The concept of components has been around since the early days of programming. “When machines were hard-wired and every byte of storage was precious, subroutines were invented to conserve memory”, (Clements, From Subroutines to Subsystems: Component-Based Software Development, 1995). The invention of subroutines was later furthermore developed. Programmers made it possible to insert subroutines extracted from their, or others, previous programs. This was a revolutionizing element in the business of software development. Programmers did not have to concern themselves with the details of coding; they just used what others had constructed. And so, the concept of information hiding was invented. From a general point of view, information hiding is about only presenting the details necessary for the user to make use of elements. This is also known as encapsulation. Encapsulation consists, according to Rumbaugh (Object-oriented modeling and design, 1991), of separating the external aspects of an object, which are accessible to others objects, from the internal implementation details of the object, which are hidden from other objects. Encapsulation, e.g. information hiding, is one of the cornerstones of the object-oriented paradigm, along with abstraction, polymorphism, and inheritance. Abstraction is about focusing on what an element is and does, before deciding how it should be implemented. Polymorphism broadly means that the same operation may behave differently on different elements. And inheritance is about the sharing of attributes and operations among elements based on a hierarchical relationship. The object-oriented paradigm made a great impact within the IT-community when its ideas were presented at the end of the 1980s.
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