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This is where Java's strong typing steps in your way. What about languages which do not have such strong typing? For example Ruby's duck-typing seems to sidestep this problem in a simple way - because there is no need for "abstract" in Ruby, this issue obviously does not exist there. The price you pay for this flexibility in Ruby in this case is that you should use introspection (xx.respond_to? :getHTMLTitle) to find out whether the object xx actually provides the method getHTMLTitle or not. However, if you have not used Ruby before, beware - Java programmers usually do hate it, just because it is not strong typed - they refuse the duck-typing just because it seems perverse to them. However, it is not so perverse once you get used to it. ;-)

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