are to be applied to. Unfortunately, this is not directly possible in Fortran. Octopus uses a poor-mans approach to templates, by using macros and including ‘templates’ of functions, where the explicit types are replaced by macros. These routines are usually defined in files which have ‘_inc’ in their name.

To create a ‘templated’ function, one can either provide an explicit interface

interface my_function
  module procedure dmy_function, zmy_function
end interface

of the function needs to be called using the X(...) macro.

The body of the function is usually defined in a separate file (here my_funtion_inc.F90) which needs to be included as shown here:

#include "undef.F90"
#include "real.F90"
#include "my_function_inc.F90"

#include "undef.F90"
#include "complex.F90"
#include "my_function_inc.F90"

In my_function_inc.F90 we would have something like:

function X(my_function)(arg1, arg2) result(res))

  R_TYPE, intent(in)  :: arg1
  R_TYPE, intent(in)  :: arg2
  R_TYPE, intent(out) :: res


end function X(my_function)

The used macros are defined in these include files: