Classical Vs. Prototypal inheritance

Class-based inheritance and prototypal inheritance are two different approaches to achieving inheritance in programming. They both serve the purpose of creating relationships between objects and sharing properties and behaviors between them, but they have distinct mechanisms and concepts. Here's a detailed explanation of the differences:

Class-Based Inheritance


  1. Classes define blueprints for creating objects. They act as a template for objects.
  2. Objects are instances of classes.


  1. In class-based languages, you create objects by instantiating a class using constructors.
  2. Constructors are special methods within classes that initialize object properties and behaviors.


  1. In class-based languages, inheritance is based on the relationship between classes.
  2. A subclass (child class) can inherit properties and behaviors from a parent class.
  3. Inheritance creates a hierarchical structure of classes with an "is-a" relationship.


  1. Class-based languages often implement polymorphism through interfaces or abstract classes, allowing different classes to be treated as instances of a common interface.

Prototypal Inheritance


  1. Prototypal inheritance is based on the idea of objects directly inheriting from other objects.
  2. Objects serve as prototypes for creating new objects.


  1. In prototypal inheritance, you create objects directly by cloning or extending existing objects.


  1. In prototypal inheritance, objects inherit properties and behaviors from their prototype objects.
  2. There's no strict class hierarchy; objects can inherit from multiple prototypes, forming a more dynamic inheritance chain.


  1. Polymorphism is often achieved by sharing common properties and behaviors among objects with a shared prototype.
  2. Objects with different prototypes can still exhibit polymorphic behavior if they share similar properties or methods.

Classical Vs. Prototypal inheritance | Differences


  1. Class-based inheritance focuses on creating and extending classes, while prototypal inheritance revolves around objects and their prototypes.


  1. Class-based inheritance involves a clear class hierarchy with parent and child classes, forming a tree structure.
  2. Prototypal inheritance has a more flexible and dynamic chain of objects, without strict hierarchies.


  1. Prototypal inheritance is often considered more flexible because you can create new objects based on existing ones and add or modify properties and behaviors directly.

Flexibility vs. Formalism

  1. Prototypal inheritance can be seen as more informal and flexible, while class-based inheritance imposes a more structured and formal approach.


  1. Class-based inheritance is commonly found in languages like Java, C++, and C#.
  2. Prototypal inheritance is a core concept in JavaScript and other dynamically-typed languages.


Both approaches have their merits and are suited for different programming paradigms and use cases. Class-based inheritance can provide a clear structure and encapsulation, while prototypal inheritance offers dynamic object relationships and extensibility.