Overriding methods and fields

In Scala, fields and methods belong to the same namespace. This makes it possible for a field to override a parameterless method. For instance, you could change the implementation of contents in class ArrayElement from a method to a field without having to modify the abstract method definition of contents in class Element
abstract class Element {
  def contents: Array[String]

class ArrayElement(conts: Array[String]) extends Element {
  val contents: Array[String] = conts
Field contents (defined with a val) in this version of ArrayElement is a perfectly good implementation of the parameterless method contents (declared with a def) in class Element.
Source: Overriding methods and fields

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