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Exercise 3.4
Public data representation

In the accompanying Point and Point client classes the data representation of Point is available to the client class. This may be tempting for the programmer, because we most likely wish to make the x and y coordinates of points available to clients.

Why is it a bad solution? It is very important that you can express and explain the problem to fellow programmers. Give it a try!

Now assume that we are forced (by the boss) to change the data representation of Point. As a realistic scenario, we may introduce polar coordinates instead of the rectangular x and y coordinates. Recall that polar coordinates consist of a radius and an angle (in radians or degrees).

What will happen to client classes, such as this client, when this change is introduced? Is it an easy or a difficult modification to the given client class? Imagine that in a real-life situation we can have thousands of similar lines of code in client programs that refer to x and y coordinates.

Rewrite selected parts of class Point such that the client "survives" the change of data representation. In your solution, the instance variables should be private in the Point class. Are you able to make a solution such that the client class should not be changed at all?

The private static methods at the bottom of this version of class Point will most likely be helpful. In addition, this version of class Point serves as an initial (but incomplete and somewhat problematic) template of the Point class that you are supposed to write.

The client class of Point calculates the distances between pairs of points. This is not a good idea because far too many details occur repeatedly in the client. Suggest a reorganization and implement it.