Mixins and Multiple Inheritance

As described above, Vala while it is backed by C and GObject, can provide a limited multiple inheritance mechanism, by adding virtual methods to Interfaces. Is possible to add some ways to define default method implementations in interface implementor class and allow derived classes to override that methods.

If you define a virtual method in an interface and implement it in a class, you can't override interface's method without leaving derived classes unable to access to interface default one. Consider following code:

public interface Callable : GLib.Object {
   public abstract bool answering { get; protected set; }
   public abstract void answer ();
   public abstract bool hang ();
   public static bool default_hang (Callable call)
      stdout.printf ("At Callable.hang()\n");
      call.answering = false;
      return true;

public abstract class Caller : GLib.Object, Callable
   public bool answering { get; protected set; }
   public void answer ()
     stdout.printf ("At Caller.answer()\n");
     answering = true;
     hang ();
   public virtual bool hang () { return Callable.default_hang (this); }

public class TechPhone : Caller {
        public string number { get; set; }

public class Phone : Caller {
   public override bool hang () {
        stdout.printf ("At Phone.hang()\n");
        return false;

   public static void main ()
      var f = (Callable) new Phone ();
      f.answer ();
      if (f.hang ())
         stdout.printf("Hand done.\n");
         stdout.printf("Hand Error!\n");

      var t = (Callable) new TechPhone ();
      t.answer ();
      if (t.hang ())
         stdout.printf("Tech Hand done.\n");
         stdout.printf("Tech Hand Error!\n");

In this case, we have defined a Callable interface with a default implementation for abstract bool hang () called default_hang, it could be a static or virtual method. Then Caller is a base class implementing Callable for the TechPhone and Phone classes, while Caller's hang () method simple call Callable default implementation. TechPhone doesn't do anything and just takes Caller as base class, using the default method implementations; but Phone overrides Caller.hang () and this makes to use its own implementation, allowing to always call it even if it is cast to Callable object.

Explicit method implementation

The explicit interface method implementation allows to implement two interfaces that have methods (not properties) with the same name.


interface Foo {
 public abstract int m();

interface Bar {
 public abstract string m();

class Cls: Foo, Bar {
 public int Foo.m() {
  return 10;

 public string Bar.m() {
  return "bar";

void main () {
 var cls = new Cls ();
 message ("%d %s", ((Foo) cls).m(), ((Bar) cls).m());

Will output 10 bar.

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