Java: How to Program, 9th Edition (Deitel)

Author: Harvey Deitel
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by anonymous   2018-03-19

From Java How to Program about abstract classes:

Because they’re used only as superclasses in inheritance hierarchies, we refer to them as abstract superclasses. These classes cannot be used to instantiate objects, because abstract classes are incomplete. Subclasses must declare the “missing pieces” to become “concrete” classes, from which you can instantiate objects. Otherwise, these subclasses, too, will be abstract.

To answer your question "What is the reason to use interfaces?":

An abstract class’s purpose is to provide an appropriate superclass from which other classes can inherit and thus share a common design.

As opposed to an interface:

An interface describes a set of methods that can be called on an object, but does not provide concrete implementations for all the methods... Once a class implements an interface, all objects of that class have an is-a relationship with the interface type, and all objects of the class are guaranteed to provide the functionality described by the interface. This is true of all subclasses of that class as well.

So, to answer your question "I was wondering when I should use interfaces", I think you should use interfaces when you want a full implementation and use abstract classes when you want partial pieces for your design (for reusability)