It is possible to define operators such as + and * to work with objects of arbitrary classes. These operators are transformed into standard routine calls in the class. Thus, if a class defines the routine 'plus' you can then apply the + operator to objects from that class. For instance, the complex number class POINT could define the plus routine to mean pairwise addition
class POINT is readonly attr x,y:INT; create(x,y:INT):SAME is ... -- same as before plus(s:POINT):POINT is return #POINT(x + s.x, y + s.y); end;
we can now use the plus routine on two points
p1:POINT := #POINT(3,5); p2:POINT := #POINT(4,6); p3:POINT := p1 + p2; -- p3 is set to the point 7,11
Most of the standard operators may be redefined; in some cases, redefining one operator such as the < operator implicitly redefines the associated >, >= and <= operators. These operators are meant to be used together in a consistent manner to indicate the mathematical notion of complete or partial ordering. They are not intended to be used as a convenient short-hand for other purposes.