Java Programming/Print version

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Java Programming/Print version
Contents
1 Overview
2 Preface
2.1 Are you new to programming?
2.2 Programming with Java™
2.3 What can Java not do?
3 About This Book
3.1 Who should read this book?
3.2 How to use this book
3.3 How can you participate
3.3.1 As a reader
3.3.2 As a contributor
4 History
4.1 Earlier programming languages
4.2 The Green team
4.3 Reshaping thought
4.4 The demise of an idea, birth of another
4.5 Versions
4.5.1 Initial Release (versions 1.0 and 1.1)
4.5.2 Java 2 (version 1.2)
4.5.3 Kestrel (Java 1.3)
4.5.4 Merlin (Java 1.4)
4.5.5 Tiger (version 1.5.0; Java SE 5)
4.5.6 Mustang (version 1.6.0; Java SE 6)
4.5.7 Dolphin (version 1.7.0; Java SE 7)
4.6 References
5 Java Overview
5.1 Object orientation
5.2 Platform dependence
5.3 Standardization
5.4 Secure execution
5.5 Error handling
5.6 Networking capabilities
5.7 Dynamic class loading
5.8 Automatic memory garbage collection
5.9 Applet
5.10 Forbidden bad practices
5.11 Evaluation
6 The Java Platform
6.1 Java Runtime Environment (JRE)
6.1.1 Executing native Java code (or byte-code)
6.1.2 Do you have a JRE?
6.1.3 Java Virtual Machine (JVM)
6.1.3.1 Just-in-Time Compilation
6.1.3.2 Native optimization
6.1.3.3 Was JVM the first virtual machine?
6.2 Java Development Kit (JDK)
6.2.1 The Java compiler
6.2.2 Applet development
6.2.3 Annotation processing
6.2.4 Integration of non-Java and Java code
6.2.5 Class library conflicts
6.2.6 Software security and cryptography tools
6.2.7 The Java archiver
6.2.8 The Java debugger
6.2.9 Documenting code with Java
6.2.10 The native2ascii tool
6.2.11 Remote Method Invocation (RMI) tools
6.2.12 Java IDL and RMI-IIOP Tools
6.2.13 Deployment & Web Start Tools
6.2.14 Browser Plug-In Tools
6.2.15 Monitoring and Management Tools / Troubleshooting Tools
6.2.16 Java class libraries (JCL)
6.3 Similar concepts
6.3.1 The .NET framework
6.3.2 Third-party compilers targeting the JVM
7 Getting started
7.1 Understanding systems
7.2 The process of abstraction
7.2.1 Thinking in objects
7.2.2 Understanding class definitions and types
7.2.3 Expanding your class definitions
7.2.4 Adding behavior to objects
7.3 The process of encapsulation
7.3.1 Using access modifiers
8 Installation
8.1 Availability check for JRE
8.2 Availability check for JDK
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8.3 Advanced availability check options on Windows platform
8.4 Download instructions
8.5 Updating environment variables
8.6 Start writing code
8.7 Availability check for JRE
8.8 Availability check for JDK
8.9 Installation using Terminal
8.10 Download instructions
8.11 Start writing code
8.12 Updating Java for Mac OS
8.13 Availability check for JDK
9 Compilation
9.1 Quick compilation procedure
9.2 Automatic Compilation of Dependent Classes
9.3 Packages, Subdirectories, and Resources
9.3.1 Top level package
9.3.2 Subpackages
9.4 Filename Case
9.5 Compiler Options
9.5.1 Debugging and Symbolic Information
9.6 Ant
9.7 The JIT compiler
10 Execution
10.1 JSE code execution
10.2 J2EE code execution
10.3 Jini
11 Understanding a Java Program
11.1 The Distance Class: Intent, Source, and Use
11.2 Detailed Program Structure and Overview
11.2.1 Introduction to Java Syntax
11.2.2 Declarations and Definitions
11.2.2.1 Example: Instance Fields
11.2.2.2 Example: Constructor
11.2.2.3 Example: Methods
11.2.2.4 The printDistance() method
11.2.2.5 The main() method
11.2.2.6 The intValue() method
11.2.2.7 Static vs. Instance Methods
11.2.3 Data Types
11.2.3.1 Primitive Types
11.2.3.2 Reference Types
11.2.3.3 Array Types
11.2.3.4 void
11.3 Whitespace
11.3.1 Required Whitespace
11.4 Indentation
12 Java IDEs
12.1 What is a Java IDE?
12.2 Eclipse
12.3 NetBeans
12.4 JCreator
12.5 Processing
12.6 BlueJ
12.7 Kawa
12.8 JBuilder
12.9 DrJava
12.10 Other IDEs
13 Language Fundamentals
13.1 The Java programming syntax
14 Statements
14.1 Variable declaration statement
14.2 Assignment statements
14.3 Assertion
14.4 Program Control Flow
14.5 Statement Blocks
14.6 Branching Statements
14.6.1 Unconditional Branching Statements
14.7 Return statement
14.7.1 Conditional Branching Statements
14.7.1.1 Conditional Statements
14.7.1.2 If...else statements
14.7.1.3 Switch statements
14.8 Iteration Statements
14.8.1 The while loop
14.8.2 The do...while loop
14.8.3 The for loop
14.8.4 The foreach loop
14.9 The continue and break statements
14.10 Throw statement
14.11 try/catch
15 Conditional blocks
15.1 If
15.2 If/else
15.3 If/else-if/else
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15.4 Conditional expressions
15.5 Switch
Loop blocks
16.1 While
16.1.1 Do... while
16.2 For
16.2.1 For-each
16.3 Break and continue keywords
16.4 Labels
16.5 Try... catch blocks
16.6 Examples
Boolean expressions
17.1 Comparative operators
17.2 Boolean operators
Variables
18.1 Variables in Java programming
18.2 Kinds of variables
18.3 Creating variables
18.4 Assigning values to variables
18.5 Grouping variable declarations and assignment operations
18.6 Identifiers
18.7 Naming conventions for identifiers
18.8 Literals (values)
Primitive Types
19.1 Numbers in computer science
19.2 Integer types in Java
19.3 Integer numbers and floating point numbers
19.4 Data conversion (casting)
19.5 Notes
Arithmetic expressions
20.1 Using bitwise operators within Java
Literals
21.1 Boolean Literals
21.2 Numeric Literals
21.2.1 Integer Literals
21.2.2 Floating Point Literals
21.2.3 Character Literals
21.3 String Literals
21.4 null
21.5 Mixed Mode Operations
Methods
22.1 Parameter passing
22.1.1 Primitive type parameter
22.1.2 Object parameter
22.2 Variable argument list
22.3 Return parameter
22.4 Special method, the constructor
22.5 Static methods
API/java.lang.String
23.1 Immutability
23.2 Concatenation
23.3 Using StringBuilder/StringBuffer to concatenate strings
23.4 Comparing Strings
23.5 Splitting a String
23.6 Substrings
23.7 String cases
23.8 See also
Classes, Objects and Types
24.1 Instantiation and constructors
24.2 Type
24.3 Autoboxing/unboxing
24.4 Methods in the Object class
24.4.1 The clone method
24.4.2 The equals method
24.4.3 The finalize method
24.4.4 The getClass method
24.4.5 The hashCode method
24.4.6 The toString method
24.4.7 The wait and notify thread signaling methods
24.4.7.1 The wait methods
24.4.7.2 The notify and notifyAll methods
Keywords
25.1 abstract
25.2 assert
25.3 boolean
25.4 break
25.5 byte
25.6 case
25.7 catch
25.8 char
25.9 class
25.10 const
25.11 continue
25.12 See also
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25.13 default
25.14 do
25.15 double
25.16 else
25.17 enum
25.18 extends
25.19 final
25.20 For a variable
25.21 For a class
25.22 For a method
25.23 Interest
25.24 finally
25.25 float
25.26 for
25.27 goto
25.28 if
25.29 implements
25.30 import
25.31 instanceof
25.32 int
25.33 interface
25.34 long
25.35 native
25.36 See also
25.37 new
25.38 package
25.39 private
25.40 protected
25.41 public
25.42 return
25.43 short
25.44 static
25.45 Interest
25.46 strictfp
25.47 super
25.48 switch
25.49 synchronized
25.50 Singleton example
25.51 this
25.52 throw
25.53 throws
25.54 transient
25.55 try
25.56 void
25.57 volatile
25.58 while
Packages
26.1 Package declaration
26.2 Import and class usage
26.3 Wildcard imports
26.4 Package convention
26.5 Importing packages from .jar files
26.6 Class loading/package
Arrays
27.1 Fundamentals
27.2 Two-Dimensional Arrays
27.3 Multidimensional Array
Mathematical functions
28.1 Math constants
28.1.1 Math.E
28.1.2 Math.PI
28.2 Math methods
28.2.1 Exponential methods
28.2.1.1 Exponentiation
28.2.1.2 Logarithms
28.2.2 Trigonometric and hyperbolic methods
28.2.2.1 Trigonometric functions
28.2.2.2 Inverse trigonometric functions
28.2.2.3 Hyperbolic functions
28.2.2.4 Radian/degree conversion
28.2.3 Absolute value: Math.abs
28.2.4 Maximum and minimum values
28.3 Functions dealing with floating-point representation
28.4 Rounding number example
Large numbers
29.1 BigInteger
29.2 BigDecimal
Random numbers
30.1 Truly random numbers
Unicode
31.1 Unicode escape sequences
31.2 International language support
31.3 References
Comments
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32.1 Syntax
32.2 Comments and unicode
32.3 Javadoc comments
Coding conventions
Classes and Objects
34.1 Classes and Objects
Defining Classes
35.1 Fundamentals
35.2 Constructors
35.3 Initializers
35.3.1 Static initializers
35.3.2 Instance initializers
Inheritance
36.1 The Object class
36.2 The super keyword
Interfaces
37.1 Interest
37.2 Extending interfaces
Overloading Methods and Constructors
38.1 Method overloading
38.2 Variable Argument
38.3 Constructor overloading
38.4 Method overriding
Object Lifecycle
39.1 Creating object with the new keyword
39.2 Creating object by cloning an object
39.3 Creating object receiving from a remote source
39.4 Destroying objects
39.4.1 finalize()
39.5 Class loading
Scope
40.1 Scope
40.1.1 Scope of method parameters
40.1.2 Scope of local variables
40.2 Access modifiers
40.2.1 For a class
40.2.2 For a variable
40.2.3 For a method
40.2.4 For an interface
40.2.5 Summary
40.3 Utility
40.4 Field encapsulation
Nested Classes
41.1 Inner classes
41.1.1 Nesting a class inside a class
41.1.2 Static inner classes
41.1.3 Nesting a class inside a method
41.2 Anonymous Classes
Generics
42.1 Generic class
42.2 Generic method
42.3 Wildcard Types
42.3.1 Upper bounded wildcards
42.3.2 Lower bounded wildcards
42.3.3 Unbounded wildcard
42.4 Class<T>
42.5 Motivation
42.6 Note for C++ programmers
Overview
Preface
The beautiful thing about learning is nobody can take it away from you.
—B.B. King (5 October 1997)
Learning a computer programming language is like a toddler's first steps. You stumble, and fall, but when you start walking, programming becomes second nature. And once you
start programming, you never cease evolving or picking up new tricks. Learn one programming language, and you will "know" them all — the logic of the world will begin to
unravel around you.
Are you new to programming?
If you have chosen Java as your first programming language, be assured that Java is also the first choice for computer science programs in many universities. Its simple and intuitive
syntax, or grammar, helps beginners feel at ease with complex programming constructs quickly.
However, Java is not a basic programming language. In fact, NASA used Java as the driving force (quite literally) behind its Mars Rover missions. Robots, air traffic control systems
and the self-checkout barcode scanners in your favorite supermarkets can all be programmed in Java.
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Programming with Java™
By now, you might truly be able to grasp the power of the Java programming language. With Java, there are many possibilities.
Yet not every programmer gets to program applications that take unmanned vehicles onto other planets. Software that we
encounter in our daily life is somewhat humble in that respect. Software in Java, however, covers a vast area of the computing
ecosphere. Here are just a few examples of the ubiquitous nature of Java applications in real-life:
This stunning image of the sunset on planet Mars
wouldn't have been possible without Java.
OpenOffice.org, a desktop office management suite that rivals the Microsoft Office suite has been written in Java.
The popular building game Minecraft is written in Java.
Online browser-based games like Runescape, a 3D massively multi-player online role playing game (MMORPG), run on graphics routines, 3D rendering and networking
capabilities powered by the Java programming language.
Two of the world's renowned digital video recorders, TiVo and BSkyB's Sky+ use built-in live television recording software to record, rewind and play your favorite television
shows. These applications make extensive use of the Java programming language.
The above mentioned applications illustrate the reach and ubiquity of Java applications. Here's another fact: almost 80% of mobile phone vendors adopt Java as their primary
platform for the development of applications. The most widely used mobile-based operating system, Android, uses Java as one of its key application platforms — developers are
encouraged to develop applications for Android in the Java programming language.
What can Java not do?
Well, to be honest, there is nothing that Java can't do, at least for application programming. Java is a "complete" language; the only limits are programmer imagination and ability.
This book aims to get you acquainted with the basics of the language so you can create the software masterpiece of your dreams. The one area where Java can't be used is for direct
interaction with computer hardware. If you want to write an operating system, you will need to look elsewhere!
About This Book
The Java Programming Wikibook is a shared effort in amassing a comprehensive guide of the complete Java platform — from programming advice and tutorials for the desktop
computer to programming on mobile phones. The information presented in this book has been conceptualised with the combined efforts of various contributors, and anonymous
editors.
The primary purpose of this book is to teach the Java programming language to an audience of beginners, but its progressive layout of tutorials increasing in complexity, it can be
just as helpful for intermediate and experienced programmers. Thus, this book is meant to be used as:
a collection of tutorials building upon one another in a progressive manner;
a guidebook for efficient programming with the Java programming language; and,
a comprehensive manual resource for the advanced programmer.
This book is intended to be used in conjunction with various other online resources, such as:
the Java platform API documentation (http://download.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/api/overview-summary.html);
the official Java website (http://www.oracle.com/us/technologies/java/index.html); and,
active Java communities online, such as Java.net (http://home.java.net) and JavaRanch (http://www.javaranch.com), etc.
Who should read this book?
Everything you would need to know to write computer programs would be explained in this book. By the time you finish reading, you will find yourself proficient enough to tackle
just about anything in Java and programs written using it. This book serves as the first few stepping stones of many you would need to cross the unfriendly waters of computer
programming. We have put a lot of emphasis in structuring this book in a way that lets you start programming from scratch, with Java as your preferred language of choice. This
book is designed for you if any one of the following is true.
You are relatively new to programming and have heard how easy it is to learn Java.
You had some BASIC or Pascal in school, and have a grasp of basic programming and logic.
You already know and have been introduced to programming in earlier versions of Java.
You are an experienced developer and know how to program in other languages like C++, Visual Basic, Python, Ruby, etc.
You've heard that Java is great for web applications and web services programming.
Although this book is generally meant to be for readers who are beginning to learn programming; it can be highly beneficial for intermediate and advanced programmers who may
have missed out on some vital information. After completing this book you should be able to solve many complicated problems using the Java skills presented in the following
chapters. Once you finish, you are also encouraged to undertake ambitious programming projects of your own.
This book assumes that the reader has no prior knowledge of programming in Java, or for that matter, any object-oriented programming language. Practical examples and exercises
following each topic and module make it easy to understand the software development methodology. If you are a complete beginner, we suggest that you move slowly through this
book and complete each exercise at your own pace.
How to use this book
This book is a reference book of the Java language and its related technologies. Its goal is to give a complete picture of Java and its technologies. While the book can be read from
the beginning to end, it is also designed to have individual sections that can be read independently. To help find information quickly, navigation boxes are given in the online version
for access to individual topics.
This book is divided to sections. Pages are grouped together into section topics. To make this book expandable in the future via the addition of new sections, the sections
navigation-wide are independent from each other. Each section can be considered as a mini book by itself. Pages that belong to the same topic can be navigated by the links on the
right hand side.
How can you participate
Content is constantly being updated and enhanced in this book as is the nature of wiki-based content. This book is therefore in a constant state of evolution. Any Wikibooks users
can participate in helping this book to a better standard as both a reader, or a contributor.
As a reader
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If you are interested in reading the content present in this book, we encourage you to:
share comments about the technical accuracy, content, or organization of this book by telling the contributors in the Discussion section for each page. You can find the link
Discussion on each page in this book leading you to appropriate sections for discussion. Leave a signature when providing feedback, writing comments, or giving suggestion
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Discussion pages.
share news about the Java Programming Wikibook with your family and friends and let them know about this comprehensive Java guide online.
become a contributing author, if you think that you have information that could fill in some missing gaps in this book.
As a contributor
If you are intent on writing content for this book, you need to do the following:
When writing content for this book, you can always pose as an anonymous contributor, however we recommend you sign-in into the Wikibooks website when doing so. It
becomes easier to track and acknowledge changes to certain parts of the book. Furthermore, the opinions and views of logged-in users are given precedence over anonymous
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Be bold and try to follow the conventions for this Wikibook. It is important that the conventions for this book be followed to the letter to make content consistent and reliable
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History
On 23 May 1995, John Gage, the director of the Science Office of the Sun Microsystems along with Marc Andreesen, co-founder and executive vice president at Netscape
announced to an audience of SunWorldTM that Java technology wasn't a myth and that it was a reality and that it was going to be incorporated into Netscape Navigator.[1]
At the time the total number of people working on Java was less than 30.[1] This team would shape the future in the next decade and no one had any idea as to what was in store.
From being the mind of an unmanned vehicle on Mars to the operating environment on most of the consumer electronics, e.g. cable set-top boxes, VCRs, toasters and also for
personal digital assistants (PDAs).[2] Java has come a long way from its inception. Let's see how it all began.
Earlier programming languages
Before Java emerged as a programming language, C++ was the dominant player in the trade. The primary goal of the creators of Java was to create a language that could tackle
most of the things that C++ offered while getting rid of some of the more tedious tasks that came with the earlier languages.
Computer hardware went through a performance and price revolution from 1972 to 1991. Better, faster hardware was available at ever lower prices and the demand for big and
complex software exponentially increased. To accommodate the demand, new development technologies were invented.
The C language developed in 1972 by Dennis Ritchie had taken a decade to become the most popular language amongst programmers working on PCs and similar platforms (other
languages, like COBOL and FORTRAN, dominated the mainframe market). But, with time programmers found that programming in C became tedious with its structural syntax.[3]
Although, people attempted to solve this problem, it would be later that a new development philosophy was introduced, one named Object-Oriented Programming. With OOP, you
can write code that can be reused later without rewriting the code over and over again. In 1979, Bjarne Stroustrup developed C++, an enhancement to the C language with included
OOP fundamentals and features.
The Green team
Behind closed doors, a project was initiated in December of 1990, whose aim was to create a programming tool that could render obsolete the C
and C++ programming languages. Engineer Patrick Naughton had become extremely frustrated with the state of Sun's C++ and C APIs
(Application Programming Interfaces) and tools. While he was considering to move towards NeXT, he was offered a chance to work on new
technology and the Stealth Project was started, a secret nobody but he knew.
This Stealth Project was later named the Green Project when James Gosling and Mike Sheridan joined Patrick.[1] Over the period of time that
the Green Project teethed, the prospects of the project started becoming clearer to the engineers working on it. No longer was its aim to create a
new language far superior to the present ones, but it aimed to target the language to devices other than the computer.
Staffed at 13 people, they began work in a small office on Sand Hill Road in Menlo Park, California. This team would be called Green Team
henceforth in time. The project they underwent was chartered by Sun Microsystems to anticipate and plan for the "next-wave" in computing.
For the team, this meant at least one significant trend, that of the convergence of digitally controlled consumer devices and computers.[1]
James Gosling, architect and
designer of the compiler for the
Java technology
Reshaping thought
The team started thinking of replacing C++ with a better version, a faster version, a responsive version. But the one thing they hadn't thought of, as of yet, was that the language
they were aiming for had to be developed for an embedded system with limited resources. An embedded system is a computer system scaled to a minimalistic interface demanding
only a few functions from its design. For such a system, C++ or any successor would seem too large as all the languages at the time demanded a larger footprint than what was
desired. The team thus had to think in a different way to go about solving all these problems.
Co-founder of Sun Microsystems, Bill Joy, envisioned a language combining the power of Mesa and C in a paper he wrote for the engineers at Sun named Further. Gathering ideas,
Gosling began work on enhancing C++ and named it "C++ ++ --", a pun on the evolutionary structure of the language's name. The ++ and -- meant, putting in and taking out stuff.
He soon abandoned the name and called it Oak[1] after the tree that stood outside his office.
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Table 1: Who's who of the Java technology[1]
Has worked for GT (Green Team), FP (FirstPerson) and JP (Java Products Group)
Name
GT
FP
JP
Lisa Friendly
Details
FirstPerson employee and member of the Java Products Group
John Gage
Science Office (Director), Sun Microsystems
James Gosling
Lead engineer and key architect of the Java technology
Bill Joy
Co-founder and VP, Sun Microsystems; Principal designer of the UC Berkeley, version of the UNIX® OS
Jonni Kanerva
Java Products Group employee, author of The Java FAQ1
Tim Lindholm
FirstPerson employee and member Java Products Group
Scott McNealy
Chairman, President, and CEO of Sun Microsystems
Patrick Naughton
Green Team member, FirstPerson co-founder
George Paolini
Corporate Marketing (Director), Sun's Java Software Division
Kim Polese
FirstPerson product marketing
Lisa Poulson
Original director of public relations for Java technology (Burson-Marsteller)
Wayne Rosing
FirstPerson President
Eric Schmidt
Former Sun Microsystems Chief Technology Officer
Mike Sheridan
Green Team member
The demise of an idea, birth of another
By now, the work on Oak had been significant but come the year 1993, people saw the demise of set-top boxes, interactive TV and the PDAs. A failure that completely ushered the
inventors' thoughts to be reinvented. Only a miracle could make the project a success now. And such a miracle awaited anticipation.
National Center for Supercomputing Applications (NCSA) had just unveiled its new commercial web browser for the internet the previous year. The focus of the team, now diverted
towards where they thought the "next-wave" of computing would be — the internet. The team then divulged into the realms of creating the same embeddable technology to be used
in the web browser space calling it an applet — a small application. Keeping all of this in mind, the team created a list of features tackling the C++ problems. In their opinion, the
project should ...
.. be simple and gather tested fundamentals and features from the earlier languages in it,
.. have standard sets of APIs with basic and advanced features bundled with the language,
.. get rid of concepts requiring direct manipulation of hardware (in this case, memory) to make the language safe,
.. be platform independent and may written for every platform once (giving birth to the WORA idiom),
.. be able to manipulate network programming out-of-the-box,
.. be embeddable in web browsers, and ...
.. have the ability for a single program to multi-task and do multiple things at the same time.
The team now needed a proper identity and they decided on naming the new technology they created Java ushering a new generation of products for the internet boom. A
by-product of the project was a cartoon named "Duke" created by Joe Parlang which became its identity then.
Finally at the SunWorldTM conference, Andreesen unveiled the new technology to the masses. Riding along with the explosion of interest and publicity in the Internet, Java quickly
received widespread recognition and expectations grew for it to become the dominant software for browser and consumer applications.[2]
Initially Java was owned by Sun Microsystems, but later it was released to open source; the term Java was a trademark of Sun Microsystems. Sun released the source code for its
HotSpot Virtual Machine and compiler in November 2006, and most of the source code of the class library in May 2007. Some parts were missing because they were owned by third
parties, not by Sun Microsystems. The released parts were published under the terms of the GNU General Public License, a free software license.
Versions
Unlike C and C++, Java's growth is pretty recent. Here, we'd quickly go through the development paths that Java took with age.
Development of Java over the years. From version 1.0 to version 1.7, Java has displayed a steady growth.
Initial Release (versions 1.0 and 1.1)
Introduced in 1996 for the Solaris, Windows, Mac OS Classic and Linux, Java was initially released as the Java Development Kit 1.0 (JDK 1.0). This included the Java runtime (the
virtual machine and the class libraries), and the development tools (e.g., the Java compiler). Later, Sun also provided a runtime-only package, called the Java Runtime Environment
(JRE). The first name stuck, however, so usually people refer to a particular version of Java by its JDK version (e.g., JDK 1.0).
Java 2 (version 1.2)
Introduced in 1998 as a quick fix to the former versions, version 1.2 was the start of a new beginning for Java. The JDKs of version 1.2 and later versions are often called Java 2 as
well. For example, the official name of JDK 1.4 is The Java(TM) 2 Platform, Standard Edition version 1.4.
Major changes include:
Rewrite the event handling (add Event Listeners)
Change Thread synchronizations
Introduction of the JIT-Just in time compilers
Kestrel (Java 1.3)
Released in 8 May 2000. The most notable changes were:
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HotSpot JVM included (the HotSpot JVM was first released in April, 1999 for the J2SE 1.2 JVM)
RMI was modified to support optional compatibility with CORBA
JavaSound
Java Naming and Directory Interface (JNDI) included in core libraries (previously available as an extension)
Java Platform Debugger Architecture (JPDA)
Synthetic proxy classes
Merlin (Java 1.4)
Released in 6 February 2002, Java 1.4 has improved programmer productivity by expanding language features and available APIs:
Assertion
Regular Expression
XML processing
Cryptography and Secure Socket Layer (SSL)
Non-blocking I/O (NIO)
Logging
Tiger (version 1.5.0; Java SE 5)
Released in September 2004
Major changes include:
Generics - Provides compile-time type safety for collections :and eliminates the drudgery of casting.
Autoboxing/unboxing - Eliminates the drudgery of manual conversion between primitive types (such as int) and wrapper types (such as Integer).
Enhanced for - Shorten the for loop with Collections use.
Static imports - Lets you import all the static part of a class.
Annotation/Metadata - Enabling tools to generate code and deployment descriptors from annotations in the source code. This leads to a "declarative" programming
style where the programmer says what should be done and tools emit the code to do it. Annotations can be inspected through source parsing or by using the additional
reflection APIs added in Java 5.
JVM Improvements - Most of the run time library is now mapped into memory as a memory image, as opposed to being loaded from a series of class files. Large portion
of the runtime libraries will now be shared among multiple JVM instances.
Mustang (version 1.6.0; Java SE 6)
Released on 11 December 2006.[4]
What's New in Java SE 6:
Web Services - First-class support for writing XML web service client applications.
Scripting - You can now mix in JavaScript technology source code, useful for prototyping. Also useful when you have teams with a variety of skill sets. More advanced
developers can plug in their own scripting engines and mix their favorite scripting language in with Java code as they see fit.
Database - No more need to find and configure your own JDBC database when developing a database application. Developers will also get the updated JDBC 4.0, a well-used
API with many important improvements, such as special support for XML as an SQL datatype and better integration of Binary Large OBjects (BLOBs) and Character Large
OBjects (CLOBs) into the APIs.
More Desktop APIs - GUI developers get a large number of new tricks to play like the ever popular yet newly incorporated SwingWorker utility to help you with threading in
GUI apps, JTable sorting and filtering, and a new facility for quick splash screens to quiet impatient users.
Monitoring and Management - The really big deal here is that you don't need to do anything special to the startup to be able to attach on demand with any of the monitoring
and management tools in the Java SE platform.
Compiler Access - Really aimed at people who create tools for Java development and for frameworks like JavaServer Pages (JSP) or Personal Home Page construction kit
(PHP) engines that need to generate a bunch of classes on demand, the compiler API opens up programmatic access to javac for in-process compilation of dynamically
generated Java code. The compiler API is not directly intended for the everyday developer, but for those of you deafened by your screaming inner geek, roll up your sleeves
and give it a try. And the rest of us will happily benefit from the tools and the improved Java frameworks that use this.
Pluggable Annotations allows programmer to write annotation processor so that it can analyse your code semantically before javac compiles. For example, you could write an
annotation processor that verifies whether your program obeys naming conventions.
Desktop Deployment - At long last, Java SE 6 unifies the Java Plug-in technology and Java WebStart engines, which just makes sense. Installation of the Java WebStart
application got a much needed makeover.
Security - Java SE 6 has simplified the job of its security administrators by providing various new ways to access platform-native security services, such as native Public Key
Infrastructure (PKI) and cryptographic services on Microsoft Windows for secure authentication and communication, Java Generic Security Services (Java GSS) and
Kerberos services for authentication, and access to LDAP servers for authenticating users.
The -lities: Quality, Compatibility, Stability - Bug fixes ...
Dolphin (version 1.7.0; Java SE 7)
Released on 28 July 2011.
Feature additions for Java 7 include:[5]
JVM support for dynamic languages, following the prototyping work currently done on the Multi Language Virtual Machine
Compressed 64-bit pointers[6] Available in Java 6 with -XX:+UseCompressedOops (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/tech/vmoptions-jsp-140102.html)
Small language changes (grouped under a project named Coin):[7]
Strings in switch[8]
Automatic resource management in try-statement[9]
Improved type inference for generic instance creation[10]
Simplified varargs method declaration[11]
Binary integer literals[12]
Allowing underscores in numeric literals[13]
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Catching multiple exception types and rethrowing exceptions with improved type checking[14]
Concurrency utilities under JSR 166[15]
New file I/O library to enhance platform independence and add support for metadata and symbolic links. The new packages are java.nio.file and java.nio.file.attribute[16][17]
Library-level support for Elliptic curve cryptography algorithms
An XRender pipeline for Java 2D, which improves handling of features specific to modern GPUs
New platform APIs for the graphics features originally planned for release in Java version 6u10
Enhanced library-level support for new network protocols, including SCTP and Sockets Direct Protocol
Upstream updates to XML and Unicode
Lambda (Java's implementation of lambda functions), Jigsaw (Java's implementation of modules), and part of Coin were dropped from Java 7. Java 8 will be released with the
remaining features in summer 2013.[18]
References
1. "Java Technology: The Early Years". Sun Microsystems. http://java.sun.com
/features/1998/05/birthday.html. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
2. "History of Java". Lindsey, Clark S.. http://www.particle.kth.se/~lindsey
/JavaCourse/Book/Part1/Java/Chapter01/history.html. Retrieved 7 May 2008.
3. Structural syntax is a linear way of writing code. A program is interpreted usually
at the first line of the program's code until it reaches the end. One cannot hook a
later part of the program to an earlier one. The flow follows a linear top-to-bottom
approach.
4. "Java Platform Standard Edition 6". Sun Microsystems. http://www.sun.com
/aboutsun/media/presskits/2006-1211/. Retrieved 9 May 2008.
5. Miller, Alex. "Java 7". http://tech.puredanger.com/java7. Retrieved 2008-05-30.
6. "Compressed oops in the Hotspot JVM". OpenJDK. https://wikis.oracle.com
/display/HotSpotInternals/CompressedOops. Retrieved 2012-08-01.
7. "Java Programming Language Enhancements". Download.oracle.com.
http://download.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/technotes/guides/language
/enhancements.html#javase7. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
8. "Strings in switch Statements". Download.oracle.com. http://download.oracle.com
/javase/7/docs/technotes/guides/language/strings-switch.html. Retrieved
2013-01-15.
9. "The try-with-resources Statement". Download.oracle.com.
http://download.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/technotes/guides/language/try-withresources.html. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
10. "Type Inference for Generic Instance Creation". Download.oracle.com.
http://download.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/technotes/guides/language/typeinference-generic-instance-creation.html. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
11. "Improved Compiler Warnings When Using Non-Reifiable Formal Parameters
with Varargs Methods". Download.oracle.com. http://download.oracle.com/javase
/7/docs/technotes/guides/language/non-reifiable-varargs.html. Retrieved
2013-01-15.
12. "Binary Literals". Download.oracle.com. http://download.oracle.com/javase
/7/docs/technotes/guides/language/binary-literals.html. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
13. "Underscores in Numeric Literals". Download.oracle.com.
http://download.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/technotes/guides/language/underscoresliterals.html. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
14. "Catching Multiple Exception Types and Rethrowing Exceptions with Improved
Type Checking". Download.oracle.com. http://download.oracle.com/javase/7/docs
/technotes/guides/language/catch-multiple.html. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
15. "Concurrency JSR-166". http://gee.cs.oswego.edu/dl/concurrency-interest
/index.html. Retrieved 2010-04-16.
16. "File I/O (Featuring NIO.2) (The Java™ Tutorials > Essential Classes > Basic
I/O)". Java.sun.com. 2008-03-14. http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/essential
/io/fileio.html. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
17. "Legacy File I/O Code (The Java™ Tutorials > Essential Classes > Basic I/O)".
Java.sun.com. 2012-02-28. http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/essential
/io/legacy.html. Retrieved 2013-01-15.
18. "JavaOne 2011 Keynote". Oracle. http://blogs.oracle.com/javaone/resource
/java_keynote/slide_16_full_size.gif.
Java Overview
The new features and upgrades included into Java changed the face of programming environment and gave a new definition to Object Oriented Programming (OOP in short). But
unlike its predecessors, Java needed to be bundled with standard functionality and be independent of the host platform.
The primary goals in the creation of the Java language:
It is simple.
It is object-oriented.
It is independent of the host platform.
It contains language facilities and libraries for networking.
It is designed to execute code from remote sources securely.
The Java language introduces some new features that did not exist in other languages like C and C++.
Object orientation
Object orientation ("OO"), refers to a method of programming and language technique. The main idea of OO is to design
software around the "things" (i.e. objects) it manipulates, rather than the actions it performs.
As the hardware of the computer advanced, it brought about the need to create better software techniques to be able to create
ever increasing complex applications. The intent is to make large software projects easier to manage, thus improving quality and
reducing the number of failed projects. Object oriented solution is the latest software technique.
Assembly languages
Software techniques started with the assembly languages, that was close to machine instruction and was easy to convert
into executable code. Each hardware had its own assembly language. Assembly language contains low level instructions
like move data from memory to hardware registers, do arithmetic operations, and move data back to memory.
Programmers had to know the detailed architecture of the computer in order to write programs.
Object oriented programming can be represented with
UML diagrams.
Procedural languages
After the assembly languages, high level languages were developed. Here the language compiler is used to convert the high level program to machine instructions, freeing up
the programmers the burden of knowing the computer hardware architecture. To promote the re-use of code, and to minimize the use of GOTO instruction, "procedural"
techniques were introduced. This simplified the creation and maintenance of software control flow, but they left out the organization of data. It became a nightmare to debug
and maintain programs having many global variables. Global variables contain data that can be modified anywhere in the application.
Object oriented languages
In OO languages, data is taken seriously with information hiding. Procedures were replaced by Objects. Objects contain data as well as control flow. Our thinking has to shift
from procedures to interaction between objects.
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Platform dependence
In C or C++ programming, you start to write a source code:
... you compile it to a machine code file:
... and then you execute it:
In this situation, the machine code file and its execution are specific to the platform (Windows, Linux, Mac OS, ...) it was compiled for, that is to say to the targeted platform:
... because the compiled file is a machine code file designed to work on a specific platform and hardware. It would have produced a different results/output for another platform. So
if you want your program to run on several platforms, you have to compile your program several times:
It poses greater vulnerability risks. Note here that when a certain code is compiled into an executable format, the executable cannot be changed dynamically. It would need to be
recompiled from the changed code for the changes to be reflected in the finished executable. Modularity (dividing code into modules) is not present in Java's predecessors. If
instead of a single executable, the output application was in the form of modules, one could easily change a single module and review changes in the application. In C/C++ on the
other hand, a slight change in code required the whole application to be recompiled.
The idea of Java is to compile the source code into an intermediate language that will be interpreted.
The source code The intermediate file The interpretor
The intermediate language is the byte code. The interpretor is the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The byte code file is universal and the JVM is platform specific:
So a JVM should be coded for each platform. And that's the case. So you just have to generate a unique byte code file (a .class file).
The first implementations of the language used an interpreted virtual machine to achieve portability, and many implementations still do. These implementations produce programs
that run more slowly than the fully-compiled programs created by the typical C++ compiler, so the language suffered a reputation for producing slow programs. Since Java 1.2, Java
VM produces programs that run much faster, using multiple techniques.
The first of these is to simply compile directly into native code like a more traditional compiler, skipping bytecode entirely. This achieves great performance, but at the expense of
portability. This is not really used any more.
Another technique, the just-in-time (JIT) compiler, compiles the Java bytecode into native code at the time the program is run, and keep the compiled code to be used again and
again. More sophisticated VMs even use dynamic recompilation, in which the VM can analyze the behavior of the running program and selectively recompile and optimize critical
parts of the program. Both of these techniques allow the program to take advantage of the speed of native code without losing portability.
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Portability is a technically difficult goal to achieve, and Java's success at that goal is a matter of some controversy. Although it is indeed possible to write programs for the Java
platform that behave consistently across many host platforms, the large number of available platforms with small errors or inconsistencies led some to parody Sun's "Write once, run
anywhere" slogan as "Write once, debug everywhere".
Standardization
C++ was built atop the C language and as a result divergent ways of doing the same thing manifested around the language. For instance, creating an object could be done in three
different ways in C++. Furthermore, C++ did not come with a standard library bundled with its compilers. Instead, it relied on resources created by other programmers; code which
rarely fit together.
In Java, standardized libraries are provided to allow access to features of the host machines (such as graphics and networking) in unified ways. The Java language also includes
support for multi-threaded programs—a necessity for many networking applications.
Platform independent Java is, however, very successful with server side applications, such as web services, servlets, or Enterprise JavaBeans.
Java also made progress on the client side, first it had Abstract Window Toolkit (AWT), then Swing, and the most recent client
side library is the Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT). It is interesting to see how they tried to handle the two opposing consuming
forces. Those are :
Efficient, fast code; port to most popular hardware (write once, test anywhere)
Use the underlying native subroutine to create a GUI component. This approach was taken by AWT, and SWT.
Portability to any hardware where JVM ported (write once, run anywhere)
To achieve this to the latter, the Java toolkit should not rely on the underlying native user interface. Swing tooks this
approach.
It is interesting to see how the approach was switched back and forth. AWT → Swing → SWT.
Swing does not rely on the underlying native user
interface.
Secure execution
With the high-level of control built into the language to manipulate hardware, a C/C++ programmer could access almost any
resource, either hardware or software on the system. This was intended to be one of the languages' strong points, but this very
flexibility led to confusion and complex programming practices.
Error handling
The old way of error handling was to let each function return an error code then let the caller check what was returned. The
problem with this method was that if the return code was full of error-checking codes, this got in the way of the original one that
was doing the actual work, which in turn did not make it very readable.
In the new way of error handling, functions/methods do not return error codes. Instead, when there is an error, an exception is
thrown. The exceptions can be handled by the catch keyword at the end of a try block. This way, the code that is calling the
function does not need to be mangled with error checking codes, thus making the code more readable. This new way of error
handling is called Exception handling.
The segmentation fault, one of the most recurrent
issues in C programming.
Exception handling was also added to C++. However, there are two differences between Java and C++ Exception handling:
In Java, the exception that is thrown is a Java object like any other object in Java. It only has to implement Throwable interface.
In Java, the compiler checks whether an exception may be caught or not. The compiler gives an error if there is no catch block for a thrown exception.
The optional exception handling in the Java predecessors leads the developers not to care about the error handling. As a consequence, unexpected errors often occur. Java forces
the developers to handle exceptions. The programmer must handle exception or declare that the user must handle it. Someone must handle it.
Networking capabilities
However powerful, the predecessors of Java lacked a standard feature to network with other computers, and usually relied on the platforms' intricate networking capabilities. With
almost all network protocols being standardized, the creators of Java technology wanted this to be a flagship feature of the language while keeping true to the spirit of earlier
advances made towards standardizing Remote Procedure Call. Another feature that the Java team focused on was its integration in the World Wide Web and the Internet.
The Java platform was one of the first systems to provide wide support for the execution of code from remote sources. The Java language was designed with network computing in
mind.
An applet could run within a user's browser, executing code downloaded from a remote HTTP server. The remote code runs in a highly restricted "sandbox", which protects the user
from misbehaving or malicious code; publishers could apply for a certificate that they could use to digitally sign applets as "safe", giving them permission to break out of the
sandbox and access the local file system and network, presumably under user control.
Dynamic class loading
In conventional languages like C and C++, all code had to be compiled and linked to one executable program, before execution. In Java, classes are compiled as needed. If a class is
not needed during an execution phase, that class is not even compiled into byte code.
This feature comes in handy especially in network programming when we do not know, beforehand, what code will be executed. A running program could load classes from the file
system or from a remote server.
Also this feature makes it theoretically possible for a Java program to alter its own code during execution, in order to do some self-learning behavior. It would be more realistic to
imagine, however, that a Java program would generate Java code before execution, and then, that code would be executed. With some feedback mechanism, the generated code
could improve over time.
Automatic memory garbage collection
In conventional languages like C and C++, the programmer has to make sure that all memory that was allocated is freed. Memory leaks became a regular nuisance in instances
where the programmers had to manually allocate the system's memory resources.
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Memory resources or buffers have specific modes of operation for optimal performance. Once a buffer is filled with data, it needs to be cleaned up after there is no further use for
its content. If a programmer forgets to clean it in his/her code, the memory is easily overloaded. Programming in C/C++ languages became tedious and unsafe because of these very
quirks, and programs built in these languages were prone to memory leakages and sudden system crashes — sometimes even harming the hardware itself. Freeing memory is
particularly important in servers, since it has to run without stopping for days. If a piece of memory is not freed after use and the server just keeps allocating memory, that memory
leak can take down the server.
In Java, freeing up memory is taken out of the programmers hands; the Java Virtual Machine keeps track of all used memory. When memory is not used any more it is automatically
freed up. A separate task is running in the background by the JVM, freeing up unreferenced, unused memory. That task is called the Garbage Collector.
The Garbage Collector is always running. This automatic memory garbage collection feature makes it easy to write robust server side programs in Java. The only thing the
programmer has to watch for is the speed of object creation. If the application is creating objects faster than the Garbage Collector can free them, it can cause memory problems.
Depending on how the JVM is configured, the application either can run out of memory by throwing the NotEnoughMemoryException, or can halt to give time for the Garbage
Collector to do its job.
Applet
The Java creators created the concept of the applet. A Java program can be run in a client browser program. Java was released in 1995; the time when the Internet was becoming
more available and familiar to the general public. The promise of Java was in the client browser-side in that code would be downloaded and executed as a Java applet in the client
browser program.
See also Java Programming/Applets.
Forbidden bad practices
Over the years, some features in C/C++ programming became abused by the programmers. Although the language allows it, it was known as bad practices. So the creators of Java
have disabled them:
Operator overloading
Multiple inheritance
Friend classes (access another object's private members)
Restrictions of explicit type casting (related to memory management)
Evaluation
In most people's opinions, Java technology delivers reasonably well on all these goals. The language is not, however, without drawbacks. Java tends to be more high-level than
similar languages (such as C++), which means that the Java language lacks features such as hardware-specific data types, low-level pointers to arbitrary memory addresses, or
programming methods like operator overloading. Although these features are frequently abused or misused by programmers, they are also powerful tools. However, Java technology
includes Java Native Interface (JNI), a way to call native code from Java language code. With JNI, it is still possible to use some of these features.
Some programmers also complain about its lack of multiple inheritance, a powerful feature of several object-oriented languages, among others C++. The Java language separates
inheritance of type and implementation, allowing inheritance of multiple type definitions through interfaces, but only single inheritance of type implementation via class hierarchies.
This allows most of the benefits of multiple inheritance while avoiding many of its dangers. In addition, through the use of concrete classes, abstract classes, as well as interfaces, a
Java language programmer has the option of choosing full, partial, or zero implementation for the object type he defines, thus ensuring maximum flexibility in application design.
There are some who believe that for certain projects, object orientation makes work harder instead of easier. This particular complaint is not unique to the Java language but applies
to other object-oriented languages as well.
The Java Platform
The Java platform is the name given to the computing platform from Oracle that helps users to run and develop Java applications. The platform does not just enable a user to run
and develop a Java application, but also features a wide variety of tools that can help developers work efficiently with the Java programming language.
The platform consists of two essential softwares:
the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), which is needed to run Java applications and applets; and,
the Java Development Kit (JDK), which is needed to develop those Java applications and applets. If you have installed the JDK, you should know that it comes equipped
with a JRE as well. So, for all the purposes of this book, you would only require the JDK.
In this section, we would explore in further detail what these two software components of the Java platform do.
Java Runtime Environment (JRE)
Any piece of code written in the Java programming language can be run on any operating system, platform or architecture — in fact, it can be run on any device that supports the
Java platform. Before Java, this amount of ubiquity was very hard to achieve. If a software was written for a Unix-based system, it was impossible to run the same application on a
Windows system — in this case, the application was native only to Unix-based systems.
A major milestone in the development of the Java programming language was to develop a special runtime environment that would execute any Java application independent of the
computer's operating system, platform or architecture.
The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) sits on top of the machine's operating system, platform and architecture. If and when a Java application is run, the JRE acts as a liaison
between the underlying platform and that application. It interprets the Java application to run in accordance with the underlying platform, such that upon running the application, it
looks and behaves like a native application. The part of the JRE that accomplishes this complex liaison agreement is called the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
Figure 1: Java applications can be written once and run anywhere. This feature of the Java platform
is commonly abbreviated to WORA in formal Java texts.
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Executing native Java code (or byte-code)
Native Java applications are preserved in a special format called the byte-code. Byte-code remains the same, no matter what hardware architecture, operating system, or software
platform it is running under. On a file-system, Java byte-code resides in files that have the .class (also known as a class file) or the .jar (also known as a Java archive) extension.
To run byte-code, the JRE comes with a special tool (appropriately named java).
Suppose your byte-code is called SomeApplication.class. If you want to execute this Java byte-code, you would need to use the following command in Command Prompt (on
Windows) or Terminal (on Linux or Mac OS):
Execution
$ java SomeApplication
If you want to execute a Java byte-code with a .jar extension (say, SomeApplication.jar), you would need to use the following command in Command Prompt (on Windows) or
Terminal (on Linux or Mac OS):
Execution with a jar
$ java -jar SomeApplication.jar
Not all Java class files or Java archives are executable. Therefore, the java tool would only be able to execute files that are executable. Non-executable class files and Java
archives are simply called class libraries.
Do you have a JRE?
Most computers come with a pre-installed copy of the JRE. If your computer doesn't have a JRE, then the above commands would not work. You can always check what version of
the JRE is installed on the computer by writing the following command in Command Prompt (on Windows) or Terminal (on Linux or Mac OS):
Java version
$ java -version
Java Virtual Machine (JVM)
Quite possibly, the most important part of the JRE is the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). The JVM acts like a virtual processor, enabling Java applications to be run on the local
system. It's main purpose is to interpret (read translate) the received byte-code and make it appear as native code. The older Java architecture used this process of interpretation to
execute Java byte-code. Even though the process of interpretation brought the WORA principle to diverse machines, it had a drawback — it consumed a lot of time and clocked the
system processor intensively to load an application.
Figure 2: A JVM interpreter translates the byte-code line-by-line to make it appear as if a native application is being executed.
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Just-in-Time Compilation
Since version 1.2, the JRE features a more robust JVM. Instead of interpreting byte-code, it down-right converts the code straight into equivalent native code for the local system.
This process of conversion is called just-in-time compilation or JIT-compilation. This process only occurs when the byte-code is executed for the first time. Unless the byte-code
itself is changed, the JVM uses the compiled version of the byte-code on every successive execution. Doing so saves a lot of time and processor effort, allowing applications to
execute much faster at the cost of a small delay on first execution.
Figure 3: A just-in-time compiler only compiles the byte-code to equivalent native code at first execution. Upon every successive
execution, the JVM merely uses the already compiled native code to optimize performance.
Native optimization
The JVM is an intelligent virtual processor. It has the ability to identify areas within the Java code itself that can be optimized for faster and better performance. Based on every
successive run of your Java applications, the JVM would optimize it to run even better.
There are portions of Java code that do not require it to be JIT-compiled at runtime, e.g., the Reflection API; therefore, code that uses such functions are not necessarily
fully compiled to native code.
Was JVM the first virtual machine?
Java was not the first virtual-machine-based platform, though it is by far the most successful and well-known. Previous uses for virtual machine technology primarily involved
emulators to aid development for not-yet-developed hardware or operating systems, but the JVM was designed to be implemented entirely in software, while making it easy to
efficiently port an implementation to hardware of all kinds.
Java Development Kit (JDK)
The JRE takes care of running the Java code on multiple platforms, however as developers, we are interested in writing pure code in Java which can then be converted into Java
byte-code for mass deployment. As developers, we do not need to write Java byte-code, rather we write the code in the Java programming language (which is quite similar to writing
C or C++ code).
Upon downloading the JDK, a developer ensures that their system has the appropriate JRE and additional tools to help with the development of applications in the Java
programming language. Java code can be found in files with the extension .java. These files are called Java source files. In order to convert the Java code in these source files to
Java byte-code, you need to use the Java compiler tool installed with your JDK.
The Java compiler
The Java compiler tool (named javac in the JDK) is the most important utility found with the JDK. In order to compile a Java source file (say, SomeApplication.java) to its
respective Java byte-code, you would need to use the following command in Command Prompt (on Windows) or Terminal (on Linux or Mac OS):
Compilation
javac SomeApplication.java
This command would convert the SomeApplication.java source file into its equivalent Java byte-code. The resultant byte-code would exist in a newly created file named
SomeApplication.class. This process of converting Java source files into their equivalent byte-codes is known as compilation.
Figure 4: The basic Java compilation process
A list of other JDK tools
There are a huge array of tools available with the JDK that will all be explained in due time as you progress with the book. These tools are briefly listed below in order of their
usage:
Applet development
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appletviewer — Java applets require a particular environment to execute. Typically, this environment is provided by a browser with a Java plug-in, and a web server
serving the applet. However, during development and testing of an applet it might be more convenient to start an applet without the need to fiddle with a browser and a
web server. In such a case, Oracle's appletviewer from the JDK can be used to run an applet.
Annotation processing
For more about annotation processing, read this (http://docs.oracle.com/javase/1.5.0/docs/guide/apt/GettingStarted.html)
In Java 1.5 (alias Java 5.0) Oracle added a mechanism called annotations. Annotations allow the addition of meta-data to Java source code, and even provide mechanisms to
carry that meta-data forth into a compiled .class files.
apt — An annotation processing tool which digs through source code, finds annotation statements in the source code and executes actions if it finds known annotations.
The most common task is to generate some particular source code. The actions apt performs when finding annotations in the source code are not hard-coded into apt.
Instead, one has to code particular annotation handlers (in Java). These handlers are called annotation processors. It can also be described in a simple way without the
Oracle terminology: apt can be seen as a source code preprocessor framework, and annotation processors are typically code generators.
Integration of non-Java and Java code
javah — A Java class can call native, or non-Java, code that has been prepared to be called from Java. The details and procedures are specified in the JNI (Java Native
Interface). Commonly, native code is written in C (or C++). The JDK tool javah helps to write the necessary C code, by generating C header files and C stub code.
Class library conflicts
extcheck — It can be used prior to the installation of a Java extension into the JDK or JRE environment. It checks if a particular Jar file conflicts with an already installed
extension. This tool appeared first with Java 1.5.
Software security and cryptography tools
The JDK comes with a large number of tools related to the security features of Java. Usage of these tools first requires study of the particular security mechanisms. The tools are:
— To manage keys and certificates
— To generate and verify digital signatures of JARs (Java ARchives)
policytool — To edit policy files
kinit — To obtain Kerberos v5 tickets
klist — To manage Kerberos credential cache and key table
ktab — To manage entries in a key table
keytool
jarsigner
The Java archiver
jar — (short for Java archiver) is a tool for creating Java archives or jar files — a file with .jar as the extension. A Java archive is a collection of compiled Java classes
and other resources which those classes may require (such as text files, configuration files, images) at runtime. Internally, a jar file is really a .zip file.
The Java debugger
— (short for Java debugger) is a command-line console that provides a debugging environment for Java programs. Although you can use this command line console,
IDE's normally provide easier to use debugging environments.
jdb
Documenting code with Java
As programs grow large and complex, programmers need ways to track changes and to understand the code better at each step of its evolution. For decades, programmers have
been employing the use of special programming constructs called comments — regions that help declare user definitions for a code snippet within the source code. But comments
are prone to be verbose and incomprehensible, let alone be difficult to read in applications having hundreds of lines of code.
— Java provides the user with a way to easily publish documentation about the code using a special commenting system and the javadoc tool. The javadoc tool
generates documentation about the Application Programming Interface (API) of a set of user-created Java classes. javadoc reads source file comments from the .java
source files and generates HTML documents that are easier to read and understand without looking at the code itself.
javadoc
javap — Where Javadoc provide a detailed view into the API and documentation of a Java class, the javap tool prints information regarding members (constructors,
methods and variables) in a class. In other words, it lists the class' API and/or the compiled instructions of the class. javap is a formatting disassembler for Java bytecode.
The native2ascii tool
is an important, though underappreciated, tool for writing properties files — files containing configuration data — or resource bundles — files containing language
translations of text.
native2ascii
Such files can contain only ASCII and Latin-1 characters, but international programmers need a full range of character sets. Text using these characters can appear in properties
files and resource bundles only if the non-ASCII and non-Latin-^1 characters are converted into Unicode escape sequences (\uXXXX notation).
The task of writing such escape sequences is handled by native2ascii. You can write the international text in an editor using the appropriate character encoding, then use
to generate the necessary ASCII text with embedded Unicode escape sequences. Despite the name, native2ascii can also convert from ASCII to native, so it is
useful for converting an existing properties file or resource bundle back to some other encoding.
native2ascii
native2ascii
makes most sense when integrated into a build system to automate the conversion.
Remote Method Invocation (RMI) tools
Java IDL and RMI-IIOP Tools
Deployment & Web Start Tools
Browser Plug-In Tools
Monitoring and Management Tools / Troubleshooting Tools
With Java 1.5 a set of monitoring and management tools have been added to the JDK, in addition to a set of troubleshooting tools.
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The monitoring and management tools are intended for monitoring and managing the virtual machine and the execution environment. They allow, for example, monitoring
memory usage during the execution of a Java program.
The troubleshooting tools provide rather esoteric insight into aspects of the virtual machine. (Interestingly, the Java debugger is not categorized as a troubleshooting tool.)
All the monitoring and management and troubleshooting tools are currently marked as "experimental" (which does not affect jdb). So they might disappear in future JDKs.
Java class libraries (JCL)
In most modern operating systems, a large body of reusable code is provided to simplify the programmer's job. This code is typically provided as a set of dynamically loadable
libraries that applications can call at runtime. Because the Java platform is not dependent on any specific operating system, applications cannot rely on any of the existing libraries.
Instead, the Java platform provides a comprehensive set of standard class libraries, containing much of the same reusable functions commonly found in modern operating systems.
The Java class libraries serve three purposes within the Java platform. Like other standard code libraries, they provide the programmer with a well-known set of functions to
perform common tasks, such as maintaining lists of items or performing complex string parsing. In addition, the class libraries provide an abstract interface to tasks that would
normally depend heavily on the hardware and operating system. Tasks such as network access and file access are often heavily dependent on the native capabilities of the platform.
The Java java.net and java.io libraries implement the required native code internally, then provide a standard interface for the Java applications to perform those tasks. Finally, some
underlying platforms may not support all of the features a Java application expects. In these cases, the class libraries can either emulate those features using whatever is available, or
provide a consistent way to check for the presence of a specific feature.
Similar concepts
The success of the Java platform and the concepts of the write once, run anywhere principle has led to the development of similar frameworks and platforms. Most notable of these
is the Microsoft's .NET framework and its open-source equivalent Mono.
The .NET framework
The .NET framework borrows many of the concepts and innovations of Java — their alternative for the JVM is called the Common Language Runtime (CLR), while their
alternative for the byte-code is the Common Intermediate Language (CIL). In fact, the .NET platform had an implementation of a Java-like language called Visual J# (formerly
known as J++).
J# is normally not supported with the JVM because instead of compiling it in Java byte-code, the .NET platform compiles the code into CIL, thus making J# different from the Java
programming language. Furthermore, because J# implements the .NET Base Class Libraries (BCL) instead of the Java Class Libraries, J# is nothing more than a non-standard
extension of the Java programming language. Due to the lack of interest from developers, Microsoft had to withdraw their support for J#, and focused on a similar programming
language: C#.
Third-party compilers targeting the JVM
The word Java, by itself, usually refers to the Java programming language which was designed for use with the Java platform. Programming languages are typically outside of the
scope of the phrase "platform". However, Oracle does not encourage the use of any other languages with the platform, and lists the Java programming language as a core part of the
Java 2 platform. The language and runtime are therefore commonly considered a single unit.
There are cases where you might want to program using a different language (say, Python) and yet be able to generate Java byte-code (instead of the Python compiled code) to be
run with the JVM. Many third-party programming language vendors provide compilers that can compile code written in their language to Java byte-code. For instance, Python
developers can use Jython compilers to compile Python code to the Java byte-code format (as illustrated below).
Figure 5: Third-party JVM-targeted compilation for non-Java source compilation to Java byte-code. Illustrated example
shows Python source being compiled to both Python compiled code and Java byte-code.
Of late, JVM-targeted third-party programming and scripting languages have seen tremendous growth. Some of these languages are also used to extend the functionalities of the
Java language itself. A few examples include the following:
Groovy
Pizza
GJ (Generic Java) – later officially incorporated into Java SE 5.
NetREXX
Getting started
Understanding systems
We conceptualize the world around us in terms of systems. A system is a web of interconnected objects working together in tandem. In the systems theory, a system is set out as a
single entity within a world surrounded by an environment. A system interacts with its surrounding environment using messages of two distinct types:
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inputs: messages received from the surrounding environment; and,
outputs: messages given back to the surrounding environment.
Figure 1: A simple system interacting with its environment using input and output messages.
Life is a complicated mess of interconnected objects sending signals and messages. See the illustration below in figure 2 demonstrating a complex system for an economic ecosphere
for a single company. Imagine what this system diagram would be like if you were to add a few more companies and their sub-systems. Computer software systems in general are a
complex web of further interconnected sub-systems – where each sub-systems may or may not be divided into further sub-systems. Each sub-system communicates with others
using feedback messages – that is, inputs and outputs.
Figure 2: Example of a complex system with multiple sub-systems and interactions
The process of abstraction
Programming is essentially thinking of solutions to problems in real life as a system. With any programming language, you need to know how to address real-life problems into
something that could be accurately represented within a computer system. In order to begin programming with the Java programming language (or in fact, with any programming
language), a programmer must first understand the basics of abstraction.
Abstraction is the process of representing real-life problems and object into your programs.
Suppose a novelist, a painter and a programmer were asked to abstract (i.e., represent) a real-life object in their work. Suppose, the real-life object that needs to be abstracted is an
animal. Abstraction for a novelist would include writing the description of the animal whilst the painter would draw a picture of the animal – but what about a computer
programmer?
The Java programming language uses a programming paradigm called object-oriented programming (OOP), which shows you exactly what a programmer needs to be doing.
According to OOP, every object or problem in real-life can be translated into a virtual object within your computer system.
Thinking in objects
In OOP, every abstraction of a real-life object is simply called an object within your code. An object is essentially the most basic representation of a real-life object as part of a
computer system. With Java being an object-oriented language, everything within Java is represented as an object. To demonstrate this effect, if you were to define an abstraction of
an animal in your code, you would write the following lines of code (as you would for any other abstraction):
class Animal { }
The code above creates a space within your code where you can start defining an object; this space is called a class (or type) definition. All objects need to be defined using a class
definition in order for them to be used in your program. Notice the curly brackets – anything you write within these brackets would serve as a definition or specification for your
object. In the case of the example above, we created a class definition called Animal for objects that could serve as an abstract representation of any animal in real-life. The way
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that a Java environment evaluates this code to be a class definition is by looking at the prefix word we used to begin our class definition (i.e., class). Such predefined words in the
Java language are known as keywords and make up the grammar for the language (known as programming syntax).
Understanding class definitions and types
Aristotle was perhaps the first person to think of abstract types or typologies of objects. He started calling them classes – e.g., classes of birds, classes of mammals. Class definitions
therefore serve the purpose well in defining the common characteristics or types of objects you would be creating. Upon declaring a class definition, you can create objects based on
that definition. In order to do so however, you need to write a special syntax that goes like this:
Animal dog = new Animal();
The code above effectively creates an object called dog based on the class definition for Animal. In non-programmer parlance, the code above would translate into something akin
to saying, "Create a new object dog of type Animal." A single class definition enables you to create multiple objects as the code below indicates:
Animal dog = new Animal();
Animal cat = new Animal();
Animal camel = new Animal();
Basically, you just have to write the code for your class or type definition once, and then use it to create countless numbers of objects based on that specification. Although you
might not grasp the importance of doing so, this little exercise saves you a lot of time (a luxury that was not readily available to programmers in the pre-Java days).
Expanding your class definitions
Although each object you create from a class definition is essentially the same, there has to be a way of differentiating those objects in your code. Object fields (or simply fields) are
what makes your objects unique from other objects. Let's take our present abstraction for instance. An animal could be a dog, cat, camel or a duck but since this abstraction is of a
very generic kind, you need to define fields that are common to all of these animals and yet makes the animals stand apart. For instance, you can have two fields: name (a common
name given to any one of these animals) and legs (the number of limbs any one of these animals would require to walk). As you start defining your objects, they start to look like
this:
class Animal {
String name;
int legs;
}
In the code above you defined two object fields:
a field called name of type String; and,
a field called legs of type int.
These special pre-defined types are called data types. The String data type is used for fields that can hold textual values like names, while the int (integer) data type is used for
fields that can hold numeric values
Figure 3: In order to denote the Animal object as a system within the Java Environment,
you present it as such. Note how fields are presented.
In order to demonstrate how fields work, we will go ahead and create objects from this amended version of our class definition as such:
Animal animal1 = new Animal();
Animal animal2 = new Animal();
animal1.name = "dog";
animal1.legs = 4;
animal2.name = "duck";
animal2.legs = 2;
You can access the fields of your created objects by using the . (dot) or membership operator. In the example above, we created two objects: animal1 and animal2 of type
Animal. And since, we had established that each Animal has two fields namely name and legs, we accessed and modified these fields for each of our objects using the membership
operator to set the two apart. By declaring different values for different objects, we can manipulate their current state. So, for instance:
the animal1 object is a "dog" with 4 legs to walk with; while,
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the animal2 object is a "duck" with 2 legs to walk with.
What sets the two objects apart is their current state. Both the objects have different states and thus stand out as two different objects even though they were created from the same
template or class definition.
Adding behavior to objects
At this point, your objects do nothing more than declare a bunch of fields. Being a system, your objects should have the ability to interact with its environment and other systems as
well. To add this capability for interaction, you need to add interactive behavior to your object class definitions as well. Such behavior is added to class definitions using a
programming construct called method.
In the case of the Animal, you require your virtual representation of an animal to be able to move through its environment. Let's say, as an analogy, you want your Animal object to
be able to walk in its environment. Thus, you need to add a method named walk to our object. To do so, we need to write the following code:
class Animal {
String name;
int legs;
void walk() { }
}
As you write this code, one thing becomes immediately apparent. Just like the class description, a method has curly brackets as well. Generally, curly brackets are used to define an
area (or scope) within your object. So the first set of curly brackets defined a scope for your class definition called the class-level scope. This new set of curly brackets alongside a
method defines a scope for the further definition of your method called the method-level scope.
In this instance, the name of our method is walk. Notice however that the name of our method also features a set of round brackets as well. More than just being visual identifiers
for methods, these round brackets are used to provide our methods with additional input information called arguments.
A method therefore enables an object to:
1. Accept input: Receive some argument(s);
2. Process information: work on the received argument(s) within its curly brackets; and,
3. Generate ouput: occasionally, return something back.
In essence, methods are what makes an object behave more like a system.
Notice the keyword void before the name of the method – this tells us that the method walk returns nothing. You can set a method to return any data type – it can be a String or an
int as well.
Figure 4: The Animal object can now be denoted as having an interaction behavior within the Java Environment
as illustrated here. Note the difference between the presentation of fields and methods.
The process of encapsulation
By now, we thoroughly understand that any object can interact with its environment and in turn be influenced by it. In our example, the Animal object exposed certain fields – name
and legs, and a method – walk() to be used by the environment to manipulate the object. This form of exposure is implicit. Using the Java programming language, a programmer
has the power to define the level of access other objects and the environment have on a certain object.
Using access modifiers
Alongside declaring and defining objects, their fields and methods, a programmer also has the ability to define the levels of access on those elements. This is done using keywords
known as access modifiers.
Let's modify our example to demonstrate this effect:
class Animal {
public String name;
public int legs;
public void walk() { }
}
By declaring all fields and methods public, we have ensured that they can be used outside the scope of the Animal class. This means that any other object (other than Animal) has
access to these member elements. However, to restrict access to certain member elements of a class, we can always use the private access modifier (as demonstrated below).
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class Animal {
private String name;
private int legs;
public void walk() { }
}
In this example, the fields name and legs can only be accessed within the scope of the Animal class. No object outside the scope of this class can access these two fields. However,
since the walk() method still has public access, it can be manipulated by actors and objects outside the scope of this class. Access modifiers are not just limited to fields or
methods, they can be used for class definitions as well (as is demonstrated below).
public class Animal {
private String name;
private int legs;
public void walk() { }
}
The following list of keywords show the valid access modifiers that can be used with a Java program:
keyword
description
public
Opens access to a certain field or method to be used outside the scope of the class.
private
Restricts access to a certain field or method to only be used within the scope of the class.
protected
Access to certain field or methods is reserved for classes that inherit the current class.
More on this would be discussed in the section on inheritance.
Installation
In order to make use of the content in this book, you would need to follow along each and every tutorial rather than simply reading through the book. But to do so, you would need
access to a computer with the Java platform installed on it — the Java platform is the basic prerequisite for running and developing Java code, thus it is divided into two essential
pieces of software:
the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), which is needed to run Java applications and applets; and,
the Java Development Kit (JDK), which is needed to develop those Java applications and applets.
However as a developer, you would only require the JDK which comes equipped with a JRE as well. Given below are installation instruction for the JDK for various operating
systems:
Installation instructions for Windows
Availability check for JRE
The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is necessary to execute Java programs. To check which version of Java Runtime Environment (JRE) you have, follow the steps below.
1. For Window Vista or Windows 7, click Start › Control Panel › System and Maintenance › System.
For Windows XP, click Start › Control Panel › System.
For Windows 2000, click Start › Settings › Control Panel › System.
Alternatively, you can also press ⊞ Win + R to open the Run dialog. With the dialog open, type cmd at the prompt:
Figure 1.1: Run dialog
2. In the command window with black background graced with white text, type the following command:
JRE availability check
java -version
If you get an error, such as:
Other output error
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Bad command or file name
..then the JDK may not be installed or it may not be in your path.
To learn more about the Command Prompt syntax, take a look at this MS-DOS tutorial (http://tnd.com/camosun/elex130/dostutor1.html).
You may have other versions of Java installed; this command will only show the first in your PATH. You will be made familiar with the PATH environment variable later in this
text. For now, if you have no idea what this is all about. Read through towards the end and we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to set your own environment
variables.
You can use your system's file search utilities to see if there is a javac.exe executable installed. If it is, and it is a recent enough version (Java 1.4.2 or Java 1.5, for example),
you should put the bin directory that contains javac in your system path. The Java runtime, java, is often in the same bin directory.
If the installed version is older (i.e. it is Java 1.3.1 or Java 1.4.2 and you wish to use the more recent Java 5 release), you should proceed below with downloading and installing a
JDK.
It is possible that you have the Java runtime (JRE), but not the JDK. In that case the javac program won't be found, but the java -version will print the JRE version number.
Availability check for JDK
Some Windows based systems come built-in with the JRE, however for the purposes of writing Java code by following the tutorials in this book, you would require the JDK
nevertheless. The Java Development Kit (JDK) is necessary to build Java programs. First, check to see if a JDK is already installed on your system. To do so, first open a
command window and execute the command below.
Availability check
javac -version
If the JDK is installed and on your executable path, you should see some output which tells you the command line options. The output will vary depending on which version is
installed and which vendor provided the Java installation.
Advanced availability check options on Windows platform
On a machine using the Windows operating system, one can invoke the Registry Editor utility by typing REGEDIT in the Run dialog. In the window that opens subsequently, if you
traverse through the hierarchy HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > JavaSoft > Java Development Kit on the left-hand.
The resultant would be similar to figure 1.2, with the only exception being the version entries for the Java Development Kit. At the time of writing this manuscript, the latest
version for the Java Development Kit available from the Internet was 1.7 as seen in the Registry entry. If you see a resultant window that resembles the one presented above, it
would prove that you have Java installed on your system, otherwise it is not.
Figure 1.2: Registry Editor
Caution should be exercised when traversing through the Registry Editor. Any changes to the keys and other entries may change the way your Windows operating
system normally works. Even minor changes may result into catastrophic failures of the normal working of your machine. Better that you don't modify or tend to modify
anything whilst you are in the Registry Editor.
Download instructions
To acquire the latest JDK (version 7), you can manually download the Java software (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html) from the Oracle
website.
For the convenience of our readers, the following table presents direct links to the latest JDK for the Windows operating system.
Operating
system
Setup Installer
License
Windows x86
Download (http://download.oracle.com/otn-pub/java/jdk
/7u1-b08/jdk-7u1-windows-i586.exe)
Oracle Binary Code License Agreement (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork
/java/javasebusiness/documentation/java-se-bcl-license-430205.html)
Windows x64
Download (http://download.oracle.com/otn-pub/java/jdk
/7u1-b08/jdk-7u1-windows-x64.exe)
Oracle Binary Code License Agreement (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork
/java/javasebusiness/documentation/java-se-bcl-license-430205.html)
You must follow the instructions for the setup installer wizard step-by-step with the default settings to ensure that Java is properly installed on your system. Once the setup is
completed, it is highly recommended to restart your Windows operating system.
If you kept the default settings for the setup installer wizard, your JDK should now be installed at C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_01. You would require the location to your
bin folder at a later time — this is located at C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.7.0_01\bin It may be a hidden file, but no matter. Just don't use Program Files (x86)\ by mistake
unless that's were installed Java.
Updating environment variables
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In order for you to start using the JDK compiler utility with the Command Prompt, you would need to set the environment variables that points to the bin folder of your recently
installed JDK. To set permanently your environment variables, follow the steps below.
1. To open System Properties dialog box use, the Control Panel or type the following command in the command window:
System properties
rundll32 shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL sysdm.cpl
2. Navigate to the Advanced tab on the top, and select Environment Variables...
3. Under System variables, select the variable named Path and click Edit...
4. In the Edit System Variable dialog, go to the Variable value field. This field is a list of directory paths separated by semi-colons (;).
5. To add a new path, append the location of your JDK bin folder separated by a semi-colon (;).
6. Click OK on every opened dialog to save changes and get past to where you started.
Start writing code
Once you have successfully installed the JDK on your system, you are ready to program code in the Java programming language. However, to write code, you would need a
decent text editor. Windows comes with a default text editor by default — Notepad. In order to use notepad to write code in Java, you need to follow the steps below:
1. Click Start › All Programs › Accessories › Notepad to invoke the application.
Alternatively, you can also press ⊞ Win + R to open the Run dialog. With the dialog open, type the following command at the prompt:
Notepad launching
notepad
2. Once the Notepad application has fired up, you can use the editor to write code for the Java programming language.
Installation instructions for GNU/Linux
Availability check for JRE
The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) is necessary to execute Java programs. To check which version of JRE you have, follow the steps below.
1. Open the Terminal window.
2. Type the following command:
JRE availability check
java -version
If you get something like this:
Output on a particular Kubuntu 12.10 installation
java version "1.7.0_09"
OpenJDK Runtime Environment (IcedTea7 2.3.3) (7u9-2.3.3-0ubuntu1~12.10.1)
OpenJDK Client VM (build 23.2-b09, mixed mode, sharing)
... then a JRE is installed. If you get an error, such as:
Output error
java: command not found
... then the JDK may not be installed or it may not be in your path.
You may have other versions of Java installed; this command will only show the first in your PATH. You will be made familiar with the PATH environment variable later in this
text. For now, if you have no idea what this is all about, read through towards the end and we will provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to set your own environment
variables.
You can use your system's file search utilities to see if there is a javac executable installed. If it is, and it is a recent enough version, you should put the bin directory that
contains javac in your system path. The Java runtime, java, is often in the same bin directory.
If the installed version is older (i.e. it is Java 5 and you wish to use the more recent Java 7 release), you should proceed below with downloading and installing a JDK.
It is possible that you have the Java runtime (JRE), but not the JDK. In that case the javac program won't be found, but the java -version will print the JRE version number.
Availability check for JDK
The Java Development Kit (JDK) is necessary to build Java programs. For our purposes, you must use a JDK. First, check to see if a JDK is already installed on your system. To
do so, first open a terminal window and execute the command below.
Availability check
javac -version
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If the JDK is installed and on your executable path, you should see some output which tells you the command line options. The output will vary depending on which version is
installed and which vendor provided the Java installation.
Installation using Terminal
Downloading and installing the Java platform on Linux machines (in particular Ubuntu Linux) is very easy and straight-forward. To use the terminal to download and install the
Java platform, follow the instructions below.
1. Open the Terminal window.
2. At the prompt, write the following (your package manager may be other than APT, so change the command accordingly):
Retrieving the java packages
$ sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jdk openjdk-7-doc
3. All Java softwares should be installed and instantly available now.
Download instructions
Alternatively, you can manually download the Java software (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/index.html) from the Oracle website.
For the convenience of our readers, the following table presents direct links to the latest JDK for the Linux operating system.
Operating
system
RPM
Tarball
Linux x86
Download (http://download.oracle.com
/otn-pub/java/jdk/7u7-b10/jdk-7u7-linuxi586.rpm)
Oracle Binary Code License Agreement
Download (http://download.oracle.com/otn-pub
(http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javasebusiness
/java/jdk/7u1-b08/jdk-7u1-linux-i586.tar.gz)
/documentation/java-se-bcl-license-430205.html)
Linux x64
Download (http://download.oracle.com
/otn-pub/java/jdk/7u1-b08/jdk-7u1-linuxx64.rpm)
Oracle Binary Code License Agreement
Download (http://download.oracle.com/otn-pub
(http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javasebusiness
/java/jdk/7u1-b08/jdk-7u1-linux-x64.tar.gz)
/documentation/java-se-bcl-license-430205.html)
License
Start writing code
The most widely available text editor on GNOME desktops is Gedit, while on the KDE desktops, one can find Kate. Both these editors support syntax highlighting and code
completion and therefore are sufficient for our purposes.
However, if you require a robust and standalone text-editor like the Notepad++ editor on Windows, you would require the use of the minimalistic editor loaded with features –
SciTE. Follow the instructions below if you wish to install SciTE:
1. Open the Terminal window.
2. At the prompt, write the following:
Retrieving the java packages
$ sudo apt-get install scite
3. You should now be able to use SciTE for your programming needs. You may also want to try Geany. Installation instructions are similar to those for SciTE.
Installation instructions for Mac OS
On Mac OS, both the JRE and the JDK are already installed. However, the version installed was the latest version when the computer was purchased, so you may want to update
it.
Updating Java for Mac OS
1. Go to the Java download page (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/javase/downloads/jdk7-downloads-1880260.html).
2. Mechanically accept Oracle's license agreement.
3. Click on the link for Mac OS X.
4. Run the installer package.
Availability check for JDK
The Java Development Kit (JDK) is necessary to build Java programs. For our purposes, you must use a JDK. First, check to see if a JDK is already installed on your system. To
do so, first open a terminal window and execute the command below.
Availability check
java -version
If the JDK is installed and on your executable path, you should see some output which tells you the command line options. The output will vary depending on which version is
installed and which vendor provided the Java installation.
Installation instructions for Solaris
No Install Option for Programming Online
If you already have the JRE installed, you can use the Java Wiki Integrated Development Environment (JavaWIDE) to code directly in your browser, no account or special
software required.
Click here to visit the JavaWIDE Sandbox to get started. (http://sandbox.javawide.org)
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For more information, click here to visit the JavaWIDE site. (http://www.javawide.org)
Compilation
In Java, programs are not compiled into executable files; they are compiled into bytecode (as discussed earlier), which the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) then executes at runtime.
Java source code is compiled into bytecode when we use the javac compiler. The bytecode gets saved on the disk with the file extension .class. When the program is to be run,
the bytecode is converted, using the just-in-time (JIT) compiler. The result is machine code which is then fed to the memory and is executed.
Java code needs to be compiled twice in order to be executed:
1. Java programs need to be compiled to bytecode.
2. When the bytecode is run, it needs to be converted to machine code.
The Java classes/bytecode are compiled to machine code and loaded into memory by the JVM when needed the first time. This is different from other languages like C/C++ where
programs are to be compiled to machine code and linked to create an executable file before it can be executed.
Quick compilation procedure
To execute your first Java program, follow the instructions below:
1. Proceed only if you have successfully installed and configured your system for Java as discussed here.
2. Open your preferred text editor — this is the editor you set while installing the Java platform.
For example, Notepad or Notepad++ on Windows; Gedit, Kate or SciTE on Linux; or, XCode on Mac OS, etc.
3. Write the following lines of code in a new text document:
Code listing 2.5: HelloWorld.java
public class HelloWorld {
public static void main(String[] args) {
System.out.println("Hello World!");
}
}
4. Save the file as HelloWorld.java — the name of your file should be the same as the name of your class definition and followed by the .java extension. This name is
case-sensitive, which means you need to capitalize the precise letters that were capitalized in the name for the class definition.
5. Next, open your preferred command-line application.
For example, Command Prompt on Windows; and, Terminal on Linux and Mac OS.
6. In your command-line application, navigate to the directory where you just created your file. If you do not know how to do this, consider reading through our crash courses
for command-line applications for Windows or Linux.
7. Compile the Java source file using the following command which you can copy and paste in if you want:
Compilation
javac HelloWorld.java
If you obtain an error message like error: cannot read: HelloWorld.java 1 error, your file is not in the current folder or it is badly spelled. Did you
navigate to the program's location in the command prompt using the cd (change directory) command?
If you obtain another message ending by 1 error or ... errors, there may be a mistake in your code. Are you sure all words are spelled correctly and with the
exact case as shown? Are there semicolons and brackets in the appropriate spot? Are you missing a quote? Usually, modern IDEs would try coloring the entire
source as a quote in this case.
If your computer emits beeps, then you may have illegal characters in your HelloWorld.java.
If no HelloWorld.class file has been created in the same folder, then you've got an error. Are you launching the javac program correctly?
8. Once the compiler returns to the prompt, run the application using the following command:
Execution
java HelloWorld
If you obtain an error message like Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoClassDefFoundError: HelloWorld, the HelloWorld.class file is not in the
current folder or it is badly spelled.
If you obtain an error message like Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NoSuchMethodError: main, your source file may have been badly written.
9. The above command should result in your command-line application displaying the following result:
Output
Hello World!
Ask for help if the program did not execute properly in the Discussion page for this chapter.
Automatic Compilation of Dependent Classes
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In Java, if you have used any reference to any other java object, then the class for that object will be automatically compiled, if that was not compiled already. These automatic
compilations are nested, and this continues until all classes are compiled that are needed to run the program. So it is usually enough to compile only the high level class, since all the
dependent classes will be automatically compiled.
Main class compilation
javac ... MainClass.java
However, you can't rely on this feature if your program is using reflection to create objects, or you are compiling for servlets or for a "jar", package. In these cases you should list
these classes for explicit compilation.
Main class compilation
javac ... MainClass.java ServletOne.java ...
Packages, Subdirectories, and Resources
Each Java top level class belongs to a package (covered in the chapter about Packages). This may be declared in a package statement at the beginning of the file; if that is missing,
the class belongs to the unnamed package.
For compilation, the file must be in the right directory structure. A file containing a class in the unnamed package must be in the current/root directory; if the class belongs to a
package, it must be in a directory with the same name as the package.
The convention is that package names and directory names corresponding to the package consist of only lower case letters.
Top level package
A class with this package declaration
Code section 2.1: Package declaration
package example;
has to be in a directory named example.
Subpackages
A class with this package declaration
Code section 2.2: Package declaration with sub-packages
package org.wikibooks.en;
has to be in a directory named en which has to be a sub-directory of wikibooks which in turn has to be a sub-directory of org resulting in org/wikibooks/en on Linux or
org\wikibooks\en on Windows.
Java programs often contain non-code files such as images and properties files. These are referred to generally as resources and stored in directories local to the classes in which
they're used. For example, if the class com.example.ExampleApp uses the icon.png file, this file could be stored as /com/example/resources/icon.png. These resources
present a problem when a program is complied, because javac does not copy them to wherever the .class files are being complied to (see above); it is up to the programmer to
move the resource files and directories.
Filename Case
The Java source file name must be the same as the public class name that the file contains. There can be only one public class defined per file. The Java class name is case sensitive,
as is the source file name.
The naming convention for the class name is for it to start with a capital letter.
Compiler Options
Debugging and Symbolic Information
Ant
For comprehensive information about all aspects of Ant, please see the Ant Wikibook.
The best way to build your application is to use a build tool. This checks all the needed dependencies and compiles only the needed class for the build. Ant tool is one of the best
and the most popular build tools currently available. Ant is a build management tool designed to replace MAKE as the tool for automated builds of large Java applications. Like
Java, and unlike MAKE, Ant is designed to be platform independent.
Using Ant you would build your application from the command line by typing:
Ant building
ant build.xml
The build.xml file contains all the information needed to build the application.
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Building a Java application requires certain tasks to be performed defined in a build.xml file. Those tasks may include not only compiling the code, but also copying code,
packaging the program to a Jar, creating EJBs, running automated tests, doing ftp for the code to remote site, and so on. For some tasks a condition can be assigned, for example to
compile only changed code, or do the task if that was not already done so. Tasks dependency can also be specified, which will make sure that the order of executions of the tasks
are in the right order. For example, when compiling the code before packaging it to a jar, the package-to-jar task depends on the compilation task.
In rare cases, your code may appear to compile correctly but the program behaves as if you were using an old copy of the source code (or otherwise reports errors during
runtime.) When this occurs, you may need to clean your compilation folder by either deleting the class files or using the Clean command from an IDE.
The build.xml file is generally kept in the root directory of the java project. Ant parses this file and executes the tasks therein. Below we give an example build.xml file.
Ant tool is written in Java and is open source, so it can be extended if there is a task you'd like to be done during the build that is not in the predefined tasks list. It is very easy to
hook your ant task code to the other tasks: your code only needs to be in the classpath, and the Ant tool will load it at runtime. For more information about writing your own Ant
tasks, please see the project website at http://ant.apache.org/.
Example build.xml file.
The next most popular way to build applications is using an Integrated Development Environment (IDE).
The JIT compiler
The Just-In-Time (JIT) compiler is the compiler that converts the byte-code to machine code. It compiles byte-code once and the compiled machine code is re-used again and again,
to speed up execution. Early Java compilers compiled the byte-code to machine code each time it was used, but more modern compilers cache this machine code for reuse on the
machine. Even then, java's JIT compiling was still faster than an "interpreter-language", where code is compiled from high level language, instead of from byte-code each time it
was used.
The standard JIT compiler runs on demand. When a method is called repeatedly, the JIT compiler analyzes the bytecode and produces highly efficient machine code, which runs
very fast. The JIT compiler is smart enough to recognize when the code has already been compiled, so as the application runs, compilation happens only as needed. As Java
applications run, they tend to become faster and faster, because the JIT can perform runtime profiling and optimization to the code to meet the execution environment. Methods or
code blocks which do not run often receive less optimization; those which run often (so called hotspots) receive more profiling and optimization.
Execution
There are various ways in which Java code can be executed. A complex Java application usually uses third party APIs or services. In this section we list the most popular ways a
piece of Java code may be packed together and/or executed.
JSE code execution
Java language first edition came out in the client-server era. Thick clients were developed with rich GUI interfaces. Java first edition, JSE (Java Standard Edition) had/has the
following in its belt:
GUI capabilities (AWT, Swing)
Network computing capabilities (RMI)
Multi-tasking capabilities (Threads)
With JSE the following Java code executions are possible:
Stand alone Java application
(Figure 1) Stand alone application refers to a Java program where both the user interface and business modules are running on the same
computer. The application may or may not use a database to persist data. The user interface could be either AWT or Swing.
The application would start with a main() method of a Class. The application stops when the main() method exits, or if an exception is
thrown from the application to the JVM. Classes are loaded to memory and compiled as needed, either from the file system or from a *.jar
file, by the JVM.
Invocation of Java programs distributed in this manner requires usage of the command line. Once the user has all the class files, he needs to
launch the application by the following command line (where Main is the name of the class containing the main() method.)
Execution of class
Figure 1: Stand alone execution
java Main
Java 'jar' class libraries
Utility classes, framework classes, and/or third party classes are usually packaged and distributed in Java ' *.jar' files. These 'jar' files need to be put in the CLASSPATH of the
java program from which these classes are going to be used.
If a jar file is executable, it can be run from the command line:
Execution of archive
java -jar Application.jar
Java Applet code
(Figure 2) Java Applets are Java code referenced from HTML pages, by the <APPLET> tag. The Java code is downloaded from a server and runs in the client browser JVM.
Java has built-in support to render applets in the browser window.
Sophisticated GUI clients were found hard to develop, mostly because of download time, incompatibilities between browser JVM implementations, and communication
requirements back to the server. Applets are rarely used today, and are most commonly used as small, separate graphic-like animation applets. The popularity of Java declined
when Microsoft withdrew its Java support from Internet Explorer default configuration, however, the plugin is still available as a free download from java.com
(http://java.com/).
More information can be found about applets at the Applet Chapter, in this book. Also, Wikipedia has an article about Java Applets.
Client Server applications
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The client server applications consist of a front-end, and a back-end part, both running on a separate computer. The idea is that
the business logic would be on the back-end part of the program, which would be reused by all the clients. Here the challenge is to
achieve a separation between front-end user interface code, and the back-end business logic code.
The communication between the front-end and the back-end can be achieved by two ways.
One way is to define a data communication protocol between the two tiers. The back-end part would listen for an
incoming request. Based on the protocol it interprets the request and sends back the result in data form.
The other way is to use Java Remote Invocation (RMI). With the use of RMI, a remote object can be created and
used by the client. In this case Java objects are transmitted across the network.
More information can be found about client-server programming, with sample code, at the Client Server Chapter in this book.
Figure 2: Applet Execution
Web Applications
For applications needed by lots of client installations, the client-server model did not work. Maintaining and upgrading the
hundreds or thousands of clients caused a problem. It was not practical. The solution to this problem was to create a unified, standard client, for all applications, and that is the
Browser.
Having a standard client, it makes sense to create a unified, standard back-end service as well, and that is the Application Server.
Web Application is an application that is running in the Application Server, and it can be accessed and used by the Browser client.
There are three main area of interest in Web Applications, those are:
The Web Browser. This is the container of rendering HTML text, and running client scripts
The HTTP protocol. Text data are sent back and forth between Browser and the Server
The Web server to serve static content, Application server to serve dynamic content and host EJBs.
Wikipedia also has an article about Web application.
J2EE code execution
As the focus was shifting from reaching GUI clients to thin client applications, with Java version 2, Sun introduced J2EE (Java 2 Extended Edition). J2EE added :
Components Base Architecture, (Servlet, JSP, EJB Containers)
With J2EE the following Java component executions are possible:
Java Servlet code
(Figure 3) Java got its popularity with server side programming, more specifically with J2EE servlets. Servlets are running in a
simple J2EE framework to handle client HTTP requests. They are meant to replace CGI programming for web pages rendering
dynamic content.
The servlet is running in a so called servlet-container/web container. The servlet's responsibility is to:
Handle the request by doing the business logic computation,
Connecting to a database if needed,
Figure 3: Servlet Execution
Create HTML to present to the user through the browser
The HTML output represents both the presention logic and the results of the business computations. This represents a huge
problem, and there is no real application relying only on servlets to handle the presention part of the responsibility. There are two main solutions to this:
Use a template tool (Store the presentation part in an HTML file, marking the areas that need to be replaced after business logic computations).
Use JSP (See next section)
Wikipedia also has an article about Servlets.
Java Server Pages (JSP) code
(Figure 4) JSP is an HTML file with embedded Java code inside. The first time the JSP is accessed, the JSP is converted to a Java
Servlet. This servlet outputs HTML which has inside the result of the business logic computation. There are special JSP tags that
helps to add data dynamically to the HTML. Also JSP technology allows to create custom tags.
Using the JSP technology correctly, business logic computations should not be in the embedded Java part of the JSP. JSP should be
used to render the presentation of the static and dynamic data. Depending on the complexity of the data, 100% separation is not
easy to achieve. Using custom tags, however may help to get closer to 100%. This is advocated also in MVC architecture (see
below).
EJB code
(Figure 5) In the 1990s, with the client server computing, a trend started, that is to move away from Mainframe
computing. That resulted in many small separate applications in a Company/Enterprise. Many times the same data was
used in different applications. A new philosophy, "Enterprise Computing", was created to address these issues. The idea
was to create components that can be reused throughout the Enterprise. The Enterprise Java Beans (EJBs) were supposed
to address this.
An EJB is an application component that runs in an EJB container. The client accesses the EJB modules through the
container, never directly. The container manages the life cycle of the EJB modules, and handles all the issues that arise
from network/enterpise computing. Some of those are security/access control, object pooling, transaction management, ...
.
EJBs have the same problems as any reusable code: they need to be generic enough to be able to be reused and the
changes or maintenance of EJBs can affect existing clients. Many times EJBs are used unnecessarily when they are not
really needed. An EJB should be designed as a separate application in the enterprise, fulfilling one function.
Combine J2EE components to create an MVC architecture
This leads us to the three layers/tiers as shown in (Figure 6).
In modern web applications, with lots of static data and nice graphics, how the data is presented to the user
became very important and usually needs the help of a graphic artist.
To help programmers and graphic artists to work together, the separation between data, code, and how it is
presented became crucial.
The view (User Interface Logic) contains the logic that is necessary to construct the presentation. This could
be handled by JSP technology.
The servlet acts as the controller and contains the logic that is necessary to process user events and to
select an appropriate response.
The business logic (model) actually accomplishes the goal of the interaction. This might be a query or an
update to a database. This could be handled by EJB technology.
For more information about MVC, please see MVC.
Figure 4: Jsp Execution
Figure 5: EJB Execution
Figure 6: MVC Execution
Jini
After J2EE Sun had a vision about the next step of network computing. That is Jini. The main idea is that in a network environment, there would be many independent services and
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consumers. Jini would allow these services/consumers to interact dynamically with each other in a robust way. The basic features of Jini are:
No user intervention is needed when services are brought on or offline. (In contrast to EJBs where the client program has to know the server and port number where the EJB
is deployed, in Jini the client is supposed to find, to discover, the service in the network.)
Self healing by adapting when services (consumers of services) come and go. (Services periodically need to renew a lease to indicate that they are still available.)
Consumers of JINI services do not need prior knowledge of the service's implementation. The implementation is downloaded dynamically and run on the consumer JVM,
without configuration and user intervention. (For example, the end user may be presented with a slightly different user interface depending upon which service is being used
at the time. The implementation of the user interface code would be provided by the service being used.)
A minimal Jini network environment consists of:
One or more services
A lookup-service keeping a list of registered services
One or more consumers
Jini is not widely used at the current writing (2006). There are two possible reasons for it. One is Jini a bit complicated to understand and to set it up. The other reason is that
Microsoft pulled out from Java, which caused the industry to turn to the use of proprietary solutions.
Understanding a Java Program
This article presents a small Java program which can be run from the console. It computes the distance between two points on a plane. You do not need to understand the structure
and meaning of the program just yet; we will get to that soon. Also, because the program is intended as a simple introduction, it has some room for improvement, and later in the
module we will show some of these improvements. But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves!
The Distance Class: Intent, Source, and Use
This class is named Distance, so using your favorite editor or Java IDE, first create a file named Distance.java, then copy the source below, paste it into the file and save the file.
Code listing 2.1: Distance.java
1
2
3
public class Distance {
private java.awt.Point point0, point1;
public Distance(int x0, int y0, int x1, int y1) {
4
point0 = new java.awt.Point(x0, y0);
point1 = new java.awt.Point(x1, y1);
5
6
7
8
}
9
public void printDistance() {
10
System.out.println("Distance between " + point0 + " and " + point1
+ " is " + point0.distance(point1));
11
12
}
13
14
15
public static void main(String[] args) {
Distance dist = new Distance(
intValue(args[0]), intValue(args[1]),
intValue(args[2]), intValue(args[3]));
16
17
18
dist.printDistance();
19
}
20
21
22
23
24
private static int intValue(String data) {
return Integer.parseInt(data);
}
}
At this point, you may wish to review the source to see how much you might be able to understand. While perhaps not being the most literate of programming languages, someone
with understanding of other procedural languages such as C, or other object oriented languages such as C++ or C#, will be able to understand most if not all of the sample program.
Once you save the file, compile the program:
Compilation command
$ javac Distance.java
(If the javac command fails, review the installation instructions.)
To run the program, you supply it with the x and y coordinates of two points on a plane separated by a space. For this version of Distance, only integer points are supported. The
command sequence is java Distance <x0> <y0> <x1> <y1> to compute the distance between the points (x0, y0) and (x1, y1).
If you get a java.lang.NumberFormatException exception, some arguments are not a number. If you get a java.lang.ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException exception,
you did not provide enough numbers.
Here are two examples:
Output for the distance between the points (0, 3) and (4, 0)
$ java Distance 0 3 4 0
Distance between java.awt.Point[x=0,y=3] and java.awt.Point[x=4,y=0] is 5.0
Output for the distance between the points (-4, 5) and (11, 19)
$ java Distance -4 5 11 19
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Distance between java.awt.Point[x=-4,y=5] and java.awt.Point[x=11,y=19] is 20.518284528683193
We'll explain this strange looking output, and also show how to improve it, later.
Detailed Program Structure and Overview
As promised, we will now provide a detailed description of this Java program. We will discuss the syntax and structure of the program and the meaning of that structure.
Introduction to Java Syntax
public class Distance {
private java.awt.Point point0, point1;
public Distance(int x0, int y0, int x1, int y1) {
point0 = new java.awt.Point(x0, y0);
point1 = new java.awt.Point(x1, y1);
}
public void printDistance() {
System.out.println("Distance between " + point0 + " and " + point1
+ " is " + point0.distance(point1));
}
public static void main(String[] args) {
Distance dist = new Distance(
intValue(args[0]), intValue(args[1]),
intValue(args[2]), intValue(args[3]));
dist.printDistance();
}
private static int intValue(String data) {
return Integer.parseInt(data);
}
}
Figure 2.1: Basic Java syntax.
For a further treatment of the syntax elements of Java, see also Syntax.
The syntax of a Java class is the characters, symbols and their structure used to code the class. Java programs consist of a sequence of tokens. There are different kinds of tokens.
For example, there are word tokens such as class and public which represent keywords (in purple above) — special words with reserved meaning in Java. Other words such as
Distance, point0, x1, and printDistance are not keywords but identifiers (in grey). Identifiers have many different uses in Java but primarily they are used as names. Java also
has tokens to represent numbers, such as 1 and 3; these are known as literals (in orange). String literals (in blue), such as "Distance between ", consist of zero or more
characters embedded in double quotes, and operators (in red) such as + and = are used to express basic computation such as addition or String concatenation or assignment. There
are also left and right braces ({ and }) which enclose blocks. The body of a class is one such block. Some tokens are punctuation, such as periods . and commas , and semicolons ;.
You use whitespace such as spaces, tabs, and newlines, to separate tokens. For example, whitespace is required between keywords and identifiers: publicstatic is a single
identifier with twelve characters, not two Java keywords.
Declarations and Definitions
public class Distance {
private java.awt.Point point0, point1;
public Distance(int x0, int y0, int x1, int y1) {
point0 = new java.awt.Point(x0, y0);
point1 = new java.awt.Point(x1, y1);
}
public void printDistance() {
System.out.println("Distance between " + point0 + " and " + point1
+ " is " + point0.distance(point1));
}
public static void main(String[] args) {
Distance dist = new Distance(
intValue(args[0]), intValue(args[1]),
intValue(args[2]), intValue(args[3]));
dist.printDistance();
}
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private static int intValue(String data) {
return Integer.parseInt(data);
}
}
Figure 2.2: Declarations and Definitions.
Sequences of tokens are used to construct the next building blocks of Java classes as shown above: declarations and definitions. A class declaration provides the name and visibility
of a class. In our example, public class Distance is the class declaration. It consists (in this case) of two keywords, public and class followed by the identifier Distance.
This means that we are defining a class named Distance. Other classes, or in our case, the command line, can refer to the class by this name. The public keyword is an access
modifier which declares that this class and its members may be accessed from other classes. The class keyword, obviously, identifies this declaration as a class. Java also allows
declarations of interfaces and annotations.
The class declaration is then followed by a block (surrounded by curly braces) which provides the class's definition (in blue in figure 2.2). The definition is the implementation of the
class – the declaration and definitions of the class's members. This class contains exactly six members, which we will explain in turn.
1. Two field declarations, named point0 and point1 (in green)
2. A constructor declaration (in orange)
3. Three method declarations (in red)
Example: Instance Fields
The declaration
Code section 2.1: Declaration.
1 private java.awt.Point point0, point1;
...declares two instance fields. Instance fields represent named values that are allocated whenever an instance of the class is constructed. When a Java program creates a Distance
instance, that instance will contain space for point0 and point1. When another Distance object is created, it will contain space for its own point0 and point1 values. The value
of point0 in the first Distance object can vary independently of the value of point0 in the second Distance object.
This declaration consists of:
1. The private access modifier,
which means these instance fields are not visible to other classes.
2. The type of the instance fields. In this case, the type is java.awt.Point.
This is the class Point in the java.awt package.
3. The names of the instance fields in a comma separated list.
These two fields could also have been declared with two separate but more verbose declarations,
Code section 2.2: Verbose declarations.
1
2
private java.awt.Point point0;
private java.awt.Point point1;
Since the type of these fields is a reference type (i.e. a field that refers to or can hold a reference to an object value), Java will implicitly initialize the values of point0 and point1
to null when a Distance instance is created. The null value means that a reference value does not refer to an object. The special Java literal null is used to represent the null value
in a program. While you can explicitly assign null values in a declaration, as in
Code section 2.3: Declarations and assignments.
1
2
private java.awt.Point point0 = null;
private java.awt.Point point1 = null;
It is not necessary and most programmers omit such default assignments.
Example: Constructor
A constructor is a special method in a class which is used to construct an instance of the class. The constructor can perform initialization for the object, beyond that which the Java
VM does automatically. For example, Java will automatically initialize the fields point0 and point1 to null.
Code section 2.4: The constructor for the class
1 public Distance(int x0, int y0, int x1, int y1) {
2
point0 = new java.awt.Point(x0, y0);
3
point1 = new java.awt.Point(x1, y1);
4 }
The constructor above consists of five parts:
1. The optional access modifier(s).
In this case, the constructor is declared public
2. The constructor name, which must match the class name exactly: Distance in this case.
3. The constructor parameters.
The parameter list is required. Even if a constructor does not have any parameters, you must specify the empty list (). The parameter list declares the type and name of each
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of the method's parameters.
4. An optional throws clause which declares the exceptions that the constructor may throw. This constructor does not declare any exceptions.
5. The constructor body, which is a Java block (enclosed in {}). This constructor's body contains two statements.
This constructor accepts four parameters, named x0, y0, x1 and y1. Each parameter requires a parameter type declaration, which in this example is int for all four parameters.
The parameters in the parameter list are separated by commas.
The two assignments in this constructor use Java's new operator to allocate two java.awt.Point objects. The first allocates an object representing the first point, (x0, y0), and
assigns it to the point0 instance variable (replacing the null value that the instance variable was initialized to). The second statement allocates a second java.awt.Point instance
with (x1, y1) and assigns it to the point1 instance variable.
This is the constructor for the Distance class. Distance implicitly extends from java.lang.Object. Java inserts a call to the super constructor as the first executable statement of
the constructor if there is not one explicitly coded. The above constructor body is equivalent to the following body with the explicit super constructor call:
Code section 2.5: Super constructor.
1 {
2
3
4
5 }
super();
point0 = new java.awt.Point(x0, y0);
point1 = new java.awt.Point(x1, y1);
While it is true that this class could be implemented in other ways, such as simply storing the coordinates of the two points and computing the distance as
, this class instead uses the existing java.awt.Point class. This choice matches the abstract definition of this class: to print the distance between
two points on the plane. We take advantage of existing behavior already implemented in the Java platform rather than implementing it again. We will see later how to make the
program more flexible without adding much complexity, because we choose to use object abstractions here. However, the key point is that this class uses information hiding. That is,
how the class stores its state or how it computes the distance is hidden. We can change this implementation without altering how clients use and invoke the class.
Example: Methods
Methods are the third and most important type of class member. This class contains three methods in which the behavior of the Distance class is defined: printDistance(),
main(), and intValue()
The printDistance() method
The printDistance() method prints the distance between the two points to the standard output (normally the console).
Code section 2.6: printDistance() method.
1 public void printDistance() {
2
System.out.println("Distance between " + point0
3
+ " and " + point1
4
+ " is " + point0.distance(point1));
5 }
This instance method executes within the context of an implicit Distance object. The instance field references, point0 and point1, refer to instance fields of that implicit object.
You can also use the special variable this to explicitly reference the current object. Within an instance method, Java binds the name this to the object on which the method is
executing, and the type of this is that of the current class. The body of the printDistance method could also be coded as
Code section 2.7: Explicit instance of the current class.
1
2
3
System.out.println("Distance between " + this.point0
+ " and " + this.point1
+ " is " + this.point0.distance(this.point1));
to make the instance field references more explicit.
This method both computes the distance and prints it in one statement. The distance is computed with point0.distance(point1); distance() is an instance method of the
java.awt.Point class (of which point0 and point1 are instances). The method operates on point0 (binding this to the object that point0 refers to during the execution of the
method) and accepting another Point as a parameter. Actually, it is slightly more complicated than that, but we'll explain later. The result of the distance() method is a double
precision floating point number.
This method uses the syntax
Code section 2.8: String concatenation.
1
2
3
"Distance between " + this.point0
+ " and " + this.point1
+ " is " + this.point0.distance(this.point1)
to construct a String to pass to the System.out.println(). This expression is a series of String concatenation methods which concatenates Strings or the String representation of
primitive types (such as doubles) or objects, and returns a long string. For example, the result of this expression for the points (0,3) and (4,0) is the String
Output
"Distance between java.awt.Point[x=0,y=3] and java.awt.Point[x=4,y=0] is 5.0"
which the method then prints to System.out.
In order to print, we invoke the println(). This is an instance method from java.io.PrintStream, which is the type of the static field out in the class java.lang.System. The
Java VM binds System.out to the standard output stream when it starts a program.
The main() method
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The main() method is the main entry point which Java invokes when you start a Java program from the command line. The command
Output
java Distance 0 3 4 0
instructs Java to locate the Distance class, put the four command line arguments into an array of String values, then pass those arguments to the public static main(String[])
method of the class. We will introduce arrays shortly. Any Java class that you want to invoke from the command line or desktop shortcut must have a main method with this
signature or the following signature: public static main(String...).
Code section 2.9: main() method.
1 public static void main(String[] args) {
2
Distance dist = new Distance(
intValue(args[0]), intValue(args[1]),
3
intValue(args[2]), intValue(args[3]));
4
dist.printDistance();
5
6 }
The main() method invokes the final method, intValue(), four times. The intValue() takes a single string parameter and returns the integer value represented in the string. For
example, intValue("3") will return the integer 3.
People who do test-first programming or perform regression testing write a main() method in every Java class, and a main() function in every Python module, to run automated tests.
When a person executes the file directly, the main() method executes and runs the automated tests for that file. When a person executes some other Java file that in turn imports
many other Java classes, only one main() method is executed -- the main() method of the directly-executed file.
The intValue() method
The intValue() method delegates its job to the Integer.parseInt() method. The main method could have called Integer.parseInt() directly; the intValue() method simply
makes the main() method slightly more readable.
Code section 2.10: intValue() method.
1 private static int intValue(String data) {
2
return Integer.parseInt(data);
3 }
This method is private since, like the fields point0 and point1, it is part of the internal implementation of the class and is not part of the external programming interface of the
Distance class.
Static vs. Instance Methods
Both the main() and intValue() methods are static methods. The static keyword tells the compiler to create a single memory space associated with the class. Each individual
object instantiated has its own private state variables and methods but use the same static methods and members common to the single class object created by the compiler when
the first class object is instantiated or created. This means that the method executes in a static or non-object context — there is no implicit separate instance available when the
static methods run from various objects, and the special variable this is not available. As such, static methods cannot access instance methods or instance fields (such as
printDistance()) or point0) directly. The main() method can only invoke the instance method printDistance() method via an instance reference such as dist .
Data Types
Most declarations have a data type. Java has several categories of data types: reference types, primitive types, array types, and a special type, void.
Primitive Types
The primitive types are used to represent boolean, character, and numeric values. This program uses only one primitive type explicitly, int, which represents 32 bit signed integer
values. The program also implicitly uses double, which is the return type of the distance() method of java.awt.Point. double values are 64 bit IEEE floating point values. The
main() method uses integer values 0, 1, 2, and 3 to access elements of the command line arguments. The Distance() constructor's four parameters also have the type int. Also,
the intValue() method has a return type of int. This means a call to that method, such as intValue(args[0]), is an expression of type int. This helps explain why the main
method cannot call:
Code section 2.11: Wrong type.
1 new Distance(args[0], args[1], args[2], args[3]) // This is an error
Since the type of the args array element is String, and our constructor's parameters must be int, such a call would result in an error because Java will not automatically convert
values of type String into int values.
Java's primitive types are boolean, byte, char, short, int, long, float and double. Each of which are also Java language keywords.
Reference Types
In addition to primitive types, Java supports reference type. A reference type is a Java data type which is defined by a Java class or interface. Reference types derive this name
because such values refer to an object or contain a reference to an object. The idea is similar to pointers in other languages like C.
Java represents sequences of character data, or String, with the reference type java.lang.String which is most commonly referred to as String. String literals, such as
"Distance between " are constants whose type is String.
This program uses three separate reference types:
1. java.lang.String (or simply String)
2. Distance
3. java.awt.Point
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For more information see chapter: Java Programming/Classes, Objects and Types.
Array Types
Java supports arrays, which are aggregate types which have a fixed element type (which can be any Java type) and an integral size. This program uses only one array, String[]
args . This indicates that args has an array type and that the element type is String. The Java VM constructs and initializes the array that is passed to the main method. See arrays
for more details on how to create arrays and access their size.
The elements of arrays are accessed with integer indices. The first element of an array is always element 0. This program accesses the first four elements of the args array explicitly
with the indices 0, 1, 2, and 3. This program does not perform any input validation, such as verifying that the user passed at least four arguments to the program. We will fix that
later.
void
void
is not a type in Java; it represents the absence of a type. Methods which do not return values are declared as void methods.
This class defines two void methods:
Code section 2.12: Void methods
1 public static void main(String[] args) { ... }
2 public void printDistance() { ... }
Whitespace
Whitespace in Java is used to separate the tokens in a Java source file. Whitespace is required in some places, such as between access modifiers, type names and Identifiers, and is
used to improve readability elsewhere.
Wherever whitespace is required in Java, one or more whitespace characters may be used. Wherever whitespace is optional in Java, zero or more whitespace characters may be
used.
Java whitespace consists of the
space character ' ' (0x20),
the tab character (hex 0x09),
the form feed character (hex 0x0c),
the line separators characters newline (hex 0x0a) or carriage return (hex 0x0d) characters.
Line separators are special whitespace characters in that they also terminate line comments, whereas normal whitespace does not.
Other Unicode space characters, including vertical tab, are not allowed as whitespace in Java.
Required Whitespace
Look at the static method intValue:
Code section 2.13: Method declaration
1 private static int intValue(String data) {
return Integer.parseInt(data);
2
3 }
Whitespace is required between private and static, between static and int, between int and intValue, and between String and data.
If the code is written like this:
Code section 2.14: Collapsed code
1 privatestaticint intValue(String data) {
2
return Integer.parseInt(data);
3 }
...it means something completely different: it declares a method which has the return type privatestaticint It is unlikely that this type exists and the method is no longer static, so
the above would result in a semantic error.
Indentation
Java ignores all whitespace in front of a statement. As this, these two code snippets are identical for the compiler:
Code section 2.15: Indented code
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
public static void main(String[] args) {
Distance dist = new Distance(
intValue(args[0]), intValue(args[1]),
intValue(args[2]), intValue(args[3]));
dist.printDistance();
}
private static int intValue(String data) {
return Integer.parseInt(data);
}
Code section 2.16: Not indented code
1 public static void main(String[] args) {
2 Distance dist = new Distance(
3 intValue(args[0]), intValue(args[1]),
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4
5
6
7
8
9
10
intValue(args[2]), intValue(args[3]));
dist.printDistance();
}
private static int intValue(String data) {
return Integer.parseInt(data);
}
However, the first one's style (with whitespace) is preferred, as the readability is higher. The method body is easier to distinguish from the head, even at a higher reading speed.
Java IDEs
What is a Java IDE?
A Java IDE (Integrated Development Environment) is a software application which enables users to more easily write and debug Java programs. Many IDEs provide features like
syntax highlighting and code completion, which help the user to code more easily.
Eclipse
Eclipse is a Free and Open Source IDE, plus a developer tool framework that can be extended for a particular development need. IBM was
behind its development, and it replaced IBM VisualAge tool. The idea was to create a standard look and feel that can be extended via plugins.
The extensibility distinguishes Eclipse from other IDEs. Eclipse was also meant to compete with Microsoft Visual Studio tools. Microsoft tools
give a standard way of developing code in the Microsoft world. Eclipse gives a similar standard way of developing code in the Java world, with
a big success so far. With the online error checking only, coding can be sped up by at least 50% (coding does not include programming).
The goals for Eclipse are twofold:
1. Give a standard IDE for developing code
2. Give a starting point, and the same look and feel for all other more sophisticated tools built on Eclipse
Eclipse on Ubuntu
IBM's WSAD, and later IBM Rational Software Development Platform, are built on Eclipse.
Standard Eclipse features:
Standard window management (perspectives, views, browsers, explorers, ...)
Error checking as you type (immediate error indications, ...)
Help window as you type (type ., or <ctrl> space, ...)
Automatic build (changes in source code are automatically compiled, ...)
Built-in debugger (full featured GUI debugger)
Source code generation (getters and setters, ...)
Searches (for implementation, for references, ...)
Code refactoring (global reference update, ...)
Plugin-based architecture (ability to build tools that integrate seamlessly with the environment, and some other tools)
...
More info: Eclipse (http://www.eclipse.org/) and Plugincentral (http://www.eclipseplugincentral.com/).
NetBeans
The NetBeans IDE is a Free and Open Source IDE for software developers. The IDE runs on many platforms including Windows, GNU/Linux,
Solaris and Mac OS X. It is easy to install and use straight out of the box. You can easily create Java applications for mobile devices using
Mobility Pack in NetBeans. With Netbeans 6.0, the IDE has become one of the most preferred development tools, whether it be designing a
Swing UI, building a mobile application, an enterprise application or using it as a platform for creating your own IDE.
More info: netbeans.org (http://www.netbeans.org/products/ide/)
NetBeans on GNU/Linux
JCreator
JCreator is a simple and lightweight JAVA IDE from XINOX Software. It runs only on Windows platforms. It is very easy to install and starts quickly, as it is a native application.
This is a good choice for beginners.
More info: http://www.apcomputerscience.com/ide/jcreator/index.htm or JCreator (http://www.jcreator.com/)
Processing
Processing is an enhanced IDE. It adds some extra commands and a simplified programming model. This makes it much easier for beginners to start programming in Java. It was
designed to help graphic artists learn a bit of programming without struggling too much. Processing runs on Windows, GNU/Linux and Mac OS X platforms.
More info: Processing (http://www.processing.org).
BlueJ
BlueJ is an IDE that includes templates and will compile and run the applications for you. BlueJ is often used by classes because it is not necessary to set classpaths. BlueJ has its
own sets of libraries and you can add your own under preferences. That sets the classpath for all compilations that come out of it to include those you have added and the BlueJ
libraries.
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BlueJ offers an interesting GUI for creation of packages and programs. Classes are represented as boxes with arrows running between them to
represent inheritance/implementation or if on is constructed in another. BlueJ adds all those classes (the project) into the classpath at compile
time.
More info: BlueJ Homesite (http://www.bluej.org)
Kawa
Kawa is basically a Java editor developed by Tek-Tools. It does not include wizards and GUI tools, best suited to experienced Java programmers
in small and midsized development teams. It looks that there is no new development for Kawa.
BlueJ on Mac OS X
See also a javaworld article (http://www.javaworld.com/javaworld/jw-06-2000/jw-0602-iw-kawa.html)
JBuilder
JBuilder is an IDE with proprietary source code, sold by Embarcadero Technologies. One of the advantages is the integration with Together, a modeling tool.
More info: Embarcadero (http://www.embarcadero.com/).
DrJava
DrJava is an IDE developed by the JavaPLT group at Rice University. It is designed for students.
For more information see DrJava (http://www.drjava.org).
Other IDEs
Geany
IntelliJ IDEA
JDeveloper
jGRASP
jEdit
MyEclipse
Visual Café
Gel (http://www.gexperts.com/products/gel/download.php)
JIPE (http://jipe.sourceforge.net/)
Zeus (http://www.zeusedit.com/java.html)
setu IDE (http://www.setuide.net84.net)
Language Fundamentals
The previous chapter "Getting started" was a primer course in the basics of understanding how Java programming works. Throughout the chapter, we tackled a variety of concepts
that included:
Objects and class definitions;
Abstract and data types;
Properties;
Methods;
Class-level and method-level scopes;
Keywords; and,
Access modifiers, etc.
From this point on, we will be looking into the above mentioned concepts and many more in finer detail with a deeper and richer understanding of how each one of them works.
This chapter on Language fundamentals introduces the fundamental elements of the Java programming language in detail. The discussions in this chapter will use the concepts we
have already gathered from our previous discussions and build upon them in a progressive manner.
The Java programming syntax
In linguistics, the word syntax (which comes from Ancient Greek σύνταξις where σύν [syn] means "together", and τάξις [táxis] means "an ordering") refers to "the process of
arranging things". It defines the principles and rules for constructing phrases and sentences in natural languages.
When learning a new language, the first step one must take is to learn its programming syntax. Programming syntax is to programming languages what grammar is to spoken
languages. Therefore, in order to create effective code in the Java programming language, we need to learn its syntax — its principles and rules for constructing valid code
statements and expressions.
Java uses a syntax similar to the C programming language and therefore if one learns the Java programming syntax, they automatically would be able to read and write programs in
similar languages — C, C++ and C#
The next step one must take when learning a new language is to learn its keywords; by combining the knowledge of keywords with an understanding of syntax rules, one can create
statements, Programming Blocks, Classes, Interfaces, et al.
Use packages to avoid name collisions. To hide as much information as possible use the access modifiers properly.
Create methods that do one and if possible only one thing/task. If possible have separate method that changes the object state.
In an object oriented language, programs are run with objects; however, for ease of use and for historic reasons, Java has primitive types. Primitive Data Types only store values and
have no methods. Primitive Types may be thought of as Raw Data and are usually embedded attributes inside objects or used as local variables in methods. Because primitive types
are not subclasses of the object superclass, each type has a Wrapper Class which is a subclass of Object, and can thus be stored in a collection or returned as an object.
Java is a strong type checking language. There are two concepts regarding types and objects. One is the object type and the other the template/class the object was created from.
When an object is created, the template/class is assigned to that object which can not be changed. Types of an object however can be changed by type casting. Types of an object is
associated with the object reference that referencing the object and determines what operation can be performed on the object through that object reference. Assigning the value of
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one object reference to a different type of object reference is called type casting.
The most often used data structure in any language is a character string. For this reason java defines a special object that is String.
To aggregate same type java objects to an array, java has a special array object for that. Both java objects and primitive types can be aggregated to arrays.
Statements
Now, that we have the Java platform on our systems and have run the first program successfully, we are geared towards understanding how programs are actually made. As we have
already discussed, a program is a set of instructions, which are tasks provided to a computer. These instructions are called statements in Java. Statements can be anything from a
single line of code to a complex mathematical equation. Consider the following line:
Code section 3.1: A simple assignment statement.
1 int age = 24;
This line is a simple instruction that tells the system to initialize a variable and set its value as 24. If the above statement was the only one in the program, it would look similar to
this:
Code listing 3.1: A statement in a simple class.
1 public class MyProgram {
2
public static void main(String[] args) {
3
int age = 24;
4
}
5 }
Java places its statements within a class declaration and, in the class declaration, the statements are usually placed in the method declaration, as above.
Variable declaration statement
The simplest statement is a variable declaration:
Code section 3.2: A simple declaration statement.
1 int age;
It defines a variable that can be used to store values for later use. The first token is the data type of the variable (which type of values this variable can store). The second token is
the name of the variable, by which you will be referring to it. Then each declaration statement is ended by a semicolon (;).
Assignment statements
Up until now, we've assumed the creation of variables as a single statement. In essence, we assign a value to those variables, and that's just what it is called. When you assign a value
to a variable in a statement, that statement is called an assignment statement (also called an initialization statement). Did you notice one more thing? It's the semicolon (;), which is
at the end of each statement. A clear indicator that a line of code is a statement is its termination with an ending semicolon. If one was to write multiple statements, it is usually done
on each separate line ending with a semicolon. Consider the example below:
Code section 3.3: Multiple assignment statements.
1 int a = 10;
2 int b = 20;
3 int c = 30;
You do not necessarily have to use a new line to write each statement. Just like English, you can begin writing the next statement where you ended the first one as depicted below:
Code section 3.4: Multiple assignment statements on the same line.
1 int a = 10; int b = 20; int c = 30;
However, the only problem with putting multiple statements on one line is, it's very difficult to read it. It doesn't look that intimidating at first, but once you've got a significant
amount of code, it's usually better to organize it in a way that makes sense. It would look more complex and incomprehensible written as it is in Listing 3.4.
Now that we have looked into the anatomy of a simple assignment statement, we can look back at what we've achieved. We know that...
A statement is a unit of code in programming.
If we are assigning a variable a value, the statement is called an assignment statement.
An assignment statement includes three parts: a data type, the variable name (also called the identifier) and the value of a variable. We will look more into the nature of
identifiers and values in the section Variables later.
Now, before we move on to the next topic, you need to try and understand what the code below does.
Code section 3.5: Multiple assignment statements with expressions.
1
2
3
4
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int firstNumber = 10;
int secondNumber = 20;
int result = firstNumber + secondNumber;
secondNumber = 30;
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The first two statements are pretty much similar to those in Section 3.3 but with different variable names. The third however is a bit interesting. We've already talked of variables as
being similar to gift boxes. Think of your computer's memory as a shelf where you put all those boxes. Whenever you need a box (or variable), you call its identifier (that's the name
of the variable). So calling the variable identifier firstNumber gives you the number 10, calling secondNumber would give you 20 hence when you add the two up, the answer
should be 30. That's what the value of the last variable result would be. The part of the third statement where you add the numbers, i.e., firstNumber + secondNumber is called
an expression and the expression is what decides what the value is to be. If it's just a plain value, like in the first two statements, then it's called a literal (the value is literally the
value, hence the name literal).
Note that after the assignment to result its value will not be changed if we assign different values to firstNumber or secondNumber, like in line 4.
With the information you have just attained, you can actually write a decent Java program that can sum up values.
Assertion
An assertion checks if a condition is true:
Code section 3.6: A return statement.
1
2
3
4
public int getAge() {
assert age >= 0;
return age;
}
Each assert statement is ended by a semi-colon (;). However, assertions are disabled by default, so you must run the program with the -ea argument in order for assertions to be
enabled (java -ea [name of compiled program]).
Program Control Flow
Statements are evaluated in the order as they occur. The execution of flow begins at the top most statement and proceed downwards till the last statement is encountered. A
statement can be substituted by a statement block. There are special statements that can redirect the execution flow based on a condition, those statements are called branching
statements, described in detail in a later section.
Statement Blocks
A bunch of statements can be placed in braces to be executed as a single block. Such a block of statement can be named or be provided a condition for execution. Below is how
you'd place a series of statements in a block.
Code section 3.7: A statement block.
1 {
2
3
4
5 }
int a = 10;
int b = 20;
int result = a + b;
Branching Statements
Program flow can be affected using function/method calls, loops and iterations. Of various types of branching constructs, we can easily pick out two generic branching methods.
Unconditional Branching
Conditional Branching
Unconditional Branching Statements
If you look closely at a method, you'll see that a method is a named statement block that is executed by calling that particular name. An unconditional branch is created either by
invoking the method or by calling break, continue, return or throw, all of which are described below.
When a name of a method is encountered in a flow, it stops execution in the current method and branches to the newly called method. After returning a value from the called
method, execution picks up at the original method on the line below the method call.
Code listing 3.8: UnconditionalBranching.java
Output provided with the screen of information running the above
code.
1 public class UnconditionalBranching {
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11 }
public static void main(String[] args) {
System.out.println("Inside main method! Invoking aMethod!");
aMethod();
System.out.println("Back in main method!");
Inside main method! Invoking aMethod!
Inside aMethod!
Back in main method!
}
public static void aMethod() {
System.out.println("Inside aMethod!");
}
The program flow begins in the main method. Just as aMethod is invoked, the flow travels to the called method. At this very point, the flow branches to the other method. Once the
method is completed, the flow is returned to the point it left off and resumes at the next statement after the call to the method.
Return statement
A return statement exits from a block, so it is often the last statement of a method:
Code section 3.9: A return statement.
1
2
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public int getAge() {
int age = 24;
return age;
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3 4
}
A return statement can return the content of a variable or nothing. Beware not to write statements after a return statement which would not be executed! Each return statement is
ended by a semi-colon (;).
Conditional Branching Statements
Conditional branching is attained with the help of the if...else and switch statements. A conditional branch occurs only if a certain condition expression evaluates to true.
Conditional Statements
Also referred to as if statements, these allow a program to perform a test and then take action based on the result of that test.
The form of the if statement:
if (condition) {
do statements here if condition is true
} else {
do statements here if condition is false
}
The condition is a boolean expression which can be either true or false. The actions performed will depend on the value of the condition.
Example:
Code section 3.10: An if statement.
1 if (i > 0) {
System.out.println("value stored in i is greater than zero");
2
3 } else {
System.out.println("value stored is not greater than zero");
4
5 }
If statements can also be made more complex using the else if combination:
if (condition 1) {
do statements here if condition 1 is true
} else if (condition 2) {
do statements here if condition 1 is false and condition 2 is true
} else {
do statements here if neither condition 1 nor condition 2 is true
}
Example:
Code section 3.11: An if/else if/else statement.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
if (i > 0) {
System.out.println("value stored in i is greater than zero");
} else if (i < 0) {
System.out.println("value stored in i is less than zero");
} else {
System.out.println("value stored is equal to 0");
}
If there is only one statement to be executed after the condition, as in the above example, it is possible to omit the curly braces, however Oracle's Java Code Conventions
(http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/index.html#449) explicitly state that the braces should always be used.
There is no looping involved in an if statement so once the condition has been evaluated the program will continue with the next instruction after the statement.
If...else statements
The if ... else statement is used to conditionally execute one of two blocks of statements, depending on the result of a boolean condition.
Example:
Code section 3.12: An if/else statement.
1 if (list == null) {
2
// This block of statements executes if the condition is true.
3 } else {
4
// This block of statements executes if the condition is false.
5 }
Oracle's Java Code Conventions (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/index.html#449) recommend that the braces should always be used.
An if statement has two forms:
if (boolean-condition)
statement 1
and
if (boolean-condition)
statement 1
else
statement 2
Use the second form if you have different statements to execute if the boolean-condition is true or if it is false. Use the first if you only wish to execute statement1 if the condition is
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true and you do not wish to execute alternate statements if the condition is false.
The code section 3.13 calls two int methods, f() and y(), stores the results, then uses an if statement to test if x is less than y and if it is, the statement1 body will swap the
values. The end result is x always contains the larger result and y always contains the smaller result.
Code section 3.13: Value swap.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
int x
int y
if (x
int
x =
y =
}
= f();
= y();
< y) {
z = x;
y;
z;
if...else statements also allow for the use of another statement, else if. This statement is used to provide another if statement to the conditional that can only be executed if the
others are not true. For example:
Code section 3.14: Multiple branching.
1 if (x == 2)
2
x = 4;
3 else if (x == 3)
x = 6;
4
5 else
x = -1;
6
The else if statement is useful in this case because if one of the conditionals is true, the other must be false. Keep in mind that if one is true, the other will not execute. For
example, if the statement at line 2 contained in the first conditional were changed to x = 3;, the second conditional, the else if, would still not execute. However, when dealing
with primitive types in conditional statements, it is more desirable to use switch statements rather than multiple else if statements.
Switch statements
The switch conditional statement is basically a shorthand version of writing many if...else statements. The syntax for switch statements is as follows:
switch(<variable>) {
case <result>: <statements>; break;
case <result>: <statements>; break;
default: <statements>; break;
}
This means that if the variable included equals one of the case results, the statements following that case, until the word break will run. The default case executes if none of the
others are true. Note: the only types that can be analysed through switch statements are char, byte, short, or int primitive types. This means that Object variables can not by
analyzed through switch statements. However, as of the JDK 7 release, you can use a String object in the expression of a switch statement.
Code section 3.15: A switch.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
int n = 2, x;
switch (n) {
case 1: x =
break;
case 2: x =
break;
case 3: x =
break;
case 4: x =
break;
}
return x;
2;
4;
6;
8;
In this example, since the integer variable n is equal to 2, case 2 will execute, make x equal to 4. Thus, 4 is returned by the method.
Iteration Statements
Iteration Statements are statements that are used to iterate a block of statements. Such statements are often referred to as loops. Java offers four kinds of iterative statements.
The while loop
The do...while loop
The for loop
The foreach loop
The while loop
The while loop iterates a block of code while the condition it specifies is true.
The syntax for the loop is:
while (condition) {
statement;
}
Here the condition is an expression. An expression as discussed earlier is any statement that returns a value. While condition statements evaluate to a boolean value, that is, either
true or false. As long as the condition is true, the loop will iterate the block of code over and over and again. Once the condition evaluates to false, the loop exits to the next
statement outside the loop.
The do...while loop
The do-while loop is functionally similar to the while loop, except the condition is evaluated AFTER the statement executes
do {
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statement;
} while (condition);
The for loop
The for loop is a specialized while loop whose syntax is designed for easy iteration through a sequence of numbers. Example:
Code section 3.16: A for loop.
1 for (int i = 0; i < 100; i++) {
2
System.out.println(i + "\t" + i * i);
3 }
Output for code listing 3.16 if you compile and run the statement above.
0
0
1
2
1
4
3
9
...
99
9801
The program prints the numbers 0 to 99 and their squares.
The same statement in a while loop:
Code section 3.17: An alternative version.
1 int i = 0;
2 while (i < 100) {
3
System.out.println(i + "\t" + i * i);
4
i++;
5 }
The foreach loop
The foreach statement allows you to iterate through all the items in a collection, examining each item in turn while still preserving its type. The syntax for the foreach statement is:
for (type item : collection) statement;
For an example, we'll take an array of Strings denoting days in a week and traverse through the collection, examining one item at a time.
Code section 3.18: A foreach loop.
Output for code listing 3.18
1 String[] days = {"Monday", "Tuesday", "Wednesday", "Thursday", "Friday", "Saturday", "Sunday"};
2
3 for (String day : days) {
4
System.out.println(day);
5 }
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday
Sunday
Notice that the loop automatically exits after the last item in the collection has been examined in the statement block.
Although the enhanced for loop can make code much clearer, it can't be used in some common situations.
Only access. Elements can not be assigned to, eg, not to increment each element in a collection.
Only single structure. It's not possible to traverse two structures at once, eg, to compare two arrays.
Only single element. Use only for single element access, eg, not to compare successive elements.
Only forward. It's possible to iterate only forward by single steps.
At least Java 5. Don't use it if you need compatibility with versions before Java 5.
The continue and break statements
At times, you would like to re-iterate a loop without executing the remaining statement within the loop. The continue statement causes the loop to re-iterate and start over from the
top most statement inside the loop.
Where there is an ability to re-iterate the loop, there is an ability to exit the loop when required. At any given moment, if you'd like to exit a loop and end all further work within the
loop, the break ought to be used.
The continue and break statements can be used with a label like follows:
Code section 3.19: Using a label.
1 String s = "A test string for the switch!\nLine two of test string...";
2 outer: for (int i = 0; i < s.length(); i++) {
3
switch (s.charAt(i)) {
4
case '\n': break outer;
5
case ' ': break;
6
default: System.out.print(s.charAt(i));
7
}
8 }
Output for code listing 3.19
Ateststringfortheswitch!
Throw statement
A throw statement exit from a method and so on and so on or it is caught by a try/catch block. It does not return a variable but an exception:
Code section 3.20: A return statement.
public int getAge() {
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1 2
3
throw new NullPointerException
}
Beware not to write statements after a throw statement which would not be executed too! Each throw statement is ended by a semi-colon (;).
try/catch
A try/catch must at least contain the try block and the catch block:
Code section 3.21: try/catch block.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
try {
// Some code
} catch (Exception e) {
// Optional exception handling
} finally {
// This code is executed no matter what
}
Test your knowledge
Question 3.1: How many statements are there in this class?
Code listing 3.2: AProgram.java
1 public class AProgram {
2
3
private int age = 24;
4
5
public static void main(String[] args) {
6
int daysInAYear = 365;int ageInDay = 100000;
7
8
int localAge = ageInDay / daysInAYear;
}
9
10
11
public int getAge() {
return age;
12
13 }
}
Answer
5
One statement at line 3, two statements at line 6, one statement at line 7 and one statement at line 11.
Conditional blocks
Conditional blocks allow a program to take a different path depending on some condition(s). These allow a program to perform a test and then take action based on the result of that
test. In the code sections, the actually executed code lines will be highlighted.
If
The if block executes only if the boolean expression associated with it is true. The structure of an if block is as follows:
if (boolean expression1) {
statement1
statement2
...
statementn
}
Here is a double example to illustrate what happens if the condition is true and if the condition is false:
Code section 3.22: Two if blocks.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
int age = 6;
System.out.println("Hello!");
if (age < 13) {
System.out.println("I'm a child.");
}
Output for Code section 3.22
Hello!
I'm a child
Bye!
if (age > 20) {
System.out.println("I'm an adult.");
}
System.out.println("Bye!");
If only one statement is to be executed after an if block, it does not have to be enclosed in curly braces. For example, if (i == 0) i = 1; is a perfectly valid portion of
Java code. This works for most control structures, such as else and while. However Oracle's Java Code Conventions (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork
/java/index.html#449) explicitly state that the braces should always be used.
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If/else
The if block may optionally be followed by an else block which will execute if that boolean expression is false. The structure of an if block is as follows:
if (boolean expression1) {
statement1
statement2
...
statementn
} else {
statement1bis
statement2bis
...
statementnbis
}
If/else-if/else
An else-if block may be used when multiple conditions need to be checked. else-if statements come after the if block, but before the else block. The structure of an if block
is as follows:
if (boolean expression1) {
statement1.1
statement1.2
...
statementn
} else if (boolean expression2) {
statement2.1
statement2.2
...
statement2.n
} else {
statement3.1
statement3.2
...
statement3.n
}
Here is an example to illustrate:
Code listing 3.3: MyConditionalProgram.java
1 public class MyConditionalProgram {
2
public static void main (String[] args) {
3
int a = 5;
4
5
6
Output for code listing 3.3
a is positive
if (a > 0) {
// a is greater than 0, so this statement will execute
System.out.println("a is positive");
7
8
9
10
} else if (a >= 0) {
// a case has already executed, so this statement will NOT execute
System.out.println("a is positive or zero");
} else {
11
12
13
// a case has already executed, so this statement will NOT execute
System.out.println("a is negative");
}
14
15 }
}
Keep in mind that only a single block will execute, and it will be the first true condition.
All the conditions are evaluated when if is reached, no matter what the result of the condition is, after the execution of the if block:
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Code section 3.23: A new value for the variable a.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
int a = 5;
if (a > 0) {
// a is greater than 0, so this statement will execute
System.out.println("a is positive");
a = -5;
} else if (a < 0) {
// a WAS greater than 0, so this statement will not execute
System.out.println("a is negative");
} else {
// a does not equal 0, so this statement will not execute
System.out.println("a is zero");
Output for code section 3.23
a is positive
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12 }
Conditional expressions
Conditional expressions use the compound ?: operator. Syntax:
boolean expression1 ? expression1 : expression2
This evaluates boolean expression1, and if it is true then the conditional expression has the value of expression1; otherwise the conditional expression has the value of
expression 2.
Example:
Code section 3.24: Conditional expressions.
1 String answer = (p < 0.05)? "reject" : "keep";
This is equivalent to the following code fragment:
Code section 3.25: Equivalent code.
1
2
3
4
5
6
String answer;
if (p < 0.05) {
answer = "reject";
} else {
answer = "keep";
}
Switch
The switch conditional statement is basically a shorthand version of writing many if...else statements. The switch block evaluates a char, byte, short, or int (or enum, starting
in J2SE 5.0; or String, starting in J2SE 7.0), and, based on the value provided, jumps to a specific case within the switch block and executes code until the break command is
encountered or the end of the block. If the switch value does not match any of the case values, execution will jump to the optional default case.
The structure of a switch statement is as follows:
switch (int1 or char1 or short1 or byte1 or enum1 or String value1) {
case case value1:
statement1.1
...
statement1.n
break;
case case value2:
statement2.1
...
statement2.n
break;
default:
statementn.1
...
statementn.n
}
Here is an example to illustrate:
Code section 3.26: A switch block.
1 int i = 3;
2 switch(i) {
3
case 1:
4
// i doesn't equal 1, so this code won't execute
5
System.out.println("i equals 1");
6
break;
7
case 2:
8
// i doesn't equal 2, so this code won't execute
9
System.out.println("i equals 2");
10
break;
11
default:
12
// i has not been handled so far, so this code will execute
13
System.out.println("i equals something other than 1 or 2");
14 }
Output for code section 3.26
i equals something other than 1 or 2
If a case does not end with the break statement, then the next case will be checked, otherwise the execution will jump to the end of the switch statement.
Look at this example to see how it's done:
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Code section 3.27: A switch block containing a case without break.
1 int i = -1;
2 switch(i) {
case -1:
3
case 1:
4
// i is -1, so it will fall through to this case and execute this code
5
System.out.println("i is 1 or -1");
6
break;
Output for code section 3.27
i is 1 or -1
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7 8
9
10
11 }
case 0:
// The break command is used before this case, so if i is 1 or -1, this will not execute
System.out.println("i is 0");
Starting in J2SE 5.0, the switch statement can also be used with an enum value instead of an integer.
Though enums have not been covered yet, here is an example so you can see how it's done (note that the enum constants in the cases do not need to be qualified with the type:
Code section 3.28: A switch block with an enum type.
Output for code section 3.28
1 Day day = Day.MONDAY; // Day is a fictional enum type containing the days of the week
2 switch(day) {
3
case MONDAY:
4
// Since day == Day.MONDAY, this statement will execute
5
System.out.println("Mondays are the worst!");
6
break;
7
case TUESDAY:
8
case WEDNESDAY:
9
case THURSDAY:
10
System.out.println("Weekdays are so-so.");
11
break;
12
case FRIDAY:
13
case SATURDAY:
14
case SUNDAY:
15
System.out.println("Weekends are the best!");
16
break;
17 }
Mondays are the worst!
Starting in J2SE 7.0, the switch statement can also be used with an String value instead of an integer.
Code section 3.29: A switch block with a String type.
Output for code section 3.29
1 String day = "Monday";
2 switch(day) {
3
case "Monday":
4
// Since day == "Monday", this statement will execute
5
System.out.println("Mondays are the worst!");
6
break;
7
case "Tuesday":
8
case "Wednesday":
9
case "Thursday":
10
System.out.println("Weekdays are so-so.");
11
break;
12
case "Friday":
13
case "Saturday":
14
case "Sunday":
15
System.out.println("Weekends are the best!");
16
break;
17
default:
18
throw new IllegalArgumentException("Invalid day of the week: " + day);
19 }
Mondays are the worst!
Loop blocks
Loops are a handy tool that enables programmers to do repetitive tasks with minimal effort. Say we want a program that can count from 1 to 10, we could write the following
program.
Code listing 3.4: Count.java
Output for code listing 3.4
1 class Count {
1
2
3
2
3
4
5
public static void main(String[] args) {
System.out.println('1 ');
System.out.println('2 ');
System.out.println('3 ');
4
5
6
7
8
System.out.println('4 ');
System.out.println('5 ');
System.out.println('6 ');
6
7
8
9
10
11
System.out.println('7 ');
System.out.println('8 ');
System.out.println('9 ');
9
10
12
13
14 }
System.out.println('10 ');
}
The task will be completed just fine, the numbers 1 to 10 will be printed in the output, but there are a few problems with this solution:
Flexibility: what if we wanted to change the start number or end number? We would have to go through and change them, adding extra lines of code where they're needed.
Scalability: 10 repeats are trivial, but what if we wanted 100 or even 1000 repeats? The number of lines of code needed would be overwhelming for a large number of
iterations.
Maintenance: where there is a large amount of code, one is more likely to make a mistake.
Feature: the number of tasks is fixed and doesn't change at each execution.
Using loops we can solve all these problems. Once you get you head around them they will be invaluable to solving many problems in programming.
Open up your editing program and create a new file saved as Loop.java. Now type or copy the following code:
Code listing 3.5: Loop.java
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Output for code listing 3.5
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1 class Loop {
public static void main(String[] args) {
2
1
2
3
int i;
3
4
5
for (i = 1; i <= 10; i++) {
4
6
}
7
System.out.println(i + ' ');
5
6
}
7
8 }
8
9
10
If we run the program, the same result is produced, but looking at the code, we immediately see the advantages of loops. Instead of executing 10 different lines of code, line 5
executes ten times. 10 lines of code have been reduced to just 4. Furthermore, we may change the number 10 to any number we like. Try it yourself, replace the 10 with your own
number.
While
while
loops are the simplest form of loop. The while loop repeats a block of code while the specified condition is true. Here is the structure of a while loop:
while (boolean expression1) {
statement1
statement2
...
statementn
}
The loop's condition is checked before each iteration of the loop. If the condition is false at the start of the loop, the loop will not be executed at all. The code section 3.28 sets in
squareHigherThan200 the smallest integer whose square exceeds 200.
Code section 3.28: The smallest integer whose square exceeds 200.
1 int squareHigherThan200 = 0;
2
3 while (squareHigherThan200 * squareHigherThan200 < 200) {
squareHigherThan200 = squareHigherThan200 + 1;
4
5 }
If a loop's condition will never become false, such as if the true constant is used for the condition, said loop is known as an infinite loop. Such a loop will repeat
indefinitely unless it is broken out of. Infinite loops can be used to perform tasks that need to be repeated over and over again without a definite stopping point, such as
updating a graphics display.
Do... while
The do-while loop is functionally similar to the while loop, except the condition is evaluated AFTER the statement executes It is useful when we try to find a data that does the job
by randomly browsing an amount of data.
do {
statement1
statement2
...
statementn
} while (boolean expression1);
For
The for loop is a specialized while loop whose syntax is designed for easy iteration through a sequence of numbers. It consists of the keyword for followed by three extra
statements enclosed in parentheses. The first statement is the variable declaration statement, which allows you to declare one or more integer variables. The second is the condition,
which is checked the same way as the while loop. Last is the iteration statement, which is used to increment or decrement variables, though any statement is allowed.
This is the structure of a for loop:
for (variable declarations; condition; iteration statement) {
statement1
statement2
...
statementn
}
To clarify how a for loop is used, here is an example:
Code section 3.29: A for loop.
1 for (int i = 1; i <= 10; i++) {
System.out.println(i);
2
3 }
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Output for code listing 3.29
1
2
3
4
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5
6
7
8
9
10
The for loop is like a template version of the while loop. The alternative code using a while loop would be as follows:
Code section 3.30: An iteration using a while loop.
1 int i = 1;
2 while (i <= 10) {
3
System.out.println(i);
4
i++;
5 }
The code section 3.31 shows how to iterate with the for loop using multiple variables and the code section 3.32 shows how any of the parameters of a for loop can be skipped.
Skip them all, and you have an infinitely repeating loop.
Code section 3.31: The for loop using multiple variables.
Code section 3.32: The for loop without parameter.
1 for (int i = 1, j = 10; i <= 10; i++, j--) {
2
System.out.print(i + " ");
System.out.println(j);
3
4 }
1 for (;;) {
// Some code
2
3 }
For-each
Arrays haven't been covered yet, but you'll want to know how to use the enhanced for loop, called the for-each loop. The for-each loop automatically iterates through a list or
array and assigns the value of each index to a variable.
To understand the structure of a for-each loop, look at the following example:
Code section 3.33: A for-each loop.
Output for code section 3.33
1 String[] sentence = {"I", "am", "a", "Java", "program."};
2 for (String word : sentence) {
System.out.print(word + " ");
3
4 }
I am a Java program.
The example iterates through an array of words and prints them out like a sentence. What the loop does is iterate through sentence and assign the value of each index to word, then
execute the code block.
Here is the general contract of the for-each loop:
for (variable declaration : array or list) {
statement1
statement2
...
statementn
}
Make sure that the type of the array or list is assignable to the declared variable, or you will get a compilation error. Notice that the loop automatically exits after the last item in the
collection has been examined in the statement block.
Although the enhanced for loop can make code much clearer, it can't be used in some common situations.
Only access. Elements can not be assigned to, eg, not to increment each element in a collection.
Only single structure. It's not possible to traverse two structures at once, eg, to compare two arrays.
Only single element. Use only for single element access, eg, not to compare successive elements.
Only forward. It's possible to iterate only forward by single steps.
At least Java 5. Don't use it if you need compatibility with versions before Java 5.
Break and continue keywords
The break keyword exits a flow control loop, such as a for loop. It basically breaks the loop.
In the code section 3.34, the loop would print out all the numbers from 1 to 10, but we have a check for when i equals 5. When the loop reaches its fifth iteration, it will be cut short
by the break statement, at which point it will exit the loop.
Code section 3.34: An interrupted for loop.
1 for (int i = 1; i <= 10; i++) {
System.out.println(i);
2
if (i == 5) {
3
System.out.println("STOP!");
4
break;
5
}
6
7 }
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Output for code section 3.34
1
2
3
4
5
STOP!
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The continue keyword jumps straight to the next iteration of a loop and evaluates the boolean expression controlling the loop. The code section 3.35 is an example of the
continue statement in action:
Code section 3.35: A for loop with a skipped iteration.
1 for (int i = 1; i <= 10; i++) {
2
if (i == 5) {
3
System.out.println("Caught i == 5");
4
continue;
5
}
6
System.out.println(i);
7 }
Output for code section 3.35
1
2
3
4
Caught i == 5
6
7
8
9
10
As the break and continue statements reduce the readability of the code, it is recommended to reduce their use or replace them with the use of if and while blocks. Some IDE
refactoring operations will fail because of such statements.
Test your knowledge
Question 3.2: Consider the following code:
Question 3.2: Loops and conditions.
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int numberOfItems = 5;
int currentItems = 0;
int currentCandidate = 1;
while (currentItems < numberOfItems) {
currentCandidate = currentCandidate + 1;
System.out.println("Test with integer: " + currentCandidate);
boolean found = true;
for (int i = currentCandidate - 1; i > 1; i--) {
// Test if i is a divisor of currentCandidate
if ((currentCandidate % i) == 0) {
System.out.println("Not matching...");
found = false;
break;
}
}
if (found) {
System.out.println("Matching!");
currentItems = currentItems + 1;
}
}
System.out.println("Find the value: " + currentCandidate);
What will be printed in the standard output?
Answer
Output for Question 3.2
Test with integer: 2
Matching!
Test with integer: 3
Matching!
Test with integer: 4
Not matching...
Test with integer: 5
Matching!
Test with integer: 6
Not matching...
Test with integer: 7
Matching!
Test with integer: 8
Not matching...
Test with integer: 9
Not matching...
Test with integer: 10
Not matching...
Test with integer: 11
Matching!
Find the value: 11
The snippet is searching the 5th prime number, that is to say: 11. It iterates on each positive integer from 2 (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11...), among them, it counts the prime
numbers (2, 3, 5, 7, 11) and it stops at the 5th one.
So the snippet first iterates on each positive integer from 2 using the while loop:
Answer 3.2.1: while loop.
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10
11
int numberOfItems = 5;
int currentItems = 0;
int currentCandidate = 1;
while (currentItems < numberOfItems) {
currentCandidate = currentCandidate + 1;
System.out.println("Test with integer: " + currentCandidate
boolean found = true;
for (int i = currentCandidate - 1; i > 1; i--) {
// Test if i is a divisor of currentCandidate
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12 13
if ((currentCandidate % i) == 0) {
14
System.out.println("Not matching...");
15
found = false;
16
break;
17
}
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19
}
20
if (found) {
21
System.out.println("Matching!");
22
23
currentItems = currentItems + 1;
24
}
25 }
26
27 System.out.println("Find the value: " + currentCandidate);
For each iteration, the current number is either a prime number or not. If it is a prime number, the code at the left will be executed. If it is not a prime number, the code at the
right will be executed.
Answer 3.2.2: A prime number.
Answer 3.2.3: Not a prime number.
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int numberOfItems = 5;
int currentItems = 0;
int currentCandidate = 1;
while (currentItems < numberOfItems) {
currentCandidate = currentCandidate + 1;
System.out.println("Test with integer: " + currentCandidate
boolean found = true;
for (int i = currentCandidate - 1; i > 1; i--) {
// Test if i is a divisor of currentCandidate
if ((currentCandidate % i) == 0) {
System.out.println("Not matching...");
found = false;
break;
}
}
if (found) {
System.out.println("Matching!");
currentItems = currentItems + 1;
}
}
System.out.println("Find the value: " + currentCandidate);
int numberOfItems = 5;
int currentItems = 0;
int currentCandidate = 1;
while (currentItems < numberOfItems) {
currentCandidate = currentCandidate + 1;
System.out.println("Test with integer: " + currentCandidate
boolean found = true;
for (int i = currentCandidate - 1; i > 1; i--) {
// Test if i is a divisor of currentCandidate
if ((currentCandidate % i) == 0) {
System.out.println("Not matching...");
found = false;
break;
}
}
if (found) {
System.out.println("Matching!");
currentItems = currentItems + 1;
}
}
System.out.println("Find the value: " + currentCandidate);
The prime numbers are counted using currentItems. When currentItems is equal to numberOfItems (5), the program go out of the while loop. currentCandidate
contains the last number, that is to say the 5th prime number:
Answer 3.2.4: End of the program.
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int numberOfItems = 5;
int currentItems = 0;
int currentCandidate = 1;
while (currentItems < numberOfItems) {
currentCandidate = currentCandidate + 1;
System.out.println("Test with integer: " + currentCandidate);
boolean found = true;
for (int i = currentCandidate - 1; i > 1; i--) {
// Test if i is a divisor of currentCandidate
if ((currentCandidate % i) == 0) {
System.out.println("Not matching...");
found = false;
break;
}
}
if (found) {
System.out.println("Matching!");
currentItems = currentItems + 1;
}
}
System.out.println("Find the value: " + currentCandidate);
Labels
Labels can be used to give a name to a loop. The reason to do this is so we can break out of or continue with upper-level loops from a nested loop.
Here is how to label a loop:
label name:loop
To break out of or continue with a loop, use the break or continue keyword followed by the name of the loop.
For example:
Code section 3.36: A double for loop.
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int i, j;
int[][] nums = {
{1, 2, 5},
{6, 9, 7},
{8, 3, 4}
};
Output for code section 3.36
Found number 9 at (1, 1)
Outer:
for (i = 0; i < nums.length; i++) {
for (j = 0; j < nums[i].length; j++) {
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11
12
13
14
15
16 }
if (nums[i][j] == 9) {
System.out.println("Found number 9 at (" + i + ", " + j + ")");
break Outer;
}
}
You needn't worry if you don't understand all the code, but look at how the label is used to break out of the outer loop from the inner loop. However, as such a code is hard to read
and maintain, it is highly recommended not to use labels.
Try... catch blocks
See also Throwing and Catching Exceptions.
The try-catch blocks are used to catch any exceptions or other throwable objects within the code.
Here's what try-catch blocks looks like:
try {
statement1.1
statement1.2
...
statement1.n
} catch (exception1) {
statement2.1
...
statement2.n
}
The code listing 3.6 tries to print all the arguments that have been passed to the program. However, if there not enough arguments, it will throw an exception.
Code listing 3.6: Attempt.java
1 public class Attempt {
2
public static void main(String[] args) {
3
4
5
try {
System.out.println(args[0]);
System.out.println(args[1]);
6
7
8
System.out.println(args[3]);
} catch (ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException e) {
System.out.println(args[2]);
9
10
11
System.out.println("No enough arguments");
}
}
12 }
In addition to the try and catch blocks, a finally block may be present. The finally block is always executed, even if an exception is thrown. It may appear with or without a catch
block, but always with a try block.
Here is what a finally block looks like:
try {
statement1.1
statement1.2
...
statement1.n
} catch (exception1) {
statement2.1
...
statement2.n
} finally {
statement3.1
...
statement3.n
}
Examples
The code listing 3.7 recieves a number as parameter and print its binary representation.
Code listing 3.7: GetBinary.java
1 public class GetBinary {
public static void main(String[] args) {
2
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if (args.length == 0) {
// Print usage
System.out.println("Usage: java GetBinary <decimal integer>");
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System.exit(0);
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7
} else {
8
// Print arguments
9
System.out.println("Received " + args.length + " arguments.");
10
System.out.println("The arguments are:");
11
12
for (String arg : args) {
System.out.println("\t" + arg);
13
}
}
14
15
16
int number = 0;
17
String binary = "";
18
19
// Get the input number
try {
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number = Integer.parseInt(args[0]);
} catch (NumberFormatException ex) {
22
23
System.out.println("Error: argument must be a base-10 integer.");
24
System.exit(0);
25
26
}
27
// Convert to a binary string
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do {
switch (number % 2) {
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31
case 0: binary = '0' + binary; break;
case 1: binary = '1' + binary; break;
32
}
33
number >>= 1;
34
} while (number > 0);
35
36
37
38 }
System.out.println("The binary representation of " + args[0] + " is " + binary);
}
The code listing 3.8 is a simulation of playing a game called Lucky Sevens. It is a dice game where the player rolls two dice. If the numbers on the dice add up to seven, he wins $4.
If they do not, he loses $1. The game shows how to use control flow in a program as well as the fruitlessness of gambling.
Code listing 3.8: LuckySevens.java
1 import java.util.*;
2
3 public class LuckySevens {
4
5
6
public static void main(String[] args) {
Scanner in = new Scanner(System.in);
Random random = new Random();
7
8
9
String input;
int startingCash, cash, maxCash, rolls, roll;
10
// Loop until "quit" is input
11
12
while (true) {
System.out.print("Enter the amount of cash to start with (or \"quit\" to quit): ");
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input = in.nextLine();
16
// Check if user wants to exit
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if (input.toLowerCase().equals("quit")) {
System.out.println("\tGoodbye.");
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}
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25
try {
startingCash = Integer.parseInt(input);
} catch (NumberFormatException ex) {
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}
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// You have to start with some money!
if (startingCash <= 0) {
System.out.println("\tPlease enter a positive integer greater than 0.");
System.exit(0);
// Get number
System.out.println("\tPlease enter a positive integer greater than 0.");
continue;
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34
35
}
36
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38
cash = startingCash;
maxCash = cash;
rolls = 0;
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41
roll = 0;
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43
44
45
for (; cash > 0; rolls++) {
roll = random.nextInt(6) + 1;
roll += random.nextInt(6) + 1;
continue;
// Here is the game loop
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48
if (roll == 7)
cash += 4;
else
49
cash -= 1;
50
51
if (cash > maxCash)
maxCash = cash;
52
}
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System.out.println("\tYou start with $" + startingCash + ".\n"
+ "\tYou peak at $" + maxCash + ".\n"
+ "\tAfter " + rolls + " rolls, you run out of cash.");
}
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60 }
Boolean expressions
Boolean values are values that evaluate to either true or false, and are represented by the boolean data type. Boolean expressions are very similar to mathematical expressions,
but instead of using mathematical operators such as "+" or "-", you use comparative or boolean operators such as "==" or "!".
Comparative operators
Java has several operators that can be used to compare variables. For example, how would you tell if one variable has a greater value than another? The answer: use the
"greater-than" operator.
Here is a list of the comparative operators in Java:
: Greater than
: Less than
>= : Greater than or equal to
<= : Less than or equal to
== : Equal to
!= : Not equal to
>
<
To see how these operators are used, look at this example:
Code section 3.37: Comparisons.
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2
3
4
5
int a = 5, b = 3;
System.out.println(a
System.out.println(a
System.out.println(a
System.out.println(b
Output for code section 3.37
true
> b); // Value is true because a is greater than b
== b); // Value is false because a does not equal b
!= b); // Value is true because a does not equal b
<= a); // Value is true because b is less than a
false
true
true
Comparative operators can be used on any primitive types (except boolean), but only the "equals" and "does not equal" operators work on objects. This is because the
less-than/greater-than operators cannot be applied to objects, but the equivalency operators can.
Specifically, the == and != operators test whether both variables point to the same object. Objects will be covered later in the tutorial, in the "Classes, Objects, and Types"
module.
Boolean operators
The Java boolean operators are based on the operations of the boolean algebra. The boolean operators operate directly on boolean values.
Here is a list of four common boolean operators in Java:
: Boolean NOT
: Boolean AND
|| : Boolean inclusive OR
^ : Boolean exclusive XOR
!
&&
The boolean NOT operator ("!") inverts the value of a boolean expression. The boolean AND operator ("&&") will result in true if and only if the values on both sides of the
operator are true. The boolean inclusive OR operator ("||") will result in true if either or both of the values on the sides of the operator is true. The boolean exclusive XOR operator
("^") will result in true if one and only of the values on the sides of the operator is true.
To show how these operators are used, here is an example:
Code section 3.38: Operands.
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boolean
boolean
boolean
boolean
iMTrue = true;
iMTrueToo = true;
iMFalse = false;
iMFalseToo = false;
System.out.println("NOT operand:");
System.out.println(!iMTrue);
System.out.println(!iMFalse);
System.out.println(!(4 < 5));
System.out.println("AND operand:");
System.out.println(iMTrue && iMTrueToo);
System.out.println(iMFalse && iMFalseToo);
System.out.println(iMTrue && iMFalse);
System.out.println(iMTrue && !iMFalse);
System.out.println("OR operand:");
System.out.println(iMTrue || iMTrueToo);
System.out.println(iMFalse || iMFalseToo);
System.out.println(iMTrue || iMFalse);
System.out.println(iMFalse || !iMTrue);
System.out.println("XOR operand:");
System.out.println(iMTrue ^ iMTrueToo);
System.out.println(iMFalse ^ iMFalseToo);
System.out.println(iMTrue ^ iMFalse);
System.out.println(iMFalse ^ !iMTrue);
Output for code section 3.38
NOT operand:
false
true
false
AND operand:
true
false
false
true
OR operand:
true
false
true
false
XOR operand:
false
false
true
false
Here are the truth tables for the boolean operators:
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a
!a
true false
false true
a
b
a && b a || b a ^ b
true true true
true false
true false false
true true
false true false
true true
false false false
false false
For help on simplifying complex logic, see De Morgan's laws.
In Java, boolean logic has a useful property called short circuiting. This means that expressions will only be evaluated as far as necessary. In the expression (a && b), if a is false,
then b will not be evaluated because the expression will be false no matter what. Here is an example that shows that the second expression is not automatically checked:
Code section 3.39: Short circuiting.
1 System.out.println((4 < 5) || ((10 / 0) == 2));
Output for code section 3.39
true
To disable this property, you can use & instead of && and | instead of || but it's not recommended.
For the bitwise operations on & and |, see Arithmetic expressions.
Variables
In the Java programming language, the words field and variable are both one and the same thing. Variables are devices that are used to store data, such as a number, or a string of
character data.
Variables in Java programming
Java is considered as a strongly typed programming language. Thus all variables in the Java programming language ought to have a particular data type. This is either declared or
inferred and the Java language only allows programs to run if they adhere to type constraints.
If you present a numeric type with data that is not numeric, say textual content, then such declarations would violate Java’s type system. This gives Java the ability of type safety.
Java checks if an expression or data is encountered with an incorrect type or none at all. It then automatically flags this occurrence as an error at compile time. Most type-related
errors are caught by the Java compiler, hence making a program more secure and safe once compiled completely and successfully. Some languages (such as C) define an
interpretation of such a statement and use that interpretation without any warning; others (such as PL/I) define a conversion for almost all such statements and perform the
conversion to complete the assignment. Some type errors can still occur at runtime because Java supports a cast operation which is a way of changing the type of one expression to
another. However, Java performs run time type checking when doing such casts, so an incorrect type cast will cause a runtime exception rather than succeeding silently and allowing
data corruption.
On the other hand, Java is also known as a hybrid language. While supporting object oriented programming (OOP), Java is not a pure OO language like Smalltalk or Ruby. Instead,
Java offers both object types and primitive types. Primitive types are used for boolean, character, and numeric values and operations. This allows relatively good performance when
manipulating numeric data, at the expense of flexibility. For example, you cannot subclass the primitive types and add new operations to them.
Kinds of variables
In the Java programming language, there are four kinds of variables.
Code listing 3.9: ClassWithVariables.java
1 public class ClassWithVariables {
2
3
4
5
6
7
public int id = 0;
public static boolean isClassUsed;
public void processData(String parameter) {
Object currentValue = null;
}
8 }
In the code listing 3.9, are examples of all four kinds of variables.
Instance variables: These are variables that are used to store the state of an object (for example, id). Every object created from a class definition would have its own copy of
the variable. It is valid for and occupies storage for as long as the corresponding object is in memory.
Class variables: These variables are explicitly defined within the class-level scope with a static modifier (for example, isClassUsed). No other variables can have a
static modifier attached to them. Because these variables are defined with the static modifier, there would always be a single copy of these variables no matter how many
times the class has been instantiated. They live as long as the class is loaded in memory.
Parameters or Arguments: These are variables passed into a method signature (for example, parameter). Recall the usage of the args variable in the main method. They
are not attached to modifiers (i.e. public, private, protected or static) and they can be used everywhere in the method. They are in memory during the execution of the
method and can't be used after the method returns.
Local variables: These variables are defined and used specifically within the method-level scope (for example, currentValue) but not in the method signature. They do not
have any modifiers attached to it. They no longer exist after the method has returned.
Test your knowledge
Question 3.5: Consider the following code:
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Question 3.5: SomeClass.java
1 public class SomeClass {
2
3
public static int c = 1;
public int a = c;
4
5
private int b;
6
public void someMethod(int d) {
7
8
d = c;
int e;
9
}
10 }
In the example above, we created five variables: a, b, c, d and e. All these variables have the same data type int (integer). However, can you tell what kind of variable each one
is?
Answer
and b are instance variables;
is a class variable;
d is a parameter or argument; and,
e is a local variable.
a
c
Creating variables
Variables and all the information they store are kept in the computer's memory for access. Think of a computer's memory as a
table of data — where each cell corresponds to a variable.
Upon creating a variable, we basically create a new address space and give it a unique name. Java goes one step further and lets
you define what you can place within the variable — in Java parlance you call this a data type. So, you essentially have to do
two things in order to create a variable:
Create a variable by giving it a unique name; and,
Define a data type for the variable.
The following code demonstrates how a simple variable can be created. This process is known as variable declaration.
Code section 3.40: A simple variable declaration.
1 int a;
Assigning values to variables
A graphical representation of computer memory
Because we have provided a data type for the variable, we have a hint as to what the variable can and cannot hold. We know that int (integer) data type supports numbers that are
either positive or negative integers. Therefore once a variable is created, we can provide it with any integer value using the following syntax. This process is called an assignment
operation.
Code section 3.41: Variable declaration and assignment operation (on different lines).
1 int a;
2 a = 10;
Java provides programmers with a simpler way of combining both variable declaration and assignment operation in one line. Consider the following code:
Code section 3.42: Variable declaration and assignment operation (on the same line).
1 int a = 10;
Grouping variable declarations and assignment operations
Consider the following code:
Code section 3.43: Ungrouped declarations.
1
2
3
4
5
6
int a;
int b;
String c;
a = 10;
b = 20;
c = "some text";
There are various ways by which you can streamline the writing of this code. You can group the declarations of similar data types in one statement, for instance:
Code section 3.44: Grouped declarations.
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int a, b;
String c;
a = 10;
b = 20;
c = "some text";
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Alternatively, you can further reduce the syntax by doing group declarations and assignments together, as such:
Code section 3.45: Grouped declarations and assignments.
1 int a = 10, b = 20;
2 String c = "some text";
Identifiers
Although memory spaces have their own addresses — usually a hash number such as 0xCAD3, etc. — it is much easier to remember a variable's location in the memory if we can
give it a recognizable name. Identifiers are the names we give to our variables. You can name your variable anything like aVariable, someVariable, age,
someonesImportantData, etcetera. But notice: none of the names we described here has a space within it. Hence, it is pretty obvious that spaces aren't allowed in variable names.
In fact, there are a lot of other things that are not allowed in variable names. The things that are allowed are:
Characters A to Z and their lower-case counterparts a to z.
Numbers 0 to 9. However, numbers should not come at the beginning of a variable's name.
And finally, special characters that include only $ (dollar sign) and _ (underscore).
Test your knowledge
Question 3.6: Which of the ones below are proper variable identifiers?
1. f_name
2. lastname
3. someones name
4. $SomeoneElsesName
5. 7days
6. TheAnswerIs42
Answer
I can tell you that 3 and 5 are not the right way to do things around here, the rest are proper identifiers.
Any valid variable names might be correct but they are not always what you should be naming your variables for a few reasons as listed below:
The name of the variable should reflect the value within them.
The identifier should be named following the naming guidelines or conventions for doing so. We will explain that in a bit.
The identifier shouldn't be a nonsense name like lname, you should always name it properly: lastName is the best way of naming a variable.
Naming conventions for identifiers
When naming identifiers, you need to use the following guidelines which ensure that your variables are named accurately. As we discussed earlier, we should always name our
variables in a way that tells us what they hold. Consider this example:
Code section 3.46: Unknown process.
1 int a = 24;
2 int b = 365;
3 int c = a * b;
Do you know what this program does? Well, it multiplies two values. That much you guessed right. But, do you know what those values are? Exactly, you don't. Now consider this
code:
Code section 3.47: Time conversion.
1 int age = 24;
2 int daysInYear = 365;
3 int ageInDays = age * daysInYear;
Now you can tell what's happening, can't you? However, before we continue, notice the case of the variables. If a word contains CAPITAL LETTERS, it is in UPPER CASE. If a
word has small letters, it is in lower case. Both cases in a word renders it as mIxEd CaSe.
The variables we studied so far had a mixed case. When there are two or more words making up the names of a variable, you need to use a special case called the camel-case. Just
like the humps of a camel, your words need to stand out. Using this technique, the words first and name could be written as either firstName or FirstName.
The first instance, firstName is what we use as the names of variables. Remember though, firstName is not the same as FirstName because Java is case-sensitive. Case-sensitive
basically implies that the case in which you wrote one word is the case you have to call that word in when using them later on. Anything other than that is not the same as you
intended. You'll know more as you progress. You can hopefully tell now why the variables you were asked to identify weren't proper.
Literals (values)
Now that we know how variables should be named, let us look at the values of those variables. Simple values like numbers are called literals. This section shows you what literals
are and how to use them. Consider the following code:
Code section 3.48: Literals.
1 int age = 24;
2 long bankBalance = 20000005L;
By now, we've only seen how numbers work in assignment statements. Let's look at data types other than numbers. Characters are basically letters of the English alphabet. When
writing a single character, we use single quotes to encapsulate them. Take a look at the code below:
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Code section 3.49: Character.
1 char c = 'a';
Why, you ask? Well, the explanation is simple. If written without quotes, the system would think it's a variable identifier. That's the very distinction you have to make when
differentiating between variables and their literal values. Character data types are a bit unusual. First, they can only hold a single character. What if you had to store a complete
name within them, say John, would you write something like:
Code section 3.50: Character list.
1
2
3
4
char
char
char
char
firstChar = 'J';
secondChar = 'o';
thirdChar = 'h';
fourthChar = 'n';
Now, that's pathetic. Thankfully, there's a data type that handles large number of characters, it's called a String. A string can be initialized as follows:
Code section 3.51: String.
1 String name = "John";
Notice, the use of double quotation marks instead of single quotation marks. That's the only thing you need to worry about.
Primitive Types
Primitive types are the most basic data types available within the Java language; these include boolean, byte, char, short, int, long, float and double. These types serve as the
building blocks of data manipulation in Java. Such types serve only one purpose — containing pure, simple values of a kind. Because these data types are defined into the Java type
system by default, they come with a number of operations predefined. You can not define a new operation for such primitive types. In the Java type system, there are three further
categories of primitives:
Numeric primitives: short, int, long, float and double. These primitive data types hold only numeric data. Operations associated with such data types are those of simple
arithmetic (addition, subtraction, etc.) or of comparisons (is greater than, is equal to, etc.)
Textual primitives: byte and char. These primitive data types hold characters (that can be Unicode alphabets or even numbers). Operations associated with such types are
those of textual manipulation (comparing two words, joining characters to make words, etc.). However, byte and char can also support arithmetic operations.
Boolean and null primitives: boolean and null.
All the primitive types have a fixed size. Thus, the primitive types are limited to a range of values. A smaller primitive type (byte) can contain less values than a bigger one (long).
Category
Integer
Types Size (bits) Minimum Value Maximum Value
Precision
Example
byte
8
-128
127
From +127 to -128
char
16
0
216-1
All Unicode characters
short
16
-215
215-1
From +32,767 to -32,768
short s = 65;
int
32
-231
231-1
From +2,147,483,647 to -2,147,483,648
int i = 65;
long
64
-263
263-1
From +9,223,372,036,854,775,807 to -9,223,372,036,854,775,808 long l = 65L;
float
32
2-149
(2-2-23)·2127
From 3.402,823,5 E+38 to 1.4 E-45
float f = 65f;
double
64
2-1074
(2-2-52)·21023
From 1.797,693,134,862,315,7 E+308 to 4.9 E-324
double d = 65.55;
boolean
1
--
--
false, true
boolean b = true;
void
--
--
--
--
--
Floating-point
Other
byte b = 65;
char c = 'A';
char c = 65;
Integer primitive types silently overflow:
Code section 3.52: Several operators.
1
2
3
4
5
int i = Integer.MAX_VALUE;
System.out.println(i);
i = i + 1;
System.out.println(i);
System.out.println(Integer.MIN_VALUE);
Console for Code section 3.52
2147483647
-2147483648
-2147483648
As Java is strongly typed, you can't assign a floating point number (a number with a decimal point) to an integer variable:
Code section 3.53: Setting a floating point number as a value to an int (integer) type.
1 int age;
2 age = 10.5;
A primitive type should be set by an appropriate value. The primitive types can be initialized with a literal. Most of the literals are primitive type values, except String Literals,
which are instance of the String class.
Numbers in computer science
Programming may not be as trivial or boring as just crunching huge numbers any more. However, huge chunks of code written in any programming language today, let alone Java,
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obsessively deal with numbers. Be it churning out huge prime numbers,[1] or just calculating a cost of emission from your scooter. In 1965, Gemini V space mission escaped a
near-fatal accident because of a programming error.[2] And again in 1979, a computer program calculated the ability of five nuclear reactors to withstand earthquakes as
overestimated; this caused the plants to be shut down temporarily.[3] There is one thing common to both these programming errors: the subject data, being computed at the time the
errors occurred, was numeric. Out of past experience, Java came bundled with revised type checking for numeric data and puts lots of emphasis on correctly identifying different
types of it. So you must recognise the importance of numeric data when it comes to programming.
Numbers are stored in memory using a binary system. The memory is like a grid of cells:
Each cell can contain a binary digit (shortened to bit), that is to say, zero or one:
0
1
1
0
0
1
0
1
Actually, each cell does contain a binary digit, as one bit is roughly equivalent to 1 and an empty cell in the memory signifies 0. A single binary digit can only hold two possible
values: a zero or a one.
Memory state
Value
0
0
1
1
Multiple bits held together can hold multiple permutations — 2 bits can hold 4 possible values, 3 can hold 8, and so on. For instance, the maximum number 8 bits can hold
(11111111 in binary) is 255 in the decimal system. So, the numbers from 0 to 255 can fit within 8 bits.
Memory state
Value
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
2
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
3
...
...
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
255
It is all good, but this way, we can only host positive numbers (or unsigned integers). They are called unsigned integers. Unsigned integers are whole number values that are all
positive and do not attribute to negative values. For this very reason, we would ask one of the 8 bits to hold information about the sign of the number (positive or negative). This
leaves us with just 7 bits to actually count out a number. The maximum number that these 7 bits can hold (1111111) is 127 in the decimal system.
Positive numbers
Memory state
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
-128
1
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
-127
0
2
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
-126
1
3
1
0
0
0
0
0
1
1
-125
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
0
0
0
0
0
0
1
...
...
1
1
1
1
1
1
Value
0
0
0
Memory state
1
0
...
Negative numbers
Value
1
127
...
1
...
...
1
1
1
1
1
1
1
-1
Altogether, using this method, 8 bits can hold numbers ranging from -128 to 127 (including zero) — a total of 256 numbers. Not a bad pay-off one might presume. The opposite to
an unsigned integer is a signed integer that have the capability of holding both positive and negative values.
But, what about larger numbers. You would need significantly more bits to hold larger numbers. That's where Java's numeric types come into play. Java has multiple numeric types
— their size dependant on the number of bits that are at play.
In Java, numbers are dealt with using data types specially formulated to host numeric data. But before we dive into these types, we must first set some concepts in stone. Just like
you did in high school (or even primary school), numbers in Java are placed in clearly distinct groups and systems. As you'd already know by now, number systems includes groups
like the integer numbers (0, 1, 2 ... ∞); negative integers (0, -1, -2 ... -∞) or even real and rational numbers (value of Pi, ¾, 0.333~, etcetera). Java simply tends to place these
numbers in two distinct groups, integers (-∞ ... 0 ... ∞) and floating point numbers (any number with decimal points or fractional representation). For the moment, we would only
look into integer values as they are easier to understand and work with.
Integer types in Java
With what we have learned so far, we will identify the different types of signed integer values that can be created and manipulated in Java. Following is a table of the most basic
numeric types: integers. As we have discussed earlier, the data types in Java for integers caters to both positive and negative values and hence are signed numeric types. The size in
bits for a numeric type determines what its minimum and maximum value would be. If in doubt, one can always calculate these values.
Lets see how this new found knowledge of the basic integer types in Java fits into the picture. Say, you want to numerically manipulate the days in a year — all 365 days. What type
would you use? Since the data type byte only goes up to 127, would you risk giving it a value greater than its allowed maximum. Such decisions might save you from dreaded errors
that might occur out of the programmed code. A much more sensible choice for such a numeric operation might be a short. Oh, why couldn't they make just one data type to hold
all kinds of numbers? Wouldn't you ask that question? Well, let's explore why.
When you tell a program you need to use an integer, say even a byte, the Java program allocates a space in the memory. It allocates whole 8 bits of memory. Where it wouldn't
seem to matter for today's memory modules that have place for almost a dozen trillion such bits, it matters in other cases. Once allocated that part of the memory gets used and can
only be claimed back after the operation is finished. Consider a complicated Java program where the only data type you'd be using would be long integers. What happens when
there's no space for more memory allocation jobs? Ever heard of the Stack Overflow errors. That's exactly what happens — your memory gets completely used up and fast. So,
choose your data types with extreme caution.
Enough talk, let's see how you can create a numeric type. A numeric type begins with the type's name (short, int, etc.) and then provides with a name for the allocated space in
the memory. Following is how it's done. Say, we need to create a variable to hold the number of days in a year.
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Code section 3.54: Days in a year.
1 short daysInYear = 365;
Here, daysInYear is the name of the variable that holds 365 as it's value, while short is the data type for that particular value. Other uses of integer data types in Java might see
you write code such as this given below:
Code section 3.55: Integer data types in Java.
1
2
3
4
byte maxByte = 127;
short maxShort = 32767;
int maxInt = 2147483647;
long maxLong = 9223372036854775807;
Integer numbers and floating point numbers
The data types that one can use for integer numbers are byte, short, int and long but when it comes to floating point numbers, we use float or double. Now that we know that,
we can modify the code in the code section 3.53 as:
Code section 3.56: Correct floating point declaration and assignment.
1 double age = 10.5;
Why not float, you say? If we'd used a float, we would have to append the number with a f as a suffix, so 10.5 should be 10.5f as in:
Code section 3.57: The correct way to define floating point numbers of type float.
1 float age = 10.5f;
Floating-point math never throws exceptions. Dividing a non-zero value by 0 equals infinity. Dividing a non-infinite value by infinity equals 0.
Test your knowledge
Question 3.7: Consider the following code:
Question 3.7: Primitive type assignments.
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
...
a
b
c
d
e
=
=
=
=
=
false;
3.2;
35;
-93485L;
'q';
These are five variables. There are a long, a byte, a char, a double and a boolean. Retrieve the type of each one.
Answer
Answer 3.7: Primitive type assignments and declarations.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
boolean a;
double b;
byte c;
long d;
char e;
a
b
c
d
e
=
=
=
=
=
false;
3.2;
35;
-93485L;
'q';
can only be the boolean because only a boolean can handle boolean values.
can only be the char because only a char can contain a character.
b can only be the double because only a double can contain a decimal number here.
d is the long because a byte can not contain such a low value.
c is the remaining one so it is the byte.
a
e
Data conversion (casting)
Data conversion (casting) can happen between two primitive types. There are two kinds of casting:
Implicit: casting operation is not required; the magnitude of the numeric value is always preserved. However, precision may be lost when converting from integer to floating
point types
Explicit: casting operation required; the magnitude of the numeric value may not be preserved
Code section 3.58: Implicit casting (int is converted to long, casting is not needed).
1 int i = 65;
2 long l = i;
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Code section 3.59: Explicit casting (long is converted to int, casting is needed).
1 long l = 656666L;
2 int i = (int) l;
The following table shows the conversions between primitive types, it shows the casting operation for explicit conversions:
from byte from char from short from int from long from float from double from boolean
to byte
-
(byte)
(byte)
(byte)
to char
-
(char)
(char)
(char)
(char)
(char)
N/A
to short
(short)
-
(short)
(short)
(short)
(short)
N/A
N/A
to int
-
to long
(byte)
(byte)
(byte)
(int)
(int)
(int)
-
(long)
(long)
N/A
-
(float)
N/A
-
N/A
N/A
-
to float
to double
to boolean N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Unlike C, C++ and similar languages, Java can't represent false as 0 or null and can't represent true as non-zero. Java can't cast from boolean to a non-boolean primitive data
type, or vice versa.
For non primitive types:
to Integer
Integer
-
to Float
to Double
(double)x
x.doubleValue()
(float)x
Float java.text.DecimalFormat("#").format(x)
-
(double)x
Double java.text.DecimalFormat("#").format(x) java.text.DecimalFormat("#").format(x)
-
String Integer.parseInt(x)
Float.parseFloat(x)
Double.parseDouble(x)
Array x[0]
x[0]
x[0]
to String
to Array
x.toString()
Float.toString(x)
new int[] {x}
x.toString()
new float[] {x}
x.toString()
new double[] {x}
-
new String[] {x}
Arrays.toString(x)
-
Notes
2. Gemini 5 landed 130 kilometers short of its planned Pacific
1. As of edit (11 December 2013), the Great Internet Mersenne
variables when it should have used the sum of their absolute
Ocean landing point due to a software error. The Earth's
values. (Evars Witt, "The Little Computer and the Big
Prime Search project has so far identified the largest prime
rotation rate had been programmed as one revolution per solar
Problem", AP Newswire, 16 March 1979. See also Peter
number as being 17,425,170 digits long. Prime numbers are
day instead of the correct value, one revolution per sidereal
Neumann, "An Editorial on Software Correctness and the
valuable to cryptologists as the bigger the number, the securer
day.
Social Process" Software Engineering Notes, Volume 4(2),
they can make their data encryption logic using that particular
3. A program used in their design used an arithmetic sum of
April 1979, page 3)
number.
Arithmetic expressions
In order to do arithmetic in Java, one must first declare at least one variable. Typically one declares a variable and assigns it a value before any arithmetic is done. Here's an example
of declaring an integer variable:
Code section 3.59: Variable assignation.
1 int x = 5;
After creating a variable, one can manipulate its value by using Java's operators: + (addition), - (subtraction), * (multiplication), / (integer division), % (modulo or remainder), ++
(pre- & postincrement by one), -- (pre- & postdecrement by one).
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Code listing 3.10: Operators.java
Console for Code listing 3.10
1 public class Operators {
2
public static void main(String[] args) {
3
int x = 5;
x = 5
4
x + 2 = 7
x = 5
5
6
7
8
9
System.out.println("--- Addition
x = 5;
System.out.println("x + 2 = " + (x + 2));
10
11
12
System.out.println("x = " + x);
System.out.println();
13
System.out.println("--- Subtraction
14
15
16
x = 5;
System.out.println("x - 4 = " + (x - 4));
System.out.println("x = " + x);
17
18
19
System.out.println();
20
--- Addition
System.out.println("x = " + x);
System.out.println();
System.out.println("--- Multiplication
x = 5;
System.out.println("x * 3 = " + (x * 3));
---");
---");
---
--- Subtraction
x - 4 = 1
x = 5
---
--- Multiplication
x * 3 = 15
x = 5
---
--- (Integer) Division
x / 2 = 2
---
x = 5
---");
--- Modulo (Remainder)
---
x % 2 = 1
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System.out.println("x = " + x);
21 22
x = 5
23
24
System.out.println();
25
26
System.out.println("--- (Integer) Division
--- Preincrement by one
---");
---
++x
= 6
x = 6
27
x = 5;
System.out.println("x / 2 = " + (x / 2));
28
System.out.println("x = " + x);
--- Predecrement by one
29
System.out.println();
--x
30
31
System.out.println("--- Modulo (Remainder)
---
= 4
x = 4
32
33
---");
--- Postincrement by one --x++
= 5
x = 5;
System.out.println("x % 2 = " + (x % 2));
System.out.println("x = " + x);
34
35
36
System.out.println();
37
System.out.println("--- Preincrement by one
--- Postdecrement by one --x-= 5
---");
x = 4
38
x = 5;
39
System.out.println("++x
= " + (++x
System.out.println("x = " + x);
System.out.println();
40
41
x = 6
));
42
43
44
x = 5;
45
46
System.out.println("--x
= " + (--x
System.out.println("x = " + x);
System.out.println("--- Predecrement by one
47
System.out.println();
---");
));
48
49
System.out.println("--- Postincrement by one ---");
50
x = 5;
51
System.out.println("x++
= " + (x++
System.out.println("x = " + x);
52
53
));
System.out.println();
54
55
56
System.out.println("--- Postdecrement by one ---");
57
x = 5;
System.out.println("x--
58
System.out.println("x = " + x);
59
= " + (x--
));
System.out.println();
60
}
61 }
The division operator rounds towards zero: 5/2 is 2, and -5/2 is -2. The remainder operator has the same sign as the left operand; it is defined such that ((a/b)*b) + (a%b) is
always equal to a. The preincrement, predecrement, postincrement, and postdecrement operators are special: they also change the value of the variable, by adding or subtracting
one. The only difference is that preincrement/decrement returns the new value of the variable; postincrement returns the original value of the variable.
Test your knowledge
Question 3.8: Consider the following code:
Question 3.8: Question8.java
1 public class Question8 {
2
public static void main(String[] args) {
3
4
5
int x = 10;
x = x + 10;
x = 2 * x;
6
x = x - 19;
7
8
9
x = x / 3;
System.out.println(x);
}
10 }
What will be printed in the standard output?
Answer
Output for Question 3.8
7
=> 10
=> 20
x = 2 * x; => 40
x = x - 19; => 21
x = x / 3; => 7
int x = 10;
x = x + 10;
When using several operators in the same expression, one must consider Java's order of precedence. Java uses the standard PEMDAS (Parenthesis, Exponents, Multiplication and
Division, Addition and Subtraction) order. When there are multiple instances of the same precedence, Java reads from left to right. Consider what the output of the following code
would be:
Code section 3.60: Several operators.
1 System.out.println(10*5 + 100/10 - 5 + 7%2);
Console for Code section 3.60
56
The following chart shows how Java would compute this expression:
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Figure 3.1: Computation of an arithmetic expression in the Java programming language
Besides performing mathematical functions, there are also operators to assign numbers to variables (each example again uses the variable initialized as x = 5):
Code listing 3.11: Assignments.java
Console for Code listing 3.11
1 public class Assignments {
Assignment
(x = 3) : 3
2
3
Assign x plus another integer to itself
Assign x minus another integer to itself
(x += 5): 10
(x -= 4): 1
public static void main(String[] args) {
int x = 5;
4
x = 3;
Assign x multiplied by another integer to itself (x *= 6): 30
5
System.out.println("Assignment
(x = 3) : " + x);
Assign x divided by another integer to itself
(x /= 5): 1
6
7
x = 5;
8
x += 5;
System.out.println("Assign x plus another integer to itself
9
10
11
x = 5;
12
13
x -= 4;
System.out.println("Assign x minus another integer to itself
(x += 5): " + x);
(x -= 4): " + x);
14
15
x = 5;
16
17
x *= 6;
System.out.println("Assign x multiplied by another integer to itself (x *= 6): " + x);
18
19
x = 5;
20
x /= 5;
21
System.out.println("Assign x divided by another integer to itself
22
}
23 }
(x /= 5): " + x);
Using bitwise operators within Java
Java has besides arithmetic operators a set of bit operators to manipulate the bits in a number, and a set of logical operators. The bitwise logical operators are
Operator
Function
Value of Example Example Value of
x before input
output x after
&
Bitwise AND
7 x&27
3
7
|
Bitwise OR
7 x|27
31
7
^
Bitwise XOR
7 x^27
28
7
~
Bitwise inversion
7 ~x
-8
7
Besides these logical bitwise functions, there are also operators to assign numbers to variables (x = -5):
Operator
Example
input
Function
&=
Assign x bitwisely ANDed with another value to itself x &= 3
|=
Assign x bitwisely ORed with another value to itself
^=
Assign x bitwisely XORed with another value to itself x ^= 3
Example output
3
x |= 3
-5
-8
<<=
Assign x divided by another integer to itself
x <<= 1
-10
>>=
Assign x bitwisely negated with another value to itself x >>= 1
-3
>>>=
Assign x bitwisely negated with another value to itself x >>>= 1 2,305,843,009,213,693,949 (64 bit)
The shift operators are used to shift the bits to the left or right, which is also a quick way to multiply/divide by two:
Operator
Function
Value of Example
x before input
Value of
x after
Example output
<<
Logical shift left
-15 x << 2
-60
>>
Arithmetic shift right
-15 x >> 3
-2
-15
Logical shift right
-15 x >>> 3 2,305,843,009,213,693,937 (64 bit)
-15
>>>
-15
Literals
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Java Literals are syntactic representations of boolean, character, numeric, or string data. Literals provide a means of expressing specific values in your program. For example, in the
following statement, an integer variable named count is declared and assigned an integer value. The literal 0 represents, naturally enough, the value zero.
Code section 3.61: Numeric literal.
1 int count = 0;
The code section 3.62 contains two number literals followed by two boolean literals at line 1, one string literal followed by one number literal at line 2, and one string literal followed
by one real number literal at line 3:
Code section 3.62: Literals.
1 (2 > 3) ? true : false;
2 "text".substring(2);
3 System.out.println("Display a hard coded float: " + 37.19f);
Boolean Literals
There are two boolean literals
true
represents a true boolean value
represents a false boolean value
false
There are no other boolean literals, because there are no other boolean values!
Numeric Literals
There are three types of numeric literals in Java.
Integer Literals
In Java, you may enter integer numbers in several formats:
1. As decimal numbers such as 1995, 51966. Negative decimal numbers such as -42 are actually expressions consisting of the integer literal with the unary negation operation -.
2. As octal numbers, using a leading 0 (zero) digit and one or more additional octal digits (digits between 0 and 7), such as 077. Octal numbers may evaluate to negative
numbers; for example 037777777770 is actually the decimal value -8.
3. As hexadecimal numbers, using the form 0x (or 0X) followed by one or more hexadecimal digits (digits from 0 to 9, a to f or A to F). For example, 0xCAFEBABEL is the long
integer 3405691582. Like octal numbers, hexadecimal literals may represent negative numbers.
4. Starting in J2SE 7.0, as binary numbers, using the form 0b (or 0B) followed by one or more binary digits (0 or 1). For example, 0b101010 is the integer 42. Like octal and hex
numbers, binary literals may represent negative numbers.
By default, the integer literal primitive type is int. If you want a long, add a letter el suffix (either the character l or the character L) to the integer literal. This suffix denotes a long
integer rather than a standard integer. For example, 3405691582L is a long integer literal. Long integers are 8 bytes in length as opposed to the standard 4 bytes for int. It is best
practice to use the suffix L instead of l to avoid confusion with the digit 1 (one) which looks like l in many fonts: 200l ≠ 2001. If you want a short integer literal, you have to cast
it.
Starting in J2SE 7.0, you may insert underscores between digits in a numeric literal. They are ignored but may help readability by allowing the programmer to group digits.
Floating Point Literals
Floating point numbers are expressed as decimal fractions or as exponential notation:
Code section 3.63: Floating point literals.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
double decimalNumber = 5.0;
decimalNumber = 5d;
decimalNumber = 0.5;
decimalNumber = 10f;
decimalNumber = 3.14159e0;
decimalNumber = 2.718281828459045D;
decimalNumber = 1.0e-6D;
Floating point numbers consist of:
1. an optional leading + or - sign, indicating a positive or negative value; if omitted, the value is positive,
2. one of the following number formats
integer digits (must be followed by either an exponent or a suffix or both, to distinguish it from an integer literal)
integer digits .
integer digits . integer digits
. integer digits
3. an optional exponent of the form
the exponent indicator e or E
an optional exponent sign + or - (the default being a positive exponent)
integer digits representing the integer exponent value
4. an optional floating point suffix:
either f or F indicating a single precision (4 bytes) floating point number, or
d or D indicating the number is a double precision floating point number (by default, thus the double precision (8 bytes) is default).
Here, integer digits represents one or more of the digits 0 through 9.
Starting in J2SE 7.0, you may insert underscores between digits in a numeric literal. They are ignored but may help readability by allowing the programmer to group digits.
Character Literals
Character literals are constant valued character expressions embedded in a Java program. Java characters are sixteen bit Unicode characters, ranging from 0 to 65535. Character
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literals are expressed in Java as a single quote, the character, and a closing single quote ('a', '7', '$', 'π'). Character literals have the type char, an unsigned integer primitive
type. Character literals may be safely promoted to larger integer types such as int and long. Character literals used where a short or byte is called for must be cast to short or
byte since truncation may occur.
String Literals
String literals consist of the double quote character (") (ASCII 34, hex 0x22), zero or more characters (including Unicode characters), followed by a terminating double quote
character ("), such as: "Ceci est une string."
So a string literal follows the following grammar:
<STRING :
"\""
(
(~["\"","\\","\n","\r"])
|("\\"
( ["n","t","b","r","f","\\","'","\""]
|["0"-"7"](["0"-"7"])?
|["0"-"3"]["0"-"7"]["0"-"7"]
)
)
)*
"\"">
Within string and character literals, the backslash character can be used to escape special characters, such as unicode escape sequences, or the following special characters:
Name
Character ASCII hex
Backspace
\b
8
0x08
TAB
\t
9
0x09
NUL character \0
0
0x00
newline
\n
10
0x0a
carriage control \r
13
0xd
double quote
\"
34
0x22
single quote
\'
39
0x27
backslash
\\
92
0x5c
String literals may not contain unescaped newline or linefeed characters. However, the Java compiler will evaluate compile time expressions, so the following String expression
results in a string with three lines of text:
Code section 3.64: Multi-line string.
1 String text = "This is a String literal\n"
2
+ "which spans not one and not two\n"
3
+ "but three lines of text.\n";
null
null
is a special Java literal which represents a null value: a value which does not refer to any object. It is an error to attempt to dereference the null value — Java will throw a
is often used to represent uninitialized state.
NullPointerException. null
Mixed Mode Operations
In concatenation operations, the values in brackets are concatenated first. Then the values are concatenated from the left to the right. Be careful when mixing character literals and
integers in String concatenation operations:
Code section 3.65: Concatenation operations.
Console for Code section 3.66
1 int one = '1';
2 int zero = '0';
3
4 System.out.println("120? " + one + '2' + zero
120? 49248
The unexpected results arise because '1' and '0' are converted twice. The expression is concatenated as such:
"120? " + one + '2' + zero
"120? " + 49 + '2' + 48
"120? 49" + '2' + 48
"120? 492" + 48
"120? 49248"
1. one and zero are integers. So they store integer values. The integer value of '1' is 49 and the integer value of '0' is 48.
2. So the first concatenation concatenates "120? " and 49. 49 is first converted into String, yielding "49" and the concatenation returns the string "120? 49".
3. The second concatenation concatenates "120? 49" and '2'. '2' is converted into the String "2" and the concatenation returns the string "120? 492".
4. The concatenation between "120? 492" and '0' returns the string "120? 49248".
The code section 66 yields the desired result:
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Code section 3.66: Correct primitive type.
1 char one = '1';
2 char zero = '0';
3
4 System.out.println("120? " + one + '2' + zero
Console for Code section 3.66
120? 120
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Test your knowledge
Question 3.9: Consider the following code:
Question 3.9: New concatenation operations.
1
2
3
4
5
6
Console for Question 3.9
int one = '1';
int zero = '0';
3? 147
102? 10020
102? 150
System.out.println(" 3? " + (one + '2' + zero));
System.out.println("102? " + 100 + '2' + 0);
System.out.println("102? " + (100 + '2' + 0));
Explain the results seen.
Answer
For the first line:
" 3? " + (one + '2' + zero)
" 3? " + (49 + '2' + 48)
" 3? " + (99 + 48)
" 3? " + 147
" 3? 147"
For the second line:
"102? " + 100 + '2' + 0
"102? 100" + '2' + 0
"102? 1002" + 0
"102? 10020"
For the last line:
"102? " + (100 + '2' + 0)
"102? " + (150 + 0)
"102? " + 150
"102? 150"
Methods
Methods are how we communicate with objects. When we invoke or call a method we are asking the object to carry out a task. We can say methods implement the behaviour of
objects. For each method we need to give a name, we need to define its input parameters and we need to define its return type. We also need to set its visibility (private, protected or
public). If the method throws an Exception, that needs to be declared as well. It is called a method definition. The syntax of method definition is: class MyClass {
...
public ReturnType methodName(ParamOneType parameter1,
ParamTwoType parameter2)
throws ExceptionName {
ReturnType returnType;
...
return returnType;
}
...
}
We can declare that the method does not return anything using the void Java keyword. For example:
Code section 3.67: Method without returned data.
1 private void methodName(String parameter1, String parameter2) {
2
...
3
return;
4 }
When the method returns nothing, the return keyword at the end of the method is optional. When the execution flow reaches the return keyword, the method execution is
stopped and the execution flow returns to the caller method. The return keyword can be used anywhere in the method as long as there is a way to execute the instructions below:
Code section 3.68: return keyword location.
1 private void aMethod(int a, int b) {
int c = 0;
2
if (a > 0) {
3
c = a;
4
return;
5
}
6
int c = c + b;
7
return;
8
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9
int c = c * 2;
10 }
In the code section 3.68, the return keyword at line 5 is well placed because the instructions below can be reached when a is negative or equal to 0. However, the return keyword
at line 8 is badly placed because the instructions below can't be reached.
Test your knowledge
Question 3.9: Consider the following code:
Question 3.9: Compiler error.
1 private int myMethod(int a, int b, boolean c) {
b = b + 2;
2
3
if (a > 0) {
4
a = a + b;
5
return a;
6
} else {
7
a = 0;
8
}
9 }
The code above will return a compiler error. Why?
Answer
Answer 3.9: Compiler error.
1 private int myMethod(int a, int b, boolean c)
2
b = b + 2;
3
if (a > 0) {
4
a = a + b;
5
return a;
6
} else {
7
a = 0;
8
}
9 }
The method is supposed to return a int but when a is negative or equal to 0, it returns nothing.
Parameter passing
We can pass any primitive data types or objects to a method but the two are not processed the same way.
Primitive type parameter
The primitive types are passed in by value. It means that as soon as the primitive type is passed in, there is no more link between the value inside the method and the source
variable:
Code section 3.69: A method modifying a variable.
1 private void modifyValue(int number) {
2
number += 1;
3 }
Code section 3.70: Parameter by value.
Output for Code section 3.70
1 int i = 0;
2 modifyValue(i);
3 System.out.println(i);
0
As you can see in code section 3.70, the modifyValue() method has not modified the value of i.
Object parameter
The object references are passed by value. It means that:
There is no more link between the reference inside the method and the source reference,
The source object itself and the object itself inside the method are still the same.
You must understand the difference between the reference of an object and the object itself. A object reference is the link between a variable name and an instance of object:
Object object
⇔ new Object()
An object reference is a pointer, an address to the object instance.
The object itself is the value of its attributes inside the object instance:
object.firstName ⇒ "James"
object.lastName ⇒ "Gosling"
object.birthDay ⇒ "May 19"
Take a look at the example above:
Code section 3.71: A method modifying an object.
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1 private void modifyObject(FirstClass anObject) {
2
anObject.setName("Susan");
3 }
Code section 3.72: Parameter by reference.
1
2
3
4
5
6
FirstClass object = new FirstClass();
object.setName("Christin");
Output for Code section 3.72
Susan
modifyObject(object);
System.out.println(object.getName());
The name has changed because the method has changed the object itself and not the reference. Now take a look at the other example:
Code section 3.73: A method modifying an object reference.
1 private void modifyObject(FirstClass anObject) {
2
anObject = new FirstClass();
3
anObject.setName("Susan");
4 }
Code section 3.74: Parameter by reference.
1
2
3
4
5
6
FirstClass object = new FirstClass();
object.setName("Christin");
Output for Code section 3.74
Christin
modifyObject(object);
System.out.println(object.getName());
The name has not changed because the method has changed the reference and not the object itself. The behavior is the same as if the method was in-lined and the parameters were
assigned to new variable names:
Code section 3.75: In-lined method.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
FirstClass object = new FirstClass();
object.setName("Christin");
Output for Code section 3.75
Christin
// Start of the method
FirstClass anObject = object;
anObject = new FirstClass();
anObject.setName("Susan");
// End of the method
System.out.println(object.getName());
Variable argument list
Java SE 5.0 added syntactic support for methods with variable argument list (http://docs.oracle.com/javase/1.5.0/docs/guide/language/varargs.html), which simplifies the typesafe
usage of methods requiring a variable number of arguments. Less formally, these parameters are called varargs[2] (http://www.javabeat.net/qna/645-varargs-in-java-50/). The last
parameter can be followed with ..., and Java will box all the arguments into an array. Vararg parameter must always be the last method parameter:
Code section 3.76: A method using vararg parameters.
1 public void drawPolygon(java.awt.Point... points) {
2
//…
3 }
When calling the method, a programmer can simply separate the points by commas, without having to explicitly create an array of Point objects. Within the method, the points can
be referenced as points[0], points[1], etc. If no points are passed, the array has a length of zero. To require the programmer to use a minimum number of parameters, those
parameters can be specified before the variable argument:
Code section 3.77: Variable arguments.
1 // A polygon needs at least three points.
2 public void drawPolygon(Point p1, Point p2, Point p3, Point... otherPoints) {
Return parameter
So as we can see, a method may or may not return a value. If the method does not return a value we use the void Java keyword.
Same as the parameter passing, the method can return a primitive type or an object reference. So a method can return only one value. What if you want to return more than one
value from a method. You can always pass in an object reference to the method, and let the method modify the object properties. The modified values can be considered as an
output value from the method. However you can also create an Object array inside the method, assign the return values and return the array to the caller. You could have a problem
however, if you want to mix primitive data types and object references as the output values from the method.
There is a better approach. Defines special return object with the needed return values. Create that object inside the method, assign the values and return the reference to this
object. This special object is "bound" to this method and used only for returning values, so do not use a public class. The best way is to use a nested class, see example below:
Code listing 3.12: Multiple returned variables.
1 public class MyObject {
...
2
3
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4
/** Nested object is for return values from getPersonInfoById method */
5
6
public static class ReturnObject {
private int age;
private String name;
7
8
9
public void setAge(int age) {
10
this.age = age;
11
}
12
13
public int getAge() {
14
return age;
15
16
}
public void setName(String name) {
17
18
name = name;
19
20
}
21
22
public String getName() {
23
}
return name;
24
} // End of nested class definition
25
26
27
/** Method using the nested class to return values */
public ReturnObject getPersonInfoById(int id) {
28
int
29
30
String name;
...
age;
31
32
// Get the name and age based on the ID from the database
...
33
ReturnObject result = new ReturnObject();
34
result.setAge(age);
result.setName(name);
35
36
37
return result;
38
}
39 }
In the above example the getPersonInfoById method returns an object reference that contains both values of the name and the age. See below how you may use that object:
Code section 3.78: Retrieving the values.
1
2
3
4
5
MyObject object = new MyObject();
MyObject.ReturnObject person = object.getPersonInfoById(102
System.out.println("Person Name=" + person.getName());
System.out.println("Person Age =" + person.getAge());
Test your knowledge
Question 3.10: Consider the following code:
Question 3.10: Compiler error.
1 private int myMethod(int a, int b, String c) {
2
if (a > 0) {
3
c = "";
4
return c;
5
}
6
int b = b + 2;
7
return b;
8 }
The code above will return a compiler error. Why?
Answer
Answer 3.10: Compiler error.
1 private int myMethod(int a, int b, String c)
2
if (a > 0) {
3
c = "";
4
return c;
5
}
6
int b = b + 2;
7
return b;
8 }
The method is supposed to return a int but at line 4, it returns c, which is a String.
Special method, the constructor
The constructor is a special method called automatically when an object is created with the new keyword. Constructor does not have a return value and its name is the same as the
class name. Each class must have a constructor. If we do not define one, the compiler will create a default so called empty constructor automatically.
Code listing 3.13: Automatically created constructor.
1 public class MyClass {
/**
2
* MyClass Empty Constructor
3
4
5
6
*/
public MyClass() {
}
7 }
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Static methods
A static method is a method that can be called without an object instance. It can be called on the class directly. For example, the valueOf(String) method of the Integer class is
a static method:
Code section 3.79: Static method.
1 Integer i = Integer.valueOf("10");
As a consequence, it cannot use the non-static methods of the class but it can use the static ones. The same way, it cannot use the non-static attributes of the class but it can use the
static ones:
Code section 3.80: Static attribute.
1 private static int count = 0;
2
3 public static int getNewInteger() {
4
return count++;
5 }
You can notice that when you use System.out.println(), out is a static attribute of the System class. A static attribute is related to a class, not to any object instance, so there is
only one value for all the object instances. This attribute is unique in the whole Java Virtual Machine. All the object instances use the same attribute:
Code listing 3.14: A static attribute.
1 public class MyProgram {
Output for Code listing 3.14
4
2
3
public static int count = 0;
4
5
6
public static void main (String[] args) {
MyProgram.count++;
7
8
9
MyProgram program1 = new MyProgram();
program1.count++;
10
11
12
program2.count++;
13
14
15
new MyProgram().count++;
System.out.println(MyProgram.count);
16
17 }
MyProgram program2 = new MyProgram();
}
Test your knowledge
Question 3.11: Visit the Oracle JavaDoc of the class java.lang.Integer (http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/api/java/lang/Integer.html).
How many static fields does this class have?
Answer
4.
int MAX_VALUE,
int MIN_VALUE,
int SIZE
and
Class<Integer> TYPE.
To learn how to overload and override a method, see Overloading Methods and Constructors.
API/java.lang.String
is a class built into the Java language defined in the java.lang package. It represents character strings. Strings are ubiquitous in Java. Study the String class and its
methods carefully. It will serve you well to know how to manipulate them skillfully. String literals in Java programs, such as "abc", are implemented as instances of this class like
this:
String
Code section 3.81: String example.
1 String str = "This is string literal";
On the right hand side a String object is created represented by the string literal. Its object reference is assigned to the str variable.
Immutability
Strings are immutable; that is, they cannot be modified once created. Whenever it looks as if a String object was modified actually a new String object was created. For instance, the
String.trim() method returns the string with leading and trailing whitespace removed. Actually, it creates a new trimmed string and then returns it. Pay attention on what happens
in Code section 3.82:
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Code section 3.82: Immutability.
1
2
3
4
5
String badlyCutText = "
Java is great.
System.out.println(badlyCutText);
Output for Code section 3.82
";
Java is great.
Java is great.
badlyCutText.trim();
System.out.println(badlyCutText);
The trim() method call does not modify the object so nothing happens. It creates a new trimmed string and then throws it away.
Code section 3.83: Assignment.
1
2
3
4
5
String badlyCutText = "
Java is great.
System.out.println(badlyCutText);
Output for Code section 3.83
";
Java is great.
Java is great.
badlyCutText = badlyCutText.trim();
System.out.println(badlyCutText);
The returned string is assigned to the variable. It does the job as the trim() method has created a new String instance.
Concatenation
The Java language provides special support for the string concatenation with operator +:
Code section 3.84: Examples of concatenation.
1
2
3
4
System.out.println("First part");
System.out.println(" second part");
String str = "First part" + " second part";
System.out.println(str);
Output for Code section 3.84
First part
second part
First part second part
The concatenation is not always processed at the same time. Raw string literals concatenation is done at compile time, hence there is a single string literal in the byte code of the
class. Concatenation with at least one object is done at runtime.
+
operator can concatenate other objects with strings. For instance, integers will be converted to strings before the concatenation:
Code section 3.85: Concatenation of integers.
1 System.out.println("Age=" + 25);
Output for Code section 3.85
Age=25
Each Java object has the String toString() inherited from the Object class. This method provides a way to convert objects into Strings. Most classes override the default
behavior to provide more specific (and more useful) data in the returned String:
Code section 3.86: Concatenation of objects.
1 System.out.println("Age=" + new Integer(31));
Output for Code section 3.86
Age=31
Using StringBuilder/StringBuffer to concatenate strings
Remember that String objects are immutable objects. Once a String is created, it can not be modified, takes up memory until garbage collected. Be careful of writing a method
like this:
Code section 3.87: Raw concatenation.
1 public String convertToString(Collection<String> words) {
2
String str = "";
3
// Loops through every element in words collection
4
for (String word : words) {
5
str = str + word + " ";
6
}
7
return str;
8 }
On the + operation a new String object is created at each iteration. Suppose words contains the elements ["Foo", "Bar", "Bam", "Baz"]. At runtime, the method creates
thirteen Strings:
1. ""
2. "Foo"
3. " "
4. "Foo "
5. "Foo Bar"
6. " "
7. "Foo Bar "
8. "Foo Bar Bam"
9. " "
10. "Foo Bar Bam "
11. "Foo Bar Bam Baz"
12. " "
13. "Foo Bar Bam Baz "
Even though only the last one is actually useful.
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To avoid unnecessary memory use like this, use the StringBuilder class. It provides similar functionality to Strings, but stores its data in a mutable way. Only one
StringBuilder object is created. Also because object creation is time consuming, using StringBuilder produces much faster code.
Code section 3.88: Concatenation with StringBuilder.
1 public String convertToString(Collection<String> words) {
2
StringBuilder buf = new StringBuilder();
3
// Loops through every element in words collection
4
for (String word : words) {
5
buf.append(word);
6
buf.append(" ");
7
}
8
return buf.toString();
9 }
As StringBuilder isn't thread safe (see the chapter on Concurrency). You can't use it in more than one thread. For multi-thread environment, use StringBuffer instead, which
does the same and is thread safe. However, as StringBuffer is slower, so only use it when it is required. Moreover, only StringBuffer existed before Java 5.
Comparing Strings
Comparing strings is not as easy as it may first seem. Be aware of what you are doing when comparing String's using ==:
Code section 3.89: Dangerous comparison.
1 String greeting = "Hello World!";
2 if (greeting == "Hello World!") {
3
System.out.println("Match found.");
4 }
Output for Code section 3.89
Match found.
The difference between the above and below code is that the above code checks to see if the String's are the same objects in memory which they are. This is as a result of the fact
that String's are stored in a place in memory called the String Constant Pool. If the new keyword is not explicitly used when creating the String it checks to see if it already exists
in the Pool and uses the existing one. If it does not exist, a new Object is created. This is what allows Strings to be immutable in Java. To test for equality, use the equals(Object)
method inherited by every class and defined by String to return true if and only if the object passed in is a String containing the exact same data:
Code section 3.90: Right comparison.
1 String greeting = "Hello World!";
2 if (greeting.equals("Hello World!")) {
3
System.out.println("Match found.");
4 }
Output for Code section 3.90
Match found.
Remember that the comparison is case sensitive.
Code section 3.91: Comparison with lowercase.
Output for Code section 3.91
1 String greeting = "Hello World!";
2 if (greeting.equals("hello world!")) {
3
System.out.println("Match found.");
4 }
To order String objects, use the compareTo() method, which can be accessed wherever we use a String datatype. The compareTo() method returns a negative, zero, or positive
number if the parameter is less than, equal to, or greater than the object on which it is called. Let's take a look at an example:
Code section 3.92: Order.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
String person1 = "Peter";
String person2 = "John";
if (person1.compareTo(person2) > 0)
// Badly ordered
String temp = person1;
person1 = person2;
person2 = temp;
}
The code section 3.92 is comparing the String variable person1 to person2. If person1 was to be different, even in the slightest manner we will get a value above or below 0
depending on the exact difference. The result is negative if this String object lexicographically precedes the argument string. The result is a positive integer if this String object
lexicographically follows the argument string. Take a look at the Java API (http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/api/java/lang/String.html#compareTo%28java.lang.String%29) for
more details.
Splitting a String
Sometimes it is useful to split a string into separate strings, based on a regular expressions. The String class has a split() method, since Java 1.4, that will return a String array:
Code section 3.93: Order.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
String person = "Brown, John:100 Yonge Street, Toronto:(416)777-9999";
...
String[] personData = person.split(":");
...
String name
= personData[0];
String address = personData[1];
String phone
= personData[2];
Another useful application could be to split the String text based on the new line character, so you could process the text line by line.
Substrings
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It may also be sometimes useful to create substrings, or strings using the order of letters from an existing string. This can be done in two methods.
The first method involves creating a substring out of the characters of a string from a given index to the end:
Code section 3.94: Truncating string.
Output for Code section 3.94
1 String str = "coffee";
2 System.out.println(str.substring(3));
fee
The index of the first character in a string is 0.
coffee
012345
By counting from there, it is apparent that the character in index 3 is the second "f" in "coffee". This is known as the beginIndex. All characters from the beginIndex until the end
of the string will be copied into the new substring.
The second method involves a user-defined beginIndex and endIndex:
Code section 3.95: Extraction of string.
Output for Code section 3.95
1 String str = "supporting";
2 System.out.println(str.substring(3, 7));
port
The string returned by substring() would be "port".
supporting
0123456789
Please note that the endIndex is not inclusive. This means that the last character will be of the index endIndex-1. Therefore, in this example, every character from index 3 to index
6, inclusive, was copied into the substring.
It is easy to mistake the method substring() for subString() (which does not exist and would return with a syntax error on compilation). Substring is considered to be
one word. This is why the method name does not seem to follow the common syntax of Java. Just remember that this style only applies to methods or other elements that
are made up of more than one word.
String cases
The String class also allows for the modification of cases. The two methods that make this possible are toLowerCase() and toUpperCase().
Code section 3.96: Case modification.
Output for Code section 3.96
1 String str = "wIkIbOoKs";
2 System.out.println(str.toLowerCase());
3 System.out.println(str.toUpperCase());
wikibooks
WIKIBOOKS
These methods are useful to do a search which is not case sensitive:
Code section 3.97: Text search.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
String word = "Integer";
String text = "A number without a decimal part is an integer."
+ " Integers are a list of digits.";
Output for Code section 3.97
Integer appears at column 38.
Integer appears at column 47.
...
// Remove the case
String lowerCaseWord = word.toLowerCase();
String lowerCaseText = text.toLowerCase();
// Search
int index = lowerCaseText.indexOf(lowerCaseWord);
while (index != -1) {
System.out.println(word
+ " appears at column "
+ (index + 1)
+ ".");
index = lowerCaseText.indexOf(lowerCaseWord, index + 1);
}
Test your knowledge
Question 3.12: You have mail addresses in the following form: <firstName>.<lastName>@<companyName>.org
Write the String getDisplayName(String) method that receives the mail string as parameter and returns the readable person name like this: LASTNAME Firstname
Answer
Answer 3.12: getDisplayName()
1 public static String getDisplayName(String mail) {
String displayName = null;
2
3
if (mail != null) {
4
String[] mailParts = mail.split("@");
5
String namePart = mailParts[0];
6
String[] namesParts = namePart.split("\\.");
7
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8
9
// The last name
10
String lastName = namesParts[1];
11
lastName = lastName.toUpperCase();
12
13
// The first name
String firstName = namesParts[0];
14
15
String firstNameInitial = firstName.substring(0, 1);
16
firstNameInitial = firstNameInitial.toUpperCase();
17
18
19
String firstNameEnd = firstName.substring(1);
20
firstNameEnd = firstNameEnd.toLowerCase();
21
22
// Concatenation
23
StringBuilder displayNameBuilder = new StringBuilder(lastName).append(" ").append(firstNameInitial).append(firstNameEnd);
displayName = displayNameBuilder.toString();
24
25
}
26
return displayName;
27
28 }
1. We only process non null strings,
2. We first split the mail into two parts to separate the personal information from the company information and we keep the name data,
3. Then we split the name information to separate the first name from the last name. As the split() method use regular expression and . is a wildcard character, we have
to escape it (\.). However, in a string, the \ is also a special character, so we need to escape it too (\\.),
4. The last name is just capitalized,
5. As the case of all the first name characters will not be the same, we have to cut the first name. Only the first name initial will be capitalized,
6. Now we can concatenate all the fragments. We prefer to use a StringBuilder to do that.
See also
Java API: java.lang.String (http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/api/java/lang/String.html)
Java API: java.lang.StringBuffer (http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/api/java/lang/StringBuffer.html)
Java API: java.lang.StringBuilder (http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/api/java/lang/StringBuilder.html)
Classes, Objects and Types
An object is composed of fields and methods. The fields, also called data members, characteristics, attributes, or properties, describe the state of the object. The methods
generally describe the actions associated with a particular object. Think of an object as a noun, its fields as adjectives describing that noun, and its methods as the verbs that can be
performed by or on that noun.
For example, a sports car is an object. Some of its fields might be its height, weight, acceleration, and speed. An object's fields just hold data about that object. Some of the methods
of the sports car could be "drive", "park", "race", etc. The methods really don't mean much unless associated with the sports car, and the same goes for the fields.
The blueprint that lets us build our sports car object is called a class. A class doesn't tell us how fast our sports car goes, or what color it is, but it does tell us that our sports car will
have a field representing speed and color, and that they will be say, a number and a word (or hex color code), respectively. The class also lays out the methods for us, telling the car
how to park and drive, but these methods can't take any action with just the blueprint — they need an object to have an effect.
In Java, a class is located in a file similar to its own name. If you want to have a class called SportsCar, its source file needs to be SportsCar.java. The class is created by placing
the following in the source file:
Code listing 3.13: SportsCar.java
1 public class SportsCar {
2
3 }
/* Insert your code here */
The class doesn't do anything yet, as you will need to add methods and field variables first.
The objects are different from the primitive types because:
1. The primitive types are not instantiated.
2. In the memory, only their value is stored, directly. No reference to an instance is stored.
3. In the memory, the allocated space is fixed, whatever their value. The allocated space of an object vary, for instance either the object is intantiated or not.
4. The primitive types don't have methods callable on them.
5. A primitive type can't be inherited.
Instantiation and constructors
In order to get from class to object, we "build" our object by instantiation. Instantiation simply means to create an instance of a class. Instance and object are very similar terms and
are sometimes interchangeable, but remember that an instance refers to a specific object, which was created from a class.
This instantiation is brought about by one of the class's methods, called a constructor. As its name implies, a constructor builds the object based on the blueprint. Behind the scenes,
this means that computer memory is being allocated for the instance, and values are being assigned to the data members.
In general there are four constructor types: default, non-default, copy, and cloning.
A default constructor will build the most basic instance. Generally, this means assigning all the fields values like null, zero, or an empty string. Nothing would stop you, however,
from your default sports car color from being red, but this is generally bad programming style. Another programmer would be confused if your basic car came out red instead of say,
colorless.
Code section 3.79: A default constructor.
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1 SportsCar car = new SportsCar();
A non-default constructor is designed to create an object instance with prescribed values for most, if not all, of the object's fields. The car is red, goes from 0-60 in 12 seconds,
tops out at 190mph, etc.
Code section 3.80: A non-default constructor.
1 SportsCar car = new SportsCar("red", 12, 190);
A copy constructor is not included in the Java language, however one can easily create a constructor that do the same as a copy constructor. It's important to understand what it is.
As the name implies, a copy constructor creates a new instance to be a duplicate of an already existing one. In Java, this can be also accomplished by creating the instance with the
default constructor, and then using the assignment operator to equivocate them. This is not possible in all languages though, so just keep the terminology under your belt.
Java has the concepts of cloning object, and the end results are similar to copy constructor. Cloning an object is faster than creation with the new keyword, because all the object
memory is copied at once to destination cloned object. This is possible by implementing the Cloneable interface, which allows the method Object.clone() to perform a fieldby-field copy.
Code section 3.81: Cloning object.
1 SportsCar car = oldCar.clone();
Type
When an object is created, a reference to the object is also created. The object can not be accessed directly in Java, only through this object reference. This object reference has a
type assigned to it. We need this type when passing the object reference to a method as a parameter. Java does strong type checking.
Type is basically a list of features/operations, that can be performed through that object reference. The object reference type is basically a contract that guarantees that those
operations will be there at run time.
When a car is created, it comes with a list of features/operations listed in the user manual that guarantees that those will be there when the car is used.
When you create an object from a class by default its type is the same as its class. It means that all the features/operations the class defined are there and available, and can be used.
See below:
Code section 3.82: Default type.
1 (new ClassName()).operations();
You can assign this to a variable having the same type as the class:
Code section 3.83: A variable having the same type as the class.
1 ClassName objRefVariable = new ClassName();
2 objRefVariable.operations();
You can assign the created object reference to the class, super class, or to an interface the class implements:
Code section 3.84: Using the super class.
1 SuperClass objectRef = new ClassName(); // features/operations list are defined by the SuperClass class
2 ...
3 Interface inter = new ClassName(); // features/operations list are defined by the interface
In the car analogy, the created car may have different Type of drivers. We create separate user manuals for them, Average user manual, Power user manual, Child user manual, or
Handicapped user manual. Each type of user manual describes only those features/operations appropriate for the type of driver. The Power driver may have additional gears to
switch to higher speeds, that are not available to other type of users...
When the car key is passed from an adult to a child we replacing the user manuals, that is called Type Casting.
In Java, casts can occur in three ways:
up casting going up in the inheritance tree, until we reach the Object
up casting to an interface the class implements
down casting until we reach the class the object was created from
Autoboxing/unboxing
Autoboxing and unboxing, language features since Java 1.5, make the programmer's life much easier when it comes to working with the primitive wrapper types. Consider this code
fragment:
Code section 3.85: Traditional object creation.
1 int age = 23;
2 Integer ageObject = new Integer(age);
Primitive wrapper objects were Java's way of allowing one to treat primitive data types as though they were objects. Consequently, one was expected to wrap one's primitive data
type with the corresponding primitive wrapper object, as shown above.
Since Java 1.5, one may write as below and the compiler will automatically create the wrap object. The extra step of wrapping the primitive is no longer required. It has been
automatically boxed up on your behalf:
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Code section 3.86: Autoboxing.
1 int age = 23;
2 Integer ageObject = age;
Keep in mind that the compiler still creates the missing wrapper code, so one doesn't really gain anything performance-wise. Consider this feature a programmer
convenience, not a performance booster.
Each primitive type has a class wrapper:
Primitive type Class wrapper
byte
java.lang.Byte
char
java.lang.Character
short
java.lang.Short
int
java.lang.Integer
long
java.lang.Long
float
java.lang.Float
double
java.lang.Double
boolean
java.lang.Boolean
void
java.lang.Void
Unboxing uses the same process in reverse. Study the following code for a moment. The if statement requires a boolean primitive value, yet it was given a Boolean wrapper object.
No problem! Java 1.5 will automatically unbox this.
Code section 3.87: Unboxing.
1 Boolean canMove = new Boolean(true);
2
3 if (canMove) {
4
System.out.println("This code is legal in Java 1.5");
5 }
Test your knowledge
Question 3.11: Consider the following code:
Question 3.11: Autoboxing/unboxing.
5 Integer a = 10;
6 Integer b = a + 2;
7 System.out.println(b);
How many autoboxings and unboxings are there in this code?
Answer
Answer 3.11: Autoboxing/unboxing.
1 Integer a = 10;
2 Integer b = a + 2;
3 System.out.println(b);
3
1 autoboxing at line 1 to assign.
1 unboxing at line 2 to do the addition.
1 autoboxing at line 2 to assign.
No autoboxing nor unboxing at line 3 as println() supports the Integer class as parameter.
Methods in the Object class
Methods in the java.lang.Object class are inherited, and thus shared in common by all classes.
The clone method
The java.lang.Object.clone() method returns a new object that is a copy of the current object. Classes must implement the marker interface java.lang.Cloneable to indicate
that they can be cloned.
The equals method
The java.lang.Object.equals(java.lang.Object) method compares the object to another object and returns a boolean result indicating if the two objects are equal.
Semantically, this method compares the contents of the objects whereas the equality comparison operator "==" compares the object references. The equals method is used by many
of the data structure classes in the java.util package. Some of these data structure classes also rely on the Object.hashCode method—see the hashCode method for details on
the contract between equals and hashCode. Implementing equals() isn't always as easy as it seems, see 'Secrets of equals() (http://www.angelikalanger.com/Articles/JavaSolutions
/SecretsOfEquals/Equals.html)' for more information.
The finalize method
The java.lang.Object.finalize() method is called exactly once before the garbage collector frees the memory for object. A class overrides finalize to perform any clean up
that must be performed before an object is reclaimed. Most objects do not need to override finalize.
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There is no guarantee when the finalize method will be called, or the order in which the finalize method will be called for multiple objects. If the JVM exits without performing
garbage collection, the OS may free the objects, in which case the finalize method doesn't get called.
The finalize method should always be declared protected to prevent other classes from calling the finalize method.
protected void finalize() throws Throwable { ... }
The getClass method
The java.lang.Object.getClass() method returns the java.lang.Class object for the class that was used to instantiate the object. The class object is the base class of
reflection in Java. Additional reflection support is provided in the java.lang.reflect package.
The hashCode method
The java.lang.Object.hashCode() method returns an integer (int). This integer can be used to distinguish objects although not completely. It quickly separates most of the
objects and those with the same hash code are separated later in another way. It is used by the classes that provide associative arrays, for instance, those that implement the
java.util.Map interface . They use the hash code to store the object in the associative array. A good hashCode implementation will return a hash code:
Stable: does not change
Evenly distributed: the hash codes of unequal objects tend to be unequal and the hash codes are evenly distributed across integer values.
The second point means that two different objects can have the same hash code so two objects with the same hash code are not necessarily the same!
Since associative arrays depend on both the equals and hashCode methods, there is an important contract between these two methods that must be maintained if the objects are to
be inserted into a Map:
For two objects a and b
a.equals(b) == b.equals(a)
if a.equals(b) then a.hashCode() == b.hashCode()
but if a.hashCode() == b.hashCode() then a.equals(b)
In order to maintain this contract, a class that overrides the equals method must also override the hashCode method, and vice versa, so that hashCode is based on the same
properties (or a subset of the properties) as equals.
A further contract that the map has with the object is that the results of the hashCode and equals methods will not change once the object has been inserted into the map. For this
reason, it is generally a good practice to base the hash function on immutable properties of the object.
The toString method
The java.lang.Object.toString() method returns a java.lang.String that contains a text representation of the object. The toString method is implicitly called by the
compiler when an object operand is used with the string concatenation operators (+ and +=).
The wait and notify thread signaling methods
Every object has two wait lists for threads associated with it. One wait list is used by the synchronized keyword to acquire the mutex lock associated with the object. If the mutex
lock is currently held by another thread, the current thread is added to the list of blocked threads waiting on the mutex lock. The other wait list is used for signaling between threads
accomplished through the wait and notify and notifyAll methods.
Use of wait/notify allows efficient coordination of tasks between threads. When one thread needs to wait for another thread to complete an operation, or needs to wait until an event
occurs, the thread can suspend its execution and wait to be notified when the event occurs. This is in contrast to polling, where the thread repeatedly sleeps for a short period of
time and then checks a flag or other condition indicator. Polling is both more computationally expensive, as the thread has to continue checking, and less responsive since the thread
won't notice the condition has changed until the next time to check.
The wait methods
There are three overloaded versions of the wait method to support different ways to specify the timeout value: java.lang.Object.wait(), java.lang.Object.wait(long) and
java.lang.Object.wait(long, int). The first method uses a timeout value of zero (0), which means that the wait does not timeout; the second method takes the number of
milliseconds as a timeout; the third method takes the number of nanoseconds as a timeout, calculated as 1000000 * timeout + nanos.
The thread calling wait is blocked (removed from the set of executable threads) and added to the object's wait list. The thread remains in the object's wait list until one of three
events occurs:
1. another thread calls the object's notify or notifyAll method;
2. another thread calls the thread's java.lang.Thread.interrupt method; or
3. a non-zero timeout that was specified in the call to wait expires.
The wait method must be called inside of a block or method synchronized on the object. This insures that there are no race conditions between wait and notify. When the thread
is placed in the wait list, the thread releases the object's mutex lock. After the thread is removed from the wait list and added to the set of executable threads, it must acquire the
object's mutex lock before continuing execution.
The notify and notifyAll methods
The java.lang.Object.notify() and java.lang.Object.notifyAll() methods remove one or more threads from an object's wait list and add them to the set of executable
threads. notify removes a single thread from the wait list, while notifyAll removes all threads from the wait list. Which thread is removed by notify is unspecified and
dependent on the JVM implementation.
The notify methods must be called inside of a block or method synchronized on the object. This insures that there are no race conditions between wait and notify.
Keywords
Keywords are special tokens in the language which have reserved use in the language. Keywords may not be used as identifiers in Java — you cannot declare a field whose name is
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a keyword, for instance.
Examples of keywords are the primitive types, int and boolean; the control flow statements for and if; access modifiers such as public, and special words which mark the
declaration and definition of Java classes, packages, and interfaces: class, package, interface.
Below are all the Java language keywords:
extends
protected
final
public
finally
return
boolean
float
short
break
for
static
byte
goto
case
if
super
catch
implements
switch
char
import
synchronized
class
instanceof
this
int
throw
continue
interface
throws
default
long
transient
do
native
try
double
new
void
else
package
volatile
private
while
abstract
assert
const
enum
(since Java 1.4)
(not used)
(since Java 5.0)
(not used)
strictfp
(since Java 1.2)
In addition, the identifiers null, true, and false denote literal values and may not be used to create identifiers.
abstract
is a Java keyword. It can be applied to a class and methods. An abstract class cannot be directly instantiated. It must be placed before the variable type or the method
return type. It is recommended to place it after the access modifier and after the static keyword. A non-abstract class is a concrete class. An abstract class cannot be final.
abstract
Only an abstract class can have abstract methods. An abstract method is only declared, not implemented:
Code listing 1: AbstractClass.java
1 public abstract class AbstractClass {
2
// This method does not have a body; it is abstract.
3
public abstract void abstractMethod();
4
5
// This method does have a body; it is implemented in the abstract class and gives a default behavior.
6
7
8
public void concreteMethod() {
System.out.println("Already coded.");
}
9 }
An abstract method cannot be final, static nor native. Either you instantiate a concrete sub-class, either you instantiate the abstract class by implementing its abstract methods
alongside a new statement:
Code section 1: Abstract class use.
1 AbstractClass myInstance = new AbstractClass() {
2
public void abstractMethod() {
3
System.out.println("Implementation.");
4
}
5 };
A private method cannot be abstract.
assert
assert is a Java keyword used to define an assert statement. An assert statement is used to declare an expected boolean condition in a program. If the program is running with
assertions enabled, then the condition is checked at runtime. If the condition is false, the Java runtime system throws a AssertionError.
Assertions may be declared using the following syntax:
assert expression1 [: expression2];
expression1
is a boolean that will throw the assertion if it is false. When it is thrown, the assertion error exception is created with the parameter expression2 (if applicable).
An example:
assert list != null && list.size() > 0 : "list variable is null or empty";
Object value = list.get(0);
Assertions are usually used as a debugging aid. They should not be used instead of validating arguments to public methods, or in place of a more precise runtime error exception.
Assertions are enabled with the Java -ea or -enableassertions runtime option. See your Java environment documentation for additional options for controlling assertions.
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boolean
boolean
is a keyword which designates the boolean primitive type. There are only two possible boolean values: true and false. The default value for boolean fields is false.
The following is a declaration of a private boolean field named initialized, and its use in a method named synchronizeConnection.
Code section 1: Connection synchronization.
1 private boolean initialized = false;
2
3 public void synchronizeConnection() {
4
if (!initialized) {
5
connection = connect();
6
initialized = true;
}
7
8 }
The previous code only creates a connection once (at the first method call). Note that there is no automatic conversion between integer types (such as int) to boolean as is possible
in some languages like C. Instead, one must use an equivalent expression such as (i != 0) which evaluates to true if i is not zero.
break
is a Java keyword.
break
Jumps (breaks) out from a loop. Also used at switch statement.
For example:
for ( int i=0; i < maxLoopIter; i++ ) {
System.out.println("Iter=" +i);
if ( i == 5 ) {
break; // -- 5 iteration is enough -}
}
See also:
Java Programming/Keywords/switch
byte
byte
is a keyword which designates the 8 bit signed integer primitive type.
The java.lang.Byte class is the nominal wrapper class when you need to store a byte value but an object reference is required.
Syntax:
byte <variable-name> = <integer-value>;
For example:
byte b = 65;
or
byte b = 'A'
The number 65 is the code for 'A' in ASCII.
See also:
Java Programming/Primitive Types
case
case
is a Java keyword.
This is part of the switch statement, to find if the value passed to the switch statement matches a value followed by case.
For example:
int i = 3;
switch(i) {
case 1:
System.out.println("The number is 1.");
break;
case 2:
System.out.println("The number is 2.");
break;
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case 3:
System.out.println("The number is 3."); // this line will print
break;
case 4:
System.out.println("The number is 4.");
break;
case 5:
System.out.println("The number is 5.");
break;
default:
System.out.println("The number is not 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5.");
}
catch
catch
is a keyword.
It's part of a try block. If an exception is thrown inside a try block, the exception will be compared to any of the catch part of the block. If the exception match with one of the
exception in the catch part, the exception will be handled there.
For example:
try {
//...
throw new MyException_1();
//...
} catch ( MyException_1 e ) {
// --- Handle the Exception_1 here -} catch ( MyException_2 e ) {
// --- Handle the Exception_2 here -}
See also:
Java Programming/Keywords/try
char
char is a keyword. It defines a character primitive type. char can be created from character literals and numeric representation. Character literals consist of a single quote character
(') (ASCII 39, hex 0x27), a single character, and a close quote ('), such as 'w'. Instead of a character, you can also use unicode escape sequences, but there must be exactly one.
Syntax:
char variable name1 = 'character1';
Code section 1: Three examples.
1
2
3
4
5
6
char oneChar1 = 'A';
char oneChar2 = 65;
char oneChar3 = '\u0041';
System.out.println(oneChar1);
System.out.println(oneChar2);
System.out.println(oneChar3);
Output for Code section 1
A
A
A
65 is the numeric representation of character 'A' , or its ASCII code.
The nominal wrapper class is the java.lang.Character class when you need to store a char value but an object reference is required.
Code section 2: char wrapping.
1 char aCharPrimitiveType = 'A';
2 Character aCharacterObject = aCharPrimitiveType;
See also:
Java Programming/Primitive Types
class
class
is a Java keyword which begins the declaration and definition of a class.
The general syntax of a class declaration, using Extended Backus-Naur Form, is
class-declaration ::= [access-modifiers] class identifier
[extends-clause] [implements-clause]
class-body
extends-clause ::= extends class-name
implements-clause ::= implements interface-names
interface-names ::= interface-name [, interface-names]
class-body ::= { [member-declarations] }
member-declarations = member-declaration [member-declarations]
member-declaration = field-declaration
| initializer
| constructor
| method-declaration
| class-declaration
The extends word is optional. If omitted, the class extends the Object class, as all Java classes inherit from it.
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See also:
Java Programming/Keywords/new
const
const
is a reserved keyword, presently not being used.
In other programming languages, such as C, const is often used to declare a constant. However, in Java, final is used instead.
continue
continue
is a Java keyword. It skips the remainder of the loop and continues with the next iteration.
For example:
int maxLoopIter = 7;
for (int i = 0; i < maxLoopIter; i++ ) {
if (i == 5) {
continue;
// -- 5 iteration is skipped --
}
System.println("Iteration = " + i);
}
results in
0
1
2
3
4
6
7
See also
Java Programming/Statements
default
default
is a Java keyword.
This is an optional part of the switch statement, which only executes if none of the above cases are matched.
See also:
Java Programming/Keywords/switch
do
do
is a Java keyword.
It starts a do-while looping block. The do-while loop is functionally similar to the while loop, except the condition is evaluated after the statements execute
Syntax:
do {
//statements;
} while (condition);
For example:
do {
i++;
} while ( i < maxLoopIter );
See also:
Java Programming/Statements
Java Programming/Keywords/for
Java Programming/Keywords/while
double
double
is a keyword which designates the 64 bit float primitive type.
The java.lang.Double class is the nominal wrapper class when you need to store a double value but an object reference is required.
Syntax:
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double <variable-name> = <float-value>;
For example:
double d = 65.55;
See also:
Java Programming/Primitive Types
else
else
is a Java keyword. It is an optional part of a branching statement. It starts the 'false' statement block.
The general syntax of a if, using Extended Backus-Naur Form, is
branching-statement ::= if condition-clause
single-statement | block-statement
[ else
single-statement | block-statement ]
condition-clause
single-statement
block-statement
::= ( Boolean Expression )
::= Statement
::= { Statement [ Statement ] }
For example:
if ( expression ) {
System.out.println("'True' statement block");
} else {
System.out.println("'False' statement block");
}
See also:
Java Programming/Keywords/if
enum
/** Grades of courses */
enum Grade { A, B, C, D, F };
// ...
private Grade gradeA = Grade.A;
This enumeration constant then can be passed in to methods:
student.assignGrade(gradeA);
/**
* Assigns the grade for this course to the student
* @param GRADE Grade to be assigned
*/
public void assignGrade(final Grade GRADE) {
grade = GRADE;
}
An enumeration may also have parameters:
public enum DayOfWeek {
/** Enumeration constants */
MONDAY(1), TUESDAY(2), WEDNESDAY(3), THURSDAY(4), FRIDAY(5), SATURDAY(6), SUNDAY(0);
/** Code for the days of the week */
private byte dayCode = 0;
/**
* Private constructor
* @param VALUE Value that stands for a day of the week.
*/
private DayOfWeek(final byte VALUE) {
dayCode = java.lang.Math.abs(VALUE%7);
}
/**
* Gets the day code
* @return The day code
*/
public byte getDayCode() {
return dayCode;
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}
}
It is also possible to let an enumeration implement interfaces other than java.lang.Comparable and java.io.Serializable, which are already implicitly implemented by each
enumeration:
public enum DayOfWeek implements Runnable {
MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY, THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY;
/**
* Run method prints all elements
*/
public void run() {
System.out.println("name() = " + name() +
", toString() = \"" + toString() + "\"");
}
}
extends
is a Java keyword.
extends
Used in class and interface definition to declare the class or interface that is to be extended.
Syntax:
public class MyClass extends SuperClass
{
//...
}
public interface MyInterface extends SuperInterface
{
//...
}
In Java 1.5 and later, the "extends" keyword is also used to specify an upper bound on a type parameter in Generics.
class Foo<T extends Number> { /*...*/ }
See also:
Java Programming/Creating Objects
Java Programming/Keywords/class
final
is a keyword. Beware! It has distinct meanings depending whether it is used for a class, a method, or for a variable. It must be placed before the variable type or the method
return type. It is recommended to place it after the access modifier and after the static keyword.
final
Code section 1: Keyword order.
1 private static final long serialVersionUID = -5437975414336623381L;
For a variable
The final keyword only allows a single assignment for the variable. That is to say, once the variable has been assigned, its value is in read-only. If the variable is a primitive type,
its value will no longer change. If it is an object, only its reference will no longer change. Keep in mind that its value can still be changed.
Code section 2: Forbidden double assignment.
1 final int a = 1;
2 a = 2;
Code section 3: Only modify the value of the object.
1
2
3
4
final ArrayList list = new ArrayList();
System.out.println(list.size());
list.add("One item");
System.out.println(list.size());
Console for Code section 3
0
1
A final variable is often used for universal constants, such as pi:
Code section 4: Pi constant.
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1 static final double PI = 3.1415926;
The final keyword can also be used for method parameters:
Code section 5: Final method parameter.
1 public int method(final int inputInteger)
2
int outputInteger = inputInteger + 1;
3
return outputInteger;
4 }
It is useful for methods that use side effects to update some objects. Such methods modify the content of an object passed in parameter. The method caller will recieve the object
update. This will fail if the object parameter has been reassigned in the method. Another object will be updated instead. Final method parameter can also be used to keep the code
clean.
The final keyword is similar to const in other languages and the readonly keyword in C#. A final variable cannot be volatile.
For a class
The final keyword forbids the creation of a subclass. It is the case of the Integer or String class.
Code listing 1: SealedClass.java
1 public final class SealedClass {
2
public static void main(String[] args) {
3
}
4 }
A final class cannot be abstract. The final keyword is similar to sealed keyword in C#.
For a method
The final keyword forbids to overwrite the method in a subclass. It is useless if the class is already final and a private method is implicitly final. A final method cannot be
abstract.
Code listing 2: NoOverwriting.java
1 public class NoOverwriting {
2
public final void sealedMethod() {
3
}
4 }
Interest
The final keyword is mostly used to guarantee a good usage of the code. For instance (non-static) methods, this allows the compiler to expand the method (similar to an inline
function) if the method is small enough. Sometimes it is required to use it. For instance, a nested class can only access the members of the top-level class if they are final.
See also Access Modifiers.
finally
is a keyword which is an optional part of the try block.
finally
Code section 1: try block.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
try {
// ...
} catch (MyException1 e) {
// Handle the Exception1 here
} catch (MyException2 e) {
// Handle the Exception2 here
} finally {
// This will always be executed no matter what happens
}
The code inside the finally block will always be executed. This is also true for cases when there is an exception or even executed return statement in the try block.
Three things can happen in a try block. First, no exception is thrown:
Code section 2: No exception is thrown.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
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System.out.println("Before the try block");
try {
System.out.println("Inside the try block");
} catch (MyException1 e) {
System.out.println("Handle the Exception1");
} catch (MyException2 e) {
System.out.println("Handle the Exception2");
} finally {
System.out.println("Execute the finally block"
}
System.out.println("Continue");
Console for Code section 2
Before the try block
Inside the try block
Execute the finally block
Continue
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You can see that we have passed in the try block, then we have executed the finally block and we have continued the execution. Now, a caught exception is thrown:
Code section 3: A caught exception is thrown.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
System.out.println("Before the try block");
try {
System.out.println("Enter inside the try block"
throw new MyException1();
System.out.println("Terminate the try block");
} catch (MyException1 e) {
System.out.println("Handle the Exception1");
} catch (MyException2 e) {
System.out.println("Handle the Exception2");
} finally {
System.out.println("Execute the finally block"
}
System.out.println("Continue");
Console for Code section 3
Before the try block
Enter inside the try block
Handle the Exception1
Execute the finally block
Continue
We have passed in the try block until where the exception occurred, then we have executed the matching catch block, the finally block and we have continued the execution.
Now, an uncaught exception is thrown:
Code section 4: An uncaught exception is thrown.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
System.out.println("Before the try block");
try {
System.out.println("Enter inside the try block"
throw new Exception();
System.out.println("Terminate the try block");
} catch (MyException1 e) {
System.out.println("Handle the Exception1");
} catch (MyException2 e) {
System.out.println("Handle the Exception2");
} finally {
System.out.println("Execute the finally block"
}
System.out.println("Continue");
Console for Code section 4
Before the try block
Enter inside the try block
Execute the finally block
We have passed in the try block until where the exception occurred and we have executed the finally block. NO CODE after the try-catch block has been executed. If there is
an exception that happens before the try-catch block, the finally block is not executed.
If return statement is used inside finally, it overrides the return statement in the try-catch block. For instance, the construct
Code section 5: Return statement.
1
2
3
4
5
try {
return 11;
} finally {
return 12;
}
will return 12, not 11. Professional code almost never contains statements that alter execution order (like return, break, continue) inside the finally block, as such code is more
difficult to read and maintain.
float
float
is a keyword which designates the 32 bit float primitive type.
The java.lang.Float class is the nominal wrapper class when you need to store a float value but an object reference is required.
Syntax:
float <variable-name> = <float-value>;
For example:
float price = 49.95;
See also:
Java Programming/Primitive Types
for
for
is a Java keyword.
It starts a looping block.
The general syntax of a for, using Extended Backus-Naur Form, is
for-looping-statement ::= for condition-clause
single-statement | block-statement
condition-clause
single-statement
block-statement
::= ( before-statement; Boolean Expression ; after-statement )
::= Statement
::= { Statement [ Statement ] }
For example:
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for ( int i=0; i < maxLoopIter; i++ ) {
System.println("Iter: " +i);
}
See also:
Java Programming/Keywords/while
Java Programming/Keywords/do
goto
goto
is a reserved keyword, presently not being used.
if
if
is a Java keyword. It starts a branching statement.
The general syntax of a if, using Extended Backus-Naur Form, is
branching-statement ::= if condition-clause
single-statement | block-statement
[ else
single-statement | block-statement ]
condition-clause
single-statement
block-statement
::= ( Boolean Expression )
::= Statement
::= { Statement [ Statements ] }
For example:
if ( boolean Expression )
{
System.out.println("'True' statement block");
}
else
{
System.out.println("'False' statement block");
}
See also:
Java Programming/Keywords/else
implements
implements
is a Java keyword.
Used in class definition to declare the Interfaces that are to be implemented by the class.
Syntax:
public class MyClass implements MyInterface1, MyInterface2
{
...
}
See also:
Java Programming/Creating Objects
Java Programming/Keywords/class
Java Programming/Keywords/interface
import
import
is a Java keyword.
It declares a Java class to use in the code below the import statement. Once a Java class is declared, then the class name can be used in the code without specifying the package the
class belongs to.
Use the '*' character to declare all the classes belonging to the package.
Syntax:
import package.JavaClass;
import package.*;
The static import construct allows unqualified access to static members without inheriting from the type containing the static members:
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import static java.lang.Math.PI;
Once the static members have been imported, they may be used without qualification:
double r = cos(PI * theta);
Caveat: use static import very sparingly to avoid polluting the program's namespace!
See also:
Java Programming/Packages
instanceof
instanceof
is a keyword.
It checks if an object reference is an instance of a type, and returns a boolean value;
The <object-reference> instanceof Object will return true for all non-null object references, since all Java objects are inherited from Object. instanceof will always return
false if <object-reference> is null.
Syntax:
<object-reference> instanceof TypeName
For example:
class Fruit
{
//...
}
class Apple extends Fruit
{
//...
}
class Orange extends Fruit
{
//...
}
public class Test
{
public static void main(String[] args)
{
Collection<Object> coll = new ArrayList<Object>();
Apple app1 = new Apple();
Apple app2 = new Apple();
coll.add(app1);
coll.add(app2);
Orange or1 = new Orange();
Orange or2 = new Orange();
coll.add(or1);
coll.add(or2);
printColl(coll);
}
private static String printColl( Collection<?> coll )
{
for (Object obj : coll)
{
if ( obj instanceof Object )
{
System.out.print("It is a Java Object and");
}
if ( obj instanceof Fruit )
{
System.out.print("It is a Fruit and");
}
if ( obj instanceof Apple )
{
System.out.println("it is an Apple");
}
if ( obj instanceof Orange )
{
System.out.println("it is an Orange");
}
}
}
}
Run the program:
java Test
The output:
"It
"It
"It
"It
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is
is
is
is
a
a
a
a
Java
Java
Java
Java
Object
Object
Object
Object
and
and
and
and
It
It
It
It
is
is
is
is
a
a
a
a
Fruit
Fruit
Fruit
Fruit
and
and
and
and
it
it
it
it
is
is
is
is
an
an
an
an
Apple"
Apple"
Orange"
Orange"
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Note that the instanceof operator can also be applied to interfaces. For example, if the example above was enhanced with the interface
interface Edible
{
//...
}
and the classes modified such that they implemented this interface
class Orange extends Fruit implements Edible
{
...
}
we could ask if our object were edible.
if ( obj instanceof Edible )
{
System.out.println("it is edible");
}
int
int
is a keyword which designates the 32 bit signed integer primitive type.
The java.lang.Integer class is the nominal wrapper class when you need to store an int value but an object reference is required.
Syntax:
int <variable-name> = <integer-value>;
For example:
int i = 65;
See also:
Java Programming/Primitive Types
interface
interface
is a Java keyword. It starts the declaration of a Java Interface.
For example:
public interface SampleInterface
{
public void method1();
//...
}
See also:
Java Programming/Keywords/new
long
long
is a keyword which designates the 64 bit signed integer primitive type.
The java.lang.Long class is the nominal wrapper class when you need to store a long value but an object reference is required.
Syntax:
long <variable-name> = <integer-value>;
For example:
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long timestamp = 1269898201;
See also:
Java Programming/Primitive Types
native
native is a java keyword. It marks a method, that it will be implemented in other languages, not in Java. The method is declared without a body and cannot be abstract. It works
together with JNI (Java Native Interface).
Syntax:
[public|protected|private] native method();
Native methods were used in the past to write performance critical sections but with java getting faster this is now less common. Native methods are currently needed when
You need to call from java a library, written in another language.
You need to access system or hardware resources that are only reachable from the other language (typically C). Actually, many system functions that interact with real
computer (disk and network IO, for instance) can only do this because they call native code.
To complete writing native method, you need to process your class with javah tool that will generate a header code in C. You then need to provide implementation of the header
code, produce dynamically loadable library (.so under Linux, .dll under Windows) and load it (in the simplest case with System.load(library_file_name) . The code
completion is trivial if only primitive types like integers are passed but gets more complex if it is needed to exchange strings or objects from the C code. In general, everything can
be on C level, including creation of the new objects and calling back methods, written in java.
To call the code in some other language (including C++), you need to write a bridge from C to that language. This is usually trivial as most of languages are callable from C.
See also
[3] (http://java.sun.com/developer/onlineTraining/Programming/JDCBook/jni.html) - JNI programming tutorial.
[4] (http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.3/docs/guide/jni/spec/jniTOC.doc.html) - JNI specification.
new
new
is a Java keyword. It creates a Java object and allocates memory for it on the heap. new is also used for array creation, as arrays are also objects.
Syntax:
<JavaType> <variable> = new <JavaObject>();
For example:
LinkedList list = new LinkedList();
int[] intArray = new int[10];
String[][] stringMatrix = new String[5][10];
See also:
Java Programming/Creating Objects
package
package
is a Java keyword. It declares a 'name space' for the Java class. It must be put at the top of the Java file, it should be the first Java statement line.
To ensure that the package name will be unique across vendors, usually the company url is used starting in backword.
Syntax:
package package;
For example:
package com.mycompany.myapplication.mymodule;
See also:
Java Programming/Packages
Java Programming/Keywords/import
private
is a Java keyword which declares a member's access as private. That is, the member is only visible within the class, not from any other class (including subclasses). The
visibility of private members extends to nested classes.
private
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Please note: Because access modifiers are not handled at instance level but at class level, private members of an object are visible from other instances of the same class!
Syntax:
private void method();
See also:
Java Programming/Access Modifiers
protected
protected
is a Java keyword.
This keyword is an access modifier, used before a method or other class member to signify that the method or variable can only be accessed by elements residing in its own class or
classes in the same package (as it would be for the default visibility level) but moreover from subclasses of its own class, including subclasses in foreign packages (if the access is
made on an expression, whose type is the type of this subclass).
Syntax:
protected <returnType> <methodName>(<parameters>);
For example:
protected int getAge();
protected void setYearOfBirth(int year);
See also:
Java Programming/Scope#Access modifiers
public
is a Java keyword which declares a member's access as public. Public members are visible to all other classes. This means that any other class can access a public field or
method. Further, other classes can modify public fields unless the field is declared as final.
public
A best practice is to give fields private access and reserve public access to only the set of methods and final fields that define the class' public constants. This helps with
encapsulation and information hiding, since it allows you to change the implementation of a class without affecting the consumers who use only the public API of the class.
Below is an example of an immutable public class named Length which maintains private instance fields named units and magnitude but provides a public constructor and
two public accessor methods.
Code listing: Length.java
1 package org.wikibooks.java;
2
3 public class Length {
private double magnitude;
4
private String units;
5
6
7
8
9
public Length(double magnitude, String units) {
if ((units == null) || (units.trim().length() == 0)) {
throw new IllegalArgumentException("non-null, non-empty units required.");
10
}
11
12
this.magnitude = magnitude;
13
14
15
}
16
17
18
public double getMagnitude() {
return magnitude;
}
19
20
21
22
23 }
this.units = units;
public String getUnits() {
return units;
}
return
return
is a Java keyword.
Returns a primitive value, or an object reference, or nothing(void). It does not return object values, only object references.
Syntax:
return variable;
or
return;
// --- Returns variable
// --- Returns nothing
short
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short
is a keyword. It defines a 16 bit signed integer primitive type.
Syntax:
short <variable-name> = <integer-value>;
For example:
short age = 65;
See also:
Java Programming/Primitive Types
static
static is a Java keyword. It can be applied to a field, a method or an inner class. A static field, method or class has a single instance for the whole class that defines it, even if there
is no instance of this class in the program. For instance, a Java entry point (main()) has to be static. A static method cannot be abstract. It must be placed before the variable type
or the method return type. It is recommended to place it after the access modifier and before the final keyword:
Code section 1: Static field and method.
1 public static final double pi = 3.1415900;
2
3 public static void main(String[] args) {
4
//...
5 }
The static items can be called on an instantiated object or directly on the class:
Code section 2: Static item calls.
1 double aNumber = MyClass.pi;
2 MyClass.main(new String[0]);
Static methods cannot call non static methods. The this current object reference is also not available in static methods.
Interest
Static variables can be used as data sharing amongst objects of the same class. For example to implement a counter that stores the number of objects created at a given time
can be defined as so:
Code listing 1: CountedObject.java
1 public CountedObject {
2
private static int counter;
3
...
4
public AClass() {
5
6
7
...
counter += 1;
}
8
9
10
...
public int getNumberOfObjectsCreated() {
return counter;
11
12 }
}
The counter variable is incremented each time an object is created.
Public static variable should not be used, as these become global variables that can be accessed from everywhere in the program. Global constants can be used, however. See
below:
Code section 3: Constant definition.
1 public static final String CONSTANT_VAR = "Const";
Static methods can be used for utility functions or for functions that do not belong to any particular object. For example:
Code listing 2: ArithmeticToolbox.java
1 public ArithmeticToolbox {
2
3
4
...
public static int addTwoNumbers(int firstNumber, int secondNumber)
return firstNumber + secondNumber;
5
6 }
}
See also Static methods
strictfp
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strictfp
is a java keyword, since Java 1.2 .
It makes sure that floating point calculations result precisely the same regardless of the underlying operating system and hardware platform, even if more precision could be
obtained. This is compatible with the earlier version of Java 1.1 . If you need that use it.
Syntax for classes:
public strictfp class MyClass
{
//...
}
Syntax for methods:
public strictfp void method()
{
...
}
See also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strictfp
super
super
is a keyword.
It is used inside a sub-class method definition to call a method defined in the super class. Private methods of the super-class cannot be called. Only public and protected
methods can be called by the super keyword.
It is also used by class constructors to invoke constructors of its parent class.
Syntax:
super.<method-name>();
For example:
Code listing 1: SuperClass.java
1 public class SuperClass {
2
3
4
public void printHello() {
System.out.println("Hello from SuperClass");
5
6 }
}
return;
Code listing 2: SubClass.java
1 public class SubClass extends SuperClass {
2
public void printHello() {
3
super.printHello();
4
System.out.println("Hello from SubClass");
5
return;
6
}
7
8
9
public static main(String[] args) {
SubClass obj = new SubClass();
obj.printHello();
10
11 }
}
Running the above program:
Command for Code listing 2
$Java SubClass
Output of Code listing 2
Hello from SuperClass
Hello from SubClass
In Java 1.5 and later, the "super" keyword is also used to specify a lower bound on a wildcard type parameter in Generics.
Code section 1: A lower bound on a wildcard type parameter.
1 public void sort(Comparator<? super T> comp) {
2
...
3 }
See also:
extends
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switch
switch
is a Java keyword.
It is a branching operation, based on a number. The 'number' must be either char, byte, short, or int primitive type.
Syntax:
switch ( <integer-var> )
{
case <label1>: <statements>;
case <label2>: <statements>;
...
case <labeln>: <statements>;
default: <statements>;
}
When the <integer-var> value match one of the <label>, then: The statements after the matched label will be executed including the following label's statements, until the end of the
switch block, or until a break keyword is reached.
For example:
int var = 3;
switch ( var )
{
case 1:
System.out.println( "Case: 1" );
System.out.println( "Execute until break" );
break;
case 2:
System.out.println( "Case: 2" );
System.out.println( "Execute until break" );
break;
case 3:
System.out.println( "Case: 3" );
System.out.println( "Execute until break" );
break;
case 4:
System.out.println( "Case: 4" );
System.out.println( "Execute until break" );
break;
default:
System.out.println( "Case: default" );
System.out.println( "Execute until break" );
break;
}
The output from the above code is:
Case: 3
Execute until break
The same code can be written with if-else blocks":
int var = 3;
if ( var == 1 ) {
System.out.println( "Case: 1" );
System.out.println( "Execute until break" );
} else if ( var == 2 )
System.out.println(
System.out.println(
} else if ( var == 3 )
{
"Case: 2" );
"Execute until break" );
{
System.out.println( "Case: 3" );
System.out.println( "Execute until break" );
} else if ( var == 4 ) {
System.out.println( "Case: 4" );
System.out.println( "Execute until break" );
} else {
// -- This is the default part -System.out.println( "Case: default" );
System.out.println( "Execute until break" );
}
See also:
Java Programming/Keywords/if
synchronized
synchronized
is a keyword.
It marks a critical section. A critical section is where one and only one thread is executing. So to enter into the marked code the threads are synchronized, only one can enter, the
others have to wait. For more information see Synchronizing Threads Methods or [5] (http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/essential/concurrency/syncmeth.html).
The synchronized keyword can be used in two ways:
Create a synchronized block
Mark a method synchronized
A synchronized block is marked as:
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Code section 1: Synchronized block.
1 synchronized(<object_reference>) {
2
// Thread.currentThread() has a lock on object_reference. All other threads trying to access it will
3
// be blocked until the current thread releases the lock.
4 }
The syntax to mark a method synchronized is:
Code section 2: Synchronized method.
1 public synchronized void method() {
2
// Thread.currentThread() has a lock on this object, i.e. a synchronized method is the same as
3
// calling { synchronized(this) {…} }.
4 }
The synchronization is always associated to an object. If the method is static, the associated object is the class. If the method is non-static, the associated object is the instance.
While it is allowed to declare an abstract method as synchronized, it is meaningless to do so since synchronization is an aspect of the implementation, not the declaration, and
abstract methods do not have an implementation.
Singleton example
As an example, we can show a thread-safe version of a singleton:
Code listing 1: Singleton.java
1 /**
2 * The singleton class that can be instantiated only once with lazy instantiation
3
*/
4 public class Singleton {
5
/** Static class instance */
6
private volatile static Singleton instance = null;
7
8
9
/**
* Standard private constructor
10
11
12
private Singleton() {
// Some initialisation
13
}
14
15
/**
*/
16
17
18
* Getter of the singleton instance
* @return The only instance
*/
19
20
21
22
public static Singleton getInstance() {
if (instance == null) {
// If the instance does not exist, go in time-consuming
// section:
23
24
25
synchronized (Singleton.class) {
if (instance == null) {
instance = new Singleton();
26
}
27
28
}
}
29
30
31
32
return instance;
}
}
this
this
is a Java keyword. It contains the current object reference.
1. Solves ambiguity between instance variables and parameters .
2. Used to pass current object as a parameter to another method .
Syntax:
this.method();
or
this.variable;
Example #1 for case 1:
public class MyClass
{
//...
private String value;
//...
public void setMemberVar( String value )
{
this.value= value;
}
}
Example #2 for case 1:
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public class MyClass
{
MyClass(int a, int b) {
System.out.println("int a: " + a);
System.out.println("int b: " + b);
}
MyClass(int a) {
this(a, 0);
}
//...
public static void main(String[] args) {
new MyClass(1, 2);
new MyClass(5);
}
}
throw
throw
is a keyword. It 'throws' an exception.
Syntax:
throw <Exception Ref>;
For example:
public Customer findCustomer( String name ) throws '''CustomerNotFoundException'''
{
Customer custRet = null;
Iterator iter = _customerList.iterator();
while ( iter.hasNext() )
{
Customer cust = (Customer) iter.next();
if ( cust.getName().equals( name ) )
{
// --- Customer find -custRet = cust;
break;
}
}
if ( custRet == null )
{
// --- Customer not found --throw new '''CustomerNotFoundException'''( "Customer "+ name + "was not found" );
}
return custRet
}
See also:
Java Programming/Keywords/throws
throws
throws
is a Java keyword. It is used in a method definition to declare the Exceptions to be thrown by the method.
Syntax:
public myMethod() throws MyException1, MyException2
{
...
}
Example:
class MyDefinedException extends Exception
{
public MyDefinedException(String str)
{
super(str);
}
}
public class MyClass
{
public static void showMyName(String str) throws MyDefinedException
{
if(str.equals("What is your Name?"))
throw new MyDefinedException("My name is Blah Blah");
}
public static void main(String a[])
{
try
{
showMyName("What is your Name?");
}
catch(MyDefinedException mde)
{
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mde.printStackTrace();
}
}
}
transient
is a Java keyword which marks a member variable not to be serialized when it is persisted to streams of bytes. When an object is transferred through the network, the
object needs to be 'serialized'. Serialization converts the object state to serial bytes. Those bytes are sent over the network and the object is recreated from those bytes. Member
variables marked by the java transient keyword are not transferred; they are lost intentionally.
transient
Syntax:
private transient <member-variable>;
or
transient private <member-variable>;
For example:
public class Foo implements Serializable
{
private String saveMe;
private transient String dontSaveMe;
private transient String password;
//...
}
See also:
Java language specification reference: jls (http://java.sun.com/docs/books/jls/third_edition/html/classes.html#8.3.1.3)
Serializable Interface. Serializable (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serialization#Java)
try
try
is a keyword.
It starts a try block. If an Exception is thrown inside a try block, the Exception will be compared any of the catch part of the block. If the Exception match with one of the
Exception in the catch part, the exception will be handled there.
Three things can happen in a try block:
No exception is thrown:
the code in the try block
plus the code in the finally block will be executed
plus the code after the try-catch block is executed
An exception is thrown and a match is found among the catch blocks:
the code in the try block until the exception occurred is executed
plus the matched catch block is executed
plus the finally block is executed
plus the code after the try-catch block is executed
An exception is thrown and no match found among the catch blocks:
the code in the try block until the exception occurred is executed
plus the finally block is executed
NO CODE after the try-catch block is executed
For example:
public void method() throws NoMatchedException
{
try {
//...
throw new '''MyException_1'''();
//...
} catch ( MyException_1 e ) {
// --- '''Handle the Exception_1 here''' -} catch ( MyException_2 e ) {
// --- Handle the Exception_2 here -} finally {
// --- This will always be executed no matter what -}
// --- Code after the try-catch block
}
How the catch-blocks are evaluated see Catching Rule
See also:
Java Programming/Keywords/catch
Java Programming/Keywords/finally
Java Programming/Throwing and Catching Exceptions#Catching Rule
void
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void
is a Java keyword.
Used at method declaration and definition to specify that the method does not return any type, the method returns void. It is not a type and there is no void references/pointers as in
C/C++.
For example:
public void method()
{
//...
return;
// -- In this case the return is optional
}
See also:
Java Programming/Keywords/return
volatile
volatile
is a keyword.
When member variables are marked with this keyword, it changes the runtime behavior in a way that is noticeable when multiple threads access these variables. Without the volatile
keyword, one thread could observe another thread update member variables in an order that is not consistent with what is specified in sourcecode. Unlike the synchronized
keyword, concurrent access to a volatile field is allowed.
Syntax:
private volatile <member-variable>;
or
volatile private <member-variable>;
For example:
private volatile changingVar;
See also:
Java Programming/Keywords/synchronized
while
while
is a Java keyword.
It starts a looping block.
The general syntax of a while, using Extended Backus-Naur Form, is
while-looping-statement ::= while condition-clause
single-statement | block-statement
condition-clause
single-statement
block-statement
::= ( Boolean Expression )
::= Statement
::= { Statement [ Statements ] }
For example:
while ( i < maxLoopIter )
{
System.println("Iter=" +i++);
}
See also:
Java Programming/Statements
Java Programming/Keywords/for
Java Programming/Keywords/do
Packages
If your application becomes quite big, you may have lots of classes. Although you can browse them in their alphabetic order, it becomes confusing. So your application classes can
be sorted into packages.
A package is a name space that mainly contains classes and interfaces. For instance, the standard class ArrayList is in the package java.util. For this class,
java.util.ArrayList is called its fully qualified name because this syntax has no ambiguity. Classes in different packages can have the same name. For example, you have the
two classes java.util.Date and java.sql.Date which are not the same. If no package is declared in a class, its package is the default package.
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Package declaration
In a class, a package is declared at the top of the source code using the keyword package:
Code listing 3.14: BusinessClass.java
1 package business;
2
3 public class BusinessClass {
4 }
If your class is declared in a package, say business, your class must be placed in a subfolder called business from the root of your application folder. This is how the compiler and
the class loader find the Java files on the file system. You can declare your class in a subpackage, say engine. So the full package is business.engine and the class must be placed
in a subsubfolder called engine in the subfolder business (not in a folder called business.engine).
Import and class usage
The simpliest way to use a class declared in a package is to prefix the class name with its package:
Code section 3.88: Package declaration.
1 business.BusinessClass myBusinessClass = new business.BusinessClass();
If you are using the class from a class in the same package, you don't have to specify the package. If another class with the same name exists in another package, it will use the local
class.
The syntax above is a bit verbose. You can import the class by using the import Java keyword at the top of the file and then only specify its name:
Code listing 3.15: MyClass.java
1 import business.BusinessClass;
2
3 public class MyClass {
4
5
6
public static void main(String[] args) {
BusinessClass myBusinessClass = new BusinessClass();
}
7 }
Note that you can't import two classes with the same name in two different packages.
The classes Integer and String belongs to the package java.lang but they don't need to be imported as the java.lang package is implicitly imported in all classes.
Wildcard imports
It is possible to import an entire package, using an asterisk:
Code section 3.89: Wildcard imports.
1 import javax.swing.*;
While it may seem convenient, it may cause problems if you make a typographical error. For example, if you use the above import to use JFrame, but then type JFraim frame =
new JFraim();, the Java compiler will report an error similar to "Cannot find symbol: JFraim". Even though it seems as if it was imported, the compiler is giving the error report at
the first mention of JFraim, which is half-way through your code, instead of the point where you imported JFrame along with everything else in javax.swing.
If you change this to import javax.swing.JFraim; the error will be at the import instead of within your code.
Furthermore, if you import javax.swing.*; and import java.util.*;, and javax.swing.Queue is later added in a future version of Java, your code that uses Queue (java.util)
will fail to compile. This particular example is fairly unlikely, but if you are working with non-Oracle libraries, it may be more likely to happen.
Package convention
A package name should start with a lower character. This eases to distinguish a package from a class name. In some operating systems, the directory names are not case sensitive. So
package names should be lowercase.
The Java package needs to be unique across Vendors to avoid name collisions. For that reason Vendors usually use their domain name in reverse order. That is guaranteed to be
unique. For example a company called Your Company Inc., would use a package name something like this: com.yourcompany.yourapplicationname.yourmodule.YourClass.
Importing packages from .jar files
If you are importing library packages or classes that reside in a .jar file, you must ensure that the file is in the current classpath (both at compile- and execution-time). Apart from
this requirement, importing these packages and classes is the same as if they were in their full, expanded, directory structure.
For example, to compile and run a class from a project's top directory (that contains the two directories /source and /libraries) you could use the following command:
Compilation
$ javac -classpath libraries/lib.jar source/MainClass.java
And then to run it, similarly:
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Execution
$ java -classpath libraries/lib.jar source/MainClass
The above is simplified, and demands that MainClass be in the default package, or a package called source, which isn't very desirable.
Class loading/package
The runtime identity of a class in Java is defined by the fully qualified class name and its defining class loader. This means that the same class, loaded by two different class loaders,
is seen by the Virtual Machine as two completely different types.
Arrays
An array is similar to a table of objects or primitive types, keyed by index. You may have noticed the strange parameter of the default main() method (String[] args) since the
beginning of the book. It is an array. Let's handle this parameter:
Code listing 3.15: The default array parameter.
Console for Code listing 3.15
1 public class ArrayExample {
public static void main(String[] args) {
2
$ java ArrayExample This is a test
3
Argument #1 This
Argument #2 is
for (int i = 0; i < args.length; ++i) {
System.out.println("Argument #" + (i + 1) + ": " + args[i]);
4
5
Argument #3 a
}
Argument #4 test
}
6
7 }
In the code listing 3.15, the array is args. It is an array of String objects (here those objects are the words that have been typed by the user at the program launching). At line 4,
One contained object is accessed using its index in the array. You can see that its value is printed on the standard output. Note that the strings have been put in the array with the
right order.
Fundamentals
In Java, an array is an object. This object has a given type for the contained primitive types or objects (int, char, String, ...). An array can be declared in several ways:
Code section 3.52: Array declarations.
1 int[] array1 = null;
2 int array2[] = null;
Those syntaxes are identical but the first one is recommended. It can also be instantiated in several ways:
Code section 3.53: Array instantiations.
1 array1 = new int[10];
2 array1 = {1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10};
At line 1, we instantiate an array of 10 items with non-initialized items. At line 2, we instantiate an array of 10 given items. It will each be given an index according to its order. We
can know the size of the array using the length attribute:
Code section 3.54: The array size.
1 int nbItems = 10;
2 Object[] array3 = new Object[nbItems];
3 System.out.println(array3.length);
Output for Code section 3.54
10
Arrays are allocated at runtime, so the specified size in an array creation expression may be a variable (rather than a constant expression as in C). However, the size of an
instantiated array never changes. If you need to change the size, you have to create a new instance. Items can be accessed by their index. Beware! The first index is 0:
Code section 3.55: The array indexes.
1
2
3
4
char[] array4 = {'a', 'b', 'c', 'd', 'e'};
System.out.println(array4[2]);
array4[4] = 'z';
System.out.println(array4[4]);
Output for Code section 3.55
c
z
If you attempt to access to a too high index or negative index, you will get an ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException.
Test your knowledge
Question 3.20: Consider the following code:
Question 3.20: Question20.java
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1 public class Question20 {
2
public static void main(String[] args) {
3
String[] listOfWord = {"beggars", "can't", "be", "choosers"};
4
System.out.println(listOfWord[1]);
5
System.out.println(listOfWord[listOfWord.length-1]);
6
}
7 }
What will be printed in the standard output?
Answer
Output for Question 3.20
can't
choosers
Indexes start at 0. So the index 1 point at the second string (can't). There are 4 items so the size of the array is 4. Hence the item pointed by the index 3 is the last one
(choosers).
Two-Dimensional Arrays
Actually, there are no two-dimensional arrays in Java. However, an array can contain any class of object, including an array:
Code section 3.56: Two-dimensional arrays.
1 String[][] twoDimArray = {{"a", "b", "c", "d", "e"},
2
{"f", "g", "h", "i", "j"},
3
{"k", "l", "m", "n", "o"}};
4
5 int[][] twoDimIntArray = {{ 0, 1, 2, 3, 4},
6
{10, 11, 12, 13, 14},
7
{20, 21, 22, 23, 24}};
It's not exactly equivalent to two-dimensional arrays because the size of the sub-arrays may vary. The sub-array reference can even be null. Consider:
Code section 3.57: Weird two-dimensional array.
1 String[][] weirdTwoDimArray = {{"10", "11", "12"},
2
null,
3
{"20", "21", "22", "23", "24"}};
Note that the length of a two-dimensional array is the number of one-dimensional arrays it contains. In the above example, weirdTwoDimArray.length is 3, whereas
weirdTwoDimArray[2].length is 5.
In the code section 3.58, we defined an array that has three elements, each element contains an array having 5 elements. We could create the array having the 5 elements first and
use that one in the initialize block.
Code section 3.58: Included array.
1 String[] oneDimArray = {"00", "01", "02", "03", "04"};
2 String[][] twoDimArray = {oneDimArray,
3
{"10", "11", "12", "13", "14"},
4
{"20", "21", "22", "23", "24"}};
Test your knowledge
Question 3.21: Consider the following code:
Question 3.21: The alphabet.
1 String[][] alphabet = {{"a", "b", "c", "d", "e"},
2
{"f", "g", "h", "i", "j"},
3
{"k", "l", "m", "n", "o"},
4
{"p", "q", "r", "s", "t"},
5
{"u", "v", "w", "x", "y"},
6
{"z"}};
Print the whole alphabet in the standard output.
Answer
Question 3.21: Answer21.java
1 public class Answer21 {
2
public static void main(String[] args) {
3
4
5
6
7
8
String[][] alphabet = {{"a", "b", "c", "d", "e"},
{"f", "g", "h", "i", "j"},
{"k", "l", "m", "n", "o"},
{"p", "q", "r", "s", "t"},
{"u", "v", "w", "x", "y"},
{"z"}};
9
10
11
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for (int i = 0; i < alphabet.length; i++) {
for (int j = 0; j < alphabet[i].length; j++) {
System.out.println(alphabet[i][j]);
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12 13
14
15
}
}
}
16 }
will be the indexes of the main array and j will be the indexes of all the sub-arrays. We have to first iterate on the main array. We have to read the size of the array. Then we
iterate on each sub-array. We have to read the size of each array as it may vary. Doing so, we iterate on all the sub-array items using the indexes. All the items will be read in
the right order.
i
Multidimensional Array
Going further any number of dimensional array can be defined.
elementType[][]...[] arrayName
or
elementType arrayName[][]...[]
Mathematical functions
The java.lang.Math class allows the use of many common mathematical functions that can be used while creating programs.
Since it is in the java.lang package, the Math class does not need to be imported. However, in programs extensively utilizing these functions, a static import can be used.
Math constants
There are two constants in the Math class that are fairly accurate approximations of irrational mathematical numbers.
Math.E
The Math.E constant represents the value of Euler's number (e), the base of the natural logarithm.
Code section 3.20: Math.E
1 public static final double E = 2.718281828459045;
Math.PI
The Math.PI constant represents the value of pi, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter.
Code section 3.21: Math.PI
1 public static final double PI = 3.141592653589793;
Math methods
Exponential methods
There are several methods in the Math class that deal with exponential functions.
Exponentiation
The power method, double Math.pow(double, double), returns the first parameter to the power of the second parameter. For example, a call to Math.pow(2, 10) will return a
value of 1024 (210).
The Math.exp(double) method, a special case of pow, returns e to the power of the parameter. In addition, double Math.expm1(double) returns (ex - 1). Both of these methods
are more accurate and convenient in these special cases.
Java also provides special cases of the pow function for square roots and cube roots of doubles, double Math.sqrt(double) and double Math.cbrt(double).
Logarithms
Java has no general logarithm function; when needed this can be simulated using the change-of-base theorem.
double Math.log(double)
returns the natural logarithm of the parameter (not the common logarithm, as its name suggests!).
double Math.log10(double)
returns the common (base-10) logarithm of the parameter.
double Math.log1p(double)
returns ln(parameter+1). It is recommended for small values.
Trigonometric and hyperbolic methods
The trigonometric methods of the Math class allow users to easily deal with trigonometric functions in programs. All accept only doubles. Please note that all values using these
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methods are initially passed and returned in radians, not degrees. However, conversions are possible.
Trigonometric functions
The three main trigonometric methods are Math.sin(x), Math.cos(x), and Math.tan(x), which are used to find the sine, cosine, and tangent, respectively, of any given number.
So, for example, a call to Math.sin(Math.PI/2) would return a value of about 1. Although methods for finding the cosecant, secant, and cotangent are not available, these values
can be found by taking the reciprocal of the sine, cosine, and tangent, respectively. For example, the cosecant of pi/2 could be found using 1/Math.sin(Math.PI/2).
Inverse trigonometric functions
Java provides inverse counterparts to the trigonometric functions: Math.asin(x), and Math.acos(x), Math.atan(x).
Hyperbolic functions
In addition, hyperbolic functions are available: Math.sinh(x), Math.cosh(x), and Math.tanh(x).
Radian/degree conversion
To convert between degree and radian measures of angles, two methods are available, Math.toRadians(x) and Math.toDegrees(x). While using Math.toRadians(x), a degrees
value must be passed in, and that value in radians (the degree value multiplied by pi/180) will be returned. The Math.toDegrees(x) method takes in a value in radians and the
value in degrees (the radian value multiplied by 180/pi) is returned.
Absolute value: Math.abs
The absolute value method of the Math class is compatible with the int, long, float, and double types. The data returned is the absolute value of parameter (how far away it is
from zero) in the same data type. For example:
Code section 3.22: Math.abs
1 int result = Math.abs(-3);
In this example, result will contain a value of 3.
Maximum and minimum values
These methods are very simple comparing functions. Instead of using if...else statements, one can use the Math.max(x1, x2) and Math.min(x1, x2) methods. The
Math.max(x1, x2) simply returns the greater of the two values, while the Math.min(x1, x2) returns the lesser of the two. Acceptable types for these methods include int, long,
float, and double.
Functions dealing with floating-point representation
Java 1.5 and 1.6 introduced several non-mathematical functions specific to the computer floating-point representation of numbers.
Math.ulp(double)
Math.copySign
and Math.ulp(float) return an ulp, the smallest value which, when added to the argument, would be recognized as larger than the argument.
returns the value of the first argument with the sign of the second argument. It can be used to determine the sign of a zero value.
Math.getExponent
returns (as an int) the exponent used to scale the floating-point argument in computer representation.
Rounding number example
Sometimes, we are not only interested in mathematically correct rounded numbers, but we want that a fixed number of significant digits are always displayed, regardless of the
number used. Here is an example program that returns always the correct string. You are invited to modify it such that it does the same and is simpler!
The constant class contains repeating constants that should exist only once in the code so that to avoid inadvertent changes. (If the one constant is changed inadvertently, it is most
likely to be seen, as it is used at several locations.)
Code listing 3.20: StringUtils.java
1 /**
2 * Class that comprises of constant values & string utilities.
3 *
4
5
6
* @since 2013-09-05
* @version 2014-10-14
*/
7 public class StringUtils {
8 /** Dash or minus constant */
9 public static final char DASH = '-';
10 /** The exponent sign in a scientific number, or the capital letter E */
11
12
13
public static final char EXPONENT = 'E';
/** The full stop or period */
public static final char PERIOD = '.';
14
15
16
/** The zero string constant used at several places */
public static final String ZERO = "0";
17
18
19
/**
* Removes all occurrences of the filter character in the text.
*
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* @param text Text to be filtered
* @param filter The character to be removed.
* @return the string
*/
public static String filter(final String text, final String filter) {
final String[] words = text.split("[" + filter + "]");
switch (words.length) {
case 0: return text;
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case 1: return words[0];
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default:
final StringBuilder filteredText = new StringBuilder();
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for (final String word : words) {
34
filteredText.append(word);
35
}
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38
return filteredText.toString();
}
39
}
40 }
The MathsUtils class is like an addition to the java.lang.Math class and contains the rounding calculations.
Code listing 3.21: MathsUtils.java
1 package string;
2
3 /**
4
* Class for special mathematical calculations.<br/>
5
* ATTENTION:<br/>Should depend only on standard Java libraries!
6
7
*
* @since 2013-09-05
8
* @version 2014-10-14
9 */
10 public class MathsUtils {
11
12
13
// CONSTANTS
// ------------------------------------------
14
15
/** The exponent sign in a scientific number, or the capital letter E. */
16
17
public static final char EXPONENT = 'E';
18
19
/** Value after which the language switches from scientific to double */
private static final double E_TO_DOUBLE = 1E-3;
20
21
22
23
24
/** The zero string constant used at several places. */
public static final String ZERO = "0";
25
26
27
private static final String ZEROS = "000000000000000000000000000000000";
28
// ------------------------------------------
29
30
/**
/** The string of zeros */
// METHODS
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35
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39
40
* @return true, if it is a scientific number, false otherwise
*/
private static boolean isScientific(final double number) {
return ((new Double(number)).toString().indexOf(EXPONENT) > 0);
}
/**
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42
* Determines how many zeros are to be appended after the decimal digits.
*
43
* @param significantsAfter Requested significant digits after decimal
44
45
46
* @param separator Language-specific decimal separator
* @param number Rounded number
* @return Requested value
47
48
49
*/
private static byte calculateMissingSignificantZeros(
final byte significantsAfter,
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52
53
final byte after = findSignificantsAfterDecimal(separator, number);
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final byte zeros =
(byte) (significantsAfter - ((after == 0) ? 1 : after));
final char separator,
final double number) {
57
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59
}
60
61
62
/**
* Finds the insignificant zeros after the decimal separator.
63
return ((zeros >= 0) ? zeros : 0);
64
65
66
*
* @param separator Language-specific decimal separator
* @param number the number
* @return the byte
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*/
private static byte findInsignificantZerosAfterDecimal(
final char separator,
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* Determines, if the number uses a scientific representation.
*
* @param number the number
final double number) {
if ((Math.abs(number) >= 1) || isScientific(number)) {
return 0;
} else {
final StringBuilder string = new StringBuilder();
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string.append(number);
string.delete(0,
string.indexOf(new Character(separator).toString()) + 1);
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// Determine what to match:
final String regularExpression = "[1-9]";
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final String[] split = string.toString().split(regularExpression);
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return (split.length > 0) ? (byte) split[0].length() : 0;
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}
}
89
90
/**
91
* Calculates the number of all significant digits (without the sign and
92
* the decimal separator).
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94
*
* @param significantsAfter Requested significant digits after decimal
95
* @param separator Language-specific decimal separator
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97
* @param number Value where the digits are to be counted
* @return Number of significant digits
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99
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*/
private static byte findSignificantDigits(final byte significantsAfter,
final char separator,
final double number) {
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if (number == 0) { return 0; }
else {
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String mantissa =
findMantissa(separator, new Double(number).toString());
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if (number == (long)number) {
109
mantissa = mantissa.substring(0, mantissa.length() - 1);
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}
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mantissa = retrieveDigits(separator, mantissa);
// Find the position of the first non-zero digit:
114
short nonZeroAt = 0;
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for (; (nonZeroAt < mantissa.length())
117
&& (mantissa.charAt(nonZeroAt) == '0'); nonZeroAt++) ;
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}
return (byte)mantissa.substring(nonZeroAt).length();
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123
/**
}
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* Determines the number of significant digits after the decimal separator
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* knowing the total number of significant digits and the number before the
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* @param significantsBefore Number of significant digits before separator
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* @param significantDigits Number of all significant digits
* @return Number of significant decimals after the separator
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133
* decimal separator.
*
*/
private static byte findSignificantsAfterDecimal(
final byte significantsBefore,
134
final byte significantDigits) {
135
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137
final byte afterDecimal =
(byte) (significantDigits - significantsBefore);
138
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140
}
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142
/**
return (byte) ((afterDecimal > 0) ? afterDecimal : 0);
143
* Determines the number of digits before the decimal point.
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*
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* @param separator Language-specific decimal separator
* @param number Value to be scrutinised
* @return Number of digits before the decimal separator
*/
private static byte findSignificantsBeforeDecimal(final char separator,
final double number) {
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final String value = new Double(number).toString();
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// Return immediately, if result is clear: Special handling at
// crossroads of floating point and exponential numbers:
if ((number == 0) || (Math.abs(number) >= E_TO_DOUBLE)
157
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159
&& (Math.abs(number) < 1)) {
return 0;
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} else if ((Math.abs(number) > 0) && (Math.abs(number) < E_TO_DOUBLE)) {
return 1;
} else {
byte significants = 0;
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// Significant digits to the right of decimal separator:
for (byte b = 0; b < value.length(); b++) {
if (value.charAt(b) == separator) {
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break;
} else if (value.charAt(b) != StringUtils.DASH) {
significants++;
}
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}
return significants;
}
}
/**
* Returns the exponent part of the double number.
*
* @param number Value of which the exponent is of interest
* @return Exponent of the number or zero.
*/
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private static short findExponent(final double number) {
return new Short(findExponent((new Double(number)).toString()));
185
}
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/**
* Finds the exponent of a number.
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*
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* @param value Value where an exponent is to be searched
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* @return Exponent, if it exists, or "0".
*/
193
private static String findExponent(final String value) {
194
final short exponentAt = (short) value.indexOf(EXPONENT);
195
196
if (exponentAt < 0) { return ZERO; }
197
else {
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return value.substring(exponentAt + 1);
}
200
}
201
202
/**
203
* Finds the mantissa of a number.
204
*
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* @param separator Language-specific decimal separator
* @param value Value where the mantissa is to be found
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* @return Mantissa of the number
*/
private static String findMantissa(final char separator,
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210
final String value) {
211
212
213
String strValue = value;
214
final short exponentAt = (short) strValue.indexOf(EXPONENT);
215
216
if (exponentAt > -1) {
217
218
}
strValue = strValue.substring(0, exponentAt);
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return strValue;
}
221
222
/**
223
* Retrieves the digits of the value without decimal separator or sign.
*
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226
* @param separator
* @param number Mantissa to be scrutinised
227
228
229
* @return The digits only
*/
private static String retrieveDigits(final char separator, String number) {
230
231
232
// Strip off exponent part, if it exists:
short eAt = (short)number.indexOf(EXPONENT);
233
if (eAt > -1) {
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235
}
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return number.replace((new Character(StringUtils.DASH)).toString(), "").
replace((new Character(separator)).toString(), "");
number = number.substring(0, eAt);
239
}
240
241
242
// ---- Public methods ----------------------
243
244
245
/**
* Returns the number of digits in the long value.
246
247
*
* @param value the value
248
* @return the byte
249
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251
*/
public static byte digits(final long value) {
return (byte) StringUtils.filter(Long.toString(value), ".,").length();
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255
}
/**
* Finds the significant digits after the decimal separator of a mantissa.
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*
* @param separator Language-specific decimal separator
* @param number Value to be scrutinised
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260
261
* @return Number of significant zeros after decimal separator.
*/
public static byte findSignificantsAfterDecimal(final char separator,
262
263
264
final double number) {
if (number == 0) { return 1; }
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else {
String value = (new Double(number)).toString();
final short separatorAt = (short) value.indexOf(separator);
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270
if (separatorAt > -1) {
value = value.substring(separatorAt + 1);
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}
final short exponentAt = (short) value.indexOf(EXPONENT);
275
276
277
if (exponentAt > 0) {
value = value.substring(0, exponentAt);
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}
282
283
284
if (Math.abs(number) < 1) {
return (byte) longValue.toString().length();
} else if (longValue == 0) {
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287
return 0;
} else {
return (byte) (("0." + value).length() - 2);
final Long longValue = new Long(value).longValue();
}
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}
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/**
* Calculates the power of the base to the exponent without changing the
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}
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* least-significant digits of a number.
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*
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297
* @param basis
* @param exponent
298
* @return basis to power of exponent
299
300
*/
public static double power(final int basis, final short exponent) {
301
return power((short) basis, exponent);
302
}
303
304
/**
305
* Calculates the power of the base to the exponent without changing the
306
307
* least-significant digits of a number.
*
* @param basis the basis
308
309
* @param exponent the exponent
* @return basis to power of exponent
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311
312
313
*/
public static double power(final short basis, final short exponent) {
if (basis == 0) {
return (exponent != 0) ? 1 : 0;
314
315
} else {
if (exponent == 0) {
316
317
318
return 1;
} else {
319
// The Math method power does change the least significant
320
321
// digits after the decimal separator and is therefore useless.
double result = 1;
322
323
short s = 0;
324
if (exponent > 0) {
325
for (; s < exponent; s++) {
326
result *= basis;
327
}
328
} else if (exponent < 0) {
for (s = exponent; s < 0; s++) {
329
330
331
result /= basis;
}
332
333
}
334
335
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337
return result;
}
}
}
338
339
340
/**
* Rounds a number to the decimal places.
341
342
343
*
* @param significantsAfter Requested significant digits after decimal
344
* @param number Number to be rounded
345
346
347
* @param separator Language-specific decimal separator
* @return Rounded number to the requested decimal places
*/
public static double round(final byte significantsAfter,
348
349
350
final char separator,
final double number) {
351
352
if (number == 0) { return 0; }
else {
353
final double constant = power(10, (short)
354
355
356
(findInsignificantZerosAfterDecimal(separator, number)
+ significantsAfter));
final short dExponent = findExponent(number);
357
358
359
360
short exponent = dExponent;
double value = number*constant*Math.pow(10, -exponent);
361
362
363
final String exponentSign =
(exponent < 0) ? String.valueOf(StringUtils.DASH) : "";
364
365
366
if (exponent != 0) {
exponent = (short) Math.abs(exponent);
367
368
369
value = round(value);
} else {
value = round(value)/constant;
370
371
372
373
}
// Power method cannot be used, as the exponentiated number may
// exceed the maximal long value.
374
375
exponent -= Math.signum(dExponent)*(findSignificantDigits
(significantsAfter, separator, value) - 1);
376
377
378
379
if (dExponent != 0) {
String strValue = Double.toString(value);
strValue = strValue.substring(0, strValue.indexOf(separator))
+ EXPONENT + exponentSign + Short.toString(exponent);
380
381
382
value = new Double(strValue);
383
384
385
386
}
return value;
}
387
388
389
}
390
391
392
/**
* Rounds a number according to mathematical rules.
*
393
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397
398
* @param value the value
* @return the double
*/
public static double round(final double value) {
return (long) (value + .5);
}
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/**
401
402
* Rounds to a fixed number of significant digits.
*
403
* @param significantDigits Requested number of significant digits
404
* @param separator Language-specific decimal separator
405
* @param dNumber Number to be rounded
406
* @return Rounded number
407
*/
408
409
public static String roundToString(final byte significantDigits,
final char separator,
410
double dNumber) {
411
412
// Number of significants that *are* before the decimal separator:
final byte significantsBefore =
413
414
findSignificantsBeforeDecimal(separator, dNumber);
// Number of decimals that *should* be after the decimal separator:
415
416
final byte significantsAfter = findSignificantsAfterDecimal(
417
418
significantsBefore, significantDigits);
// Round to the specified number of digits after decimal separator:
final double rounded = MathsUtils.round(significantsAfter, separator, dNumber);
419
420
421
final String exponent = findExponent((new Double(rounded)).toString());
422
423
final String mantissa = findMantissa(separator,
(new Double(rounded)).toString());
424
425
426
final double dMantissa = new Double(mantissa).doubleValue();
final StringBuilder result = new StringBuilder(mantissa);
427
428
// Determine the significant digits in this number:
final byte significants = findSignificantDigits(significantsAfter,
429
separator, dMantissa);
430
// Add lagging zeros, if necessary:
431
432
if (significants <= significantDigits) {
if (significantsAfter != 0) {
433
result.append(ZEROS.substring(0,
434
435
436
calculateMissingSignificantZeros(significantsAfter,
separator, dMantissa)));
} else {
437
438
// Cut off the decimal separator & after decimal digits:
final short decimal = (short) result.indexOf(
439
new Character(separator).toString());
440
441
442
if (decimal > -1) {
result.setLength(decimal);
443
}
444
445
}
} else if (significantsBefore > significantDigits) {
446
447
448
dNumber /= power(10, (short) (significantsBefore - significantDigits));
dNumber = round(dNumber);
449
450
451
452
final short digits =
(short) (significantDigits + ((dNumber < 0) ? 1 : 0));
453
454
455
final String strDouble = (new Double(dNumber)).toString().substring(0, digits);
result.setLength(0);
456
457
result.append(strDouble + ZEROS.substring(0,
significantsBefore - significantDigits));
458
}
459
460
461
if (new Short(exponent) != 0) {
result.append(EXPONENT + exponent);
462
463
464
465
} // public static String roundToString(…)
466
467
468
/**
* Rounds to a fixed number of significant digits.
}
return result.toString();
469
470
471
*
* @param separator Language-specific decimal separator
* @param significantDigits Requested number of significant digits
472
473
474
* @param value Number to be rounded
* @return Rounded number
*/
475
476
477
478
public static String roundToString(final char separator,
final int significantDigits,
float value) {
479
480
return roundToString((byte)significantDigits, separator,
(double)value);
481
}
482 } // class MathsUtils
The code is tested with the following JUnit test:
Code listing 3.22: MathsUtilsTest.java
1 package string;
2
3 import static org.junit.Assert.assertEquals;
4 import static org.junit.Assert.assertFalse;
5 import static org.junit.Assert.assertTrue;
6
7 import java.util.Vector;
8
9 import org.junit.Test;
10
11 /**
12 * The JUnit test for the <code>MathsUtils</code> class.
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*
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14
* @since 2013-03-26
15
16
* @version 2014-10-14
*/
17 public class MathsUtilsTest {
18
19
/**
20
* Method that adds a negative and a positive value to values.
21
*
22
23
* @param d the double value
* @param values the values
24
25
26
*/
private static void addValue(final double d, Vector<Double> values) {
values.add(-d);
27
values.add(d);
28
}
29
30
// Public methods ------
31
32
/**
33
* Tests the round method with a double parameter.
34
*/
35
@Test
36
37
public void testRoundToStringDoubleByteCharDouble() {
// Test rounding
38
final Vector<Double> values = new Vector<Double>();
39
40
final Vector<String> strValues = new Vector<String>();
41
42
values.add(0.0);
43
addValue(1.4012984643248202e-45, values);
44
strValues.add("-1.4012E-45");
45
strValues.add("1.4013E-45");
46
addValue(1.999999757e-5, values);
47
strValues.add("-1.9999E-5");
48
49
50
strValues.add("2.0000E-5");
addValue(1.999999757e-4, values);
strValues.add("-1.9999E-4");
51
52
strValues.add("2.0000E-4");
strValues.add("0.00000");
53
addValue(1.999999757e-3, values);
strValues.add("-0.0019999");
54
55
56
strValues.add("0.0020000");
addValue(0.000640589, values);
strValues.add("-6.4058E-4");
57
strValues.add("6.4059E-4");
58
59
addValue(0.3396899998188019, values);
strValues.add("-0.33968");
60
61
62
strValues.add("0.33969");
addValue(0.34, values);
strValues.add("-0.33999");
63
strValues.add("0.34000");
64
65
66
addValue(7.07, values);
strValues.add("-7.0699");
strValues.add("7.0700");
67
68
69
addValue(118.188, values);
strValues.add("-118.18");
strValues.add("118.19");
70
71
addValue(118.2, values);
strValues.add("-118.19");
72
strValues.add("118.20");
73
74
75
addValue(123.405009, values);
strValues.add("-123.40");
76
77
78
79
addValue(30.76994323730469, values);
strValues.add("-30.769");
strValues.add("30.770");
addValue(130.76994323730469, values);
80
81
82
strValues.add("-130.76");
strValues.add("130.77");
addValue(540, values);
83
84
85
strValues.add("-539.99");
strValues.add("540.00");
addValue(12345, values);
86
87
88
strValues.add("-12344");
strValues.add("12345");
addValue(123456, values);
89
90
91
92
strValues.add("-123450");
strValues.add("123460");
addValue(540911, values);
strValues.add("-540900");
93
94
strValues.add("540910");
addValue(9.223372036854776e56, values);
strValues.add("-9.2233E56");
strValues.add("123.41");
95
96
97
98
strValues.add("9.2234E56");
byte i = 0;
final byte significants = 5;
99
100
101
for (final double element : values) {
final String strValue;
102
103
104
105
try {
strValue = MathsUtils.roundToString(significants, StringUtils.PERIOD, element);
106
107
108
System.out.println(" MathsUtils.round(" + significants + ", '"
+ StringUtils.PERIOD + "', " + element + ") ==> "
109
110
111
+ strValue + " = " + strValues.get(i));
assertEquals("Testing roundToString", strValue, strValues.get(i++));
} catch (final Exception e) {
// TODO Auto-generated catch block
e.printStackTrace();
112
113
}
114
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}
115
116
117
}
118 }
// class MathsUtilsTest
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The output of the JUnit test follows:
Output for code listing 3.22
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 0.0) ==> 0.00000 = 0.00000
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -1.4012984643248202E-45) ==> -1.4012E-45 = -1.4012E-45
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 1.4012984643248202E-45) ==> 1.4013E-45 = 1.4013E-45
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -1.999999757E-5) ==> -1.9999E-5 = -1.9999E-5
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 1.999999757E-5) ==> 2.0000E-5 = 2.0000E-5
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -1.999999757E-4) ==> -1.9999E-4 = -1.9999E-4
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 1.999999757E-4) ==> 2.0000E-4 = 2.0000E-4
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -0.001999999757) ==> -0.0019999 = -0.0019999
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 0.001999999757) ==> 0.0020000 = 0.0020000
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -6.40589E-4) ==> -6.4058E-4 = -6.4058E-4
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 6.40589E-4) ==> 6.4059E-4 = 6.4059E-4
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -0.3396899998188019) ==> -0.33968 = -0.33968
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 0.3396899998188019) ==> 0.33969 = 0.33969
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -0.34) ==> -0.33999 = -0.33999
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 0.34) ==> 0.34000 = 0.34000
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -7.07) ==> -7.0699 = -7.0699
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 7.07) ==> 7.0700 = 7.0700
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -118.188) ==> -118.18 = -118.18
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 118.188) ==> 118.19 = 118.19
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -118.2) ==> -118.19 = -118.19
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 118.2) ==> 118.20 = 118.20
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -123.405009) ==> -123.40 = -123.40
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 123.405009) ==> 123.41 = 123.41
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -30.76994323730469) ==> -30.769 = -30.769
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 30.76994323730469) ==> 30.770 = 30.770
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -130.7699432373047) ==> -130.76 = -130.76
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 130.7699432373047) ==> 130.77 = 130.77
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -540.0) ==> -539.99 = -539.99
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 540.0) ==> 540.00 = 540.00
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -12345.0) ==> -12344 = -12344
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 12345.0) ==> 12345 = 12345
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -123456.0) ==> -123450 = -123450
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 123456.0) ==> 123460 = 123460
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -540911.0) ==> -540900 = -540900
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 540911.0) ==> 540910 = 540910
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', -9.223372036854776E56) ==> -9.2233E56 = -9.2233E56
MathsUtils.round(5, '.', 9.223372036854776E56) ==> 9.2234E56 = 9.2234E56
If you are interested in a comparison with C#, take a look at the rounding number example there. If you are interested in a comparison with C++, you can compare this code here
with the same example over there.
Notice that in the expression starting with if ((D == 0), I have to use OR instead of the || because of a bug in the source template.
Large numbers
The integer primitive type with the largest range of value is the long, from -263 to 263-1. If you need greater or lesser values, you have to use the BigInteger class in the package
java.math. A BigInteger object can represent any integer (as large as the RAM on the computer can hold) as it is not mapped on a primitive type. Respectively, you need to use
the BigDecimal class for great decimal numbers.
However, as these perform much slower than primitive types, it is recommended to use primitive types when it is possible.
BigInteger
The BigInteger class represents integers of almost any size. As with other objects, they need to be constructed. Unlike regular numbers, the BigInteger represents an immutable
object - methods in use by the BigInteger class will return a new copy of a BigInteger.
To instantiate a BigInteger, you can create it from either byte array, or from a string. For example:
Code section 3.23: 1 quintillion, or 10^18. Too large to fit in a long.
1 BigInteger i = new BigInteger("1000000000000000000");
BigInteger
cannot use the normal Java operators. They use the methods provided by the class.
Code section 3.24: Multiplications and an addition.
1
2
3
4
5
BigInteger a = new BigInteger("3");
BigInteger b = new BigInteger("4");
// c = a^2 + b^2
BigInteger c = a.multiply(a).add(b.multiply(b));
It is possible to convert to a long, but the long may not be large enough.
Code section 3.25: Conversion.
1 BigInteger aBigInteger = new BigInteger("3");
2 long aLong = aBigInteger.longValue();
BigDecimal
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The BigInteger class cannot handle decimal numbers. The BigDecimal class represents a floating point value of arbitrary precision. It is composed of both a BigInteger, and a
scale value (represented by a 32-bit integer).
Random numbers
To generate random numbers the Math.random() method can be used, which returns a double, greater than or equal to 0.0 and less than 1.0.
The following code returns a random integer between n and m (where n <= randomNumber < m):
Code section 3.30: A random integer.
1
int randomNumber = n + (int)(Math.random() * ( m - n ));
Alternatively, the java.util.Random class provides methods for generating random booleans, bytes, floats, ints, longs and 'Gaussians' (doubles from a normal distribution
with mean 0.0 and standard deviation 1.0). For example, the following code is equivalent to that above:
Code section 3.31: A random integer with Gaussian.
Random random = new Random();
int randomNumber = n + random.nextInt(m - n);
1
2
As an example using random numbers, we can make a program that uses a Random object to simulate flipping a coin 20 times:
Code listing 3.25: CoinFlipper.java
Possible output for code listing 3.25
1 import java.util.Random;
2
Heads
Tails
3 public class CoinFlipper {
Tails
4
5
6
Tails
Heads
Tails
public static void main(String[] args) {
// The number of times to flip the coin
7
8
9
10
final int TIMES_TO_FLIP = 20;
11
Random random = new Random();
Heads
12
13
for (int i = 0; i < TIMES_TO_FLIP; i++) {
// 0 or 1
Heads
Tails
int heads = 0;
int tails = 0;
// Create a Random object
14
15
int result = random.nextInt(2);
if (result == 1) {
Heads
Heads
Heads
Heads
Tails
Tails
16
System.out.println("Heads");
Tails
17
18
19
heads++;
Heads
Tails
Tails
} else {
System.out.println("Tails");
20
tails++;
21
22
}
23
24
System.out.println("There were "
+ heads
Tails
There were 9 heads and 11 tails
}
25
26
+ " heads and "
+ tails
27
28
}
29 }
+ " tails");
Of course, if you run the program you will probably get different results.
Truly random numbers
Both Math.random() and the Random class produce pseudorandom numbers. This is good enough for a lot of applications, but remember that it is not truly random. If you want a
more secure random number generator, Java provides the java.security.SecureRandom package. What happens with Math.random() and the Random class is that a 'seed' is
chosen from which the pseudorandom numbers are generated. SecureRandom increases the security to ensure that the seed which is used by the pseudorandom number generator is
non-deterministic — that is, you cannot simply put the machine in the same state to get the same set of results. Once you have created a SecureRandom instance, you can use it in
the same way as you can the Random class.
If you want truly random numbers, you can get a hardware random number generator or use a randomness generation service.
Unicode
Most Java program text consists of ASCII characters, but any Unicode character can be used as part of identifier names, in comments, and in character and string literals. For
example, π (which is the Greek Lowercase Letter pi) is a valid Java identifier:
Code section 3.100: Pi.
1 double π = Math.PI;
and in a string literal:
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Code section 3.101: Pi literal.
1 String pi = "π";
Unicode escape sequences
Unicode characters can also be expressed through Unicode Escape Sequences. Unicode escape sequence may appear anywhere in a Java source file (including inside identifiers,
comments, and string literals).
Unicode escape sequences consist of
1. a backslash '\' (ASCII character 92, hex 0x5c),
2. a 'u' (ASCII 117, hex 0x75)
3. optionally one or more additional 'u' characters, and
4. four hexadecimal digits (the characters '0' through '9' or 'a' through 'f' or 'A' through 'F').
Such sequences represent the UTF-16 encoding of a Unicode character. For example, 'a' is equivalent to '\u0061'. This escape method does not support characters beyond U+FFFF
or you have to make use of surrogate pairs.[1]
Any and all characters in a program may be expressed in Unicode escape characters, but such programs are not very readable, except by the Java compiler - in addition, they are not
very compact.
One can find a full list of the characters here.
π may also be represented in Java as the Unicode escape sequence \u03C0. Thus, the following is a valid, but not very readable, declaration and assignment:
Code section 3.102: Unicode escape sequences for Pi.
1 double \u03C0 = Math.PI;
The following demonstrates the use of Unicode escape sequences in other Java syntax:
Code section 3.103: Unicode escape sequences in a string literal.
1 // Declare Strings pi and quote which contain \u03C0 and \u0027 respectively:
2 String pi = "\u03C0";
3 String quote = "\u0027";
Note that a Unicode escape sequence functions just like any other character in the source code. E.g., \u0022 (double quote, ") needs to be quoted in a string just like ".
Code section 3.104: Double quote.
1 // Declare Strings doubleQuote1 and doubleQuote2 which both contain " (double quote):
2 String doubleQuote1 = "\"";
3 String doubleQuote2 = "\\u0022"; // "\u0022" doesn't work since """ doesn't work.
International language support
The language distinguishes between bytes and characters. Characters are stored internally using UCS-2, although as of J2SE 5.0, the language also supports using UTF-16 and its
surrogates. Java program source may therefore contain any Unicode character.
The following is thus perfectly valid Java code; it contains Chinese characters in the class and variable names as well as in a string literal:
Code listing 3.50: 哈嘍世界.java
1 public class 哈嘍世界 {
2
3 }
private String 文本 = "哈嘍世界";
References
1. "3.1 Unicode", The Java™ Language Specification [1] (http://download.oracle.com/otn-pub/jcp/jls-7-mr3-fullv-oth-JSpec/JLS-JavaSE7-Full.pdf), Java SE 7 Edition, pp.
15-16.
Comments
A comment allows to insert text that will not be compiled nor interpreted. It can appear anywhere in the source code where whitespaces are allowed.
It is useful for explaining what the source code does by:
explaining the adopted technical choice: why this given algorithm and not another, why calling this given method...
explaining what should be done in the next steps (the TODO list): improvement, issue to fix...
giving the required explanation to understand the code and be able to update it yourself later or by other developers.
It can also be used to make the compiler ignore a portion of code: temporary code for debugging, code under development...
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Syntax
The comments in Java use the same syntax as in C++.
An end-of-line comment starts with two slashes and ends with the end of the line. This syntax can be used on a single line too.
Code section 3.105: Slash-slash comment.
1 // A comment to give an example
2
3 int n = 10; // 10 articles
A comment on several lines is framed with '/' + '*' and '*' + '/'.
Code section 3.106: Slash-star comment in multiple lines.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
/*
* This is a comment
* on several lines.
*/
/* This also works; slash-star comments may be on a single line. */
/*
Disable debugging code:
int a = 10;
while (a-- > 0) System.out.println("DEBUG: tab["+a+"]=" + tab[a]);
*/
By convention, subsequent lines of slash-star comments begin with a star aligned under the star in the open comment sequence, but this is not required. Never nest a slash-star
comment in another slash-star comment. If you accidentally nest such comments, you will probably get a syntax error from the compiler soon after the first star-slash sequence.
Code section 3.107: Nested slash-star comment.
1 /* This comment appears to contain /* a nested comment. */
2 * The comment ends after the first star-slash and
3 * everything after the star-slash sequence is parsed
4 * as non-comment source.
5 */
If you need to have the sequence */ inside a comment you can use html numeric entities: *&#47;.
Slash-star comments may also be placed between any Java tokens, though not recommended:
Code section 3.108: Inline slash-star comment.
1 int i = /* maximum integer */ Integer.MAX_VALUE;
However, comments are not parsed as comments when they occur in string literals.
Code section 3.109: String literal.
1 String text = "/* This is not a comment. */";
It results in a 33 character string.
Test your knowledge
Question 3.26: Consider the following code:
Question 3.26: Commented code.
int a = 0;
// a = a + 1;
a = a + 1;
/*
a = a + 1;
*/
a = a + 1;
// /*
a = a + 1;
// */
a = a /*+ 1*/;
a = a + 1; // a = a + 1;
System.out.println("a=" + a);
What is printed in the standard output?
Answer
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Output for Answer 3.26
a=4
Answer 3.26: Commented code.
1 int a = 0;
2 // a = a + 1;
a = a + 1;
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3
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
4 /*
a = a + 1;
*/
a = a + 1;
// /*
a = a + 1;
// */
a = a /*+ 1*/;
a = a + 1; // a = a + 1;
System.out.println("a=" + a);
The highlighted lines are code lines but line 11 does nothing and only the first part of line 12 is code.
Comments and unicode
Be aware that Java still interprets Unicode sequences within comments. For example, the Unicode sequence \u002a\u002f (whose codepoints correspond to */) is processed early
in the Java compiler's lexical scanning of the source file, even before comments are processed, so this is a valid star-slash comment in Java:
Code section 3.110: Unicode sequence interruption.
1 /* This is a comment. \u002a\u002f
2 String statement = "This is not a comment.";
and is lexically equivalent to
Code section 3.111: Unicode sequence interruption effect.
1 /* This is a comment. */
2 String statement = "This is not a comment.";
(The '*' character is Unicode 002A and the '/' character is Unicode 002F.)
Similar caveats apply to newline characters in slash-slash comments.
For example:
Code section 3.112: New line.
1 // This is a single line comment \u000a This is code
That is because \u000a is Unicode for a new line, making the compiler think that you have added a new line when you haven't.
Javadoc comments
Javadoc comments are a special case of slash-star comments.
Code section 3.113: Javadoc comment.
1 /**
2 * Comments which start with slash-star-star are Javadoc comments.
3 * These are used to extract documentation from the Java source.
4 * More on javadoc will be covered later.
5 */
Coding conventions
The Java code conventions are defined by Oracle in the coding conventions (http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/java/codeconv-138413.html) document. In short, these
conventions ask the user to use camel case when defining classes, methods, or variables. Classes start with a capital letter and should be nouns, like CalendarDialogView. For
methods, the names should be verbs in imperative form, like getBrakeSystemType, and should start with a lowercase letter.
It is important to get used to and follow coding conventions, so that code written by multiple programmers will appear the same. Projects may re-define the standard code
conventions to better fit their needs. Examples include a list of allowed abbreviations, as these can often make the code difficult to understand for other designers. Documentation
should always acompany code, .
One example from the coding conventions is how to define a constant. Constants should be written with capital letters in Java, where the words are separated by an underscore ('_')
character. In the Java coding conventions, a constant is a static final field in a class.
The reason for this diversion is that Java is not 100% object-oriented and discerns between "simple" and "complex" types. These will be handled in detail in the following sections.
An example for a simple type is the byte type. An example for a complex type is a class. A subset of the complex types are classes that cannot be modified after creation, like a
String, which is a concatenation of characters.
For instance, consider the following "constants":
1 public class MotorVehicle {
/** Number of motors */
2
private static final int MOTORS = 1;
3
4
/** Name of a motor */
5
private static final String MOTOR_NAME = "Mercedes V8";
6
7
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8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20 }
/** The motor object */
private static final Motor THE_MOTOR = new MercedesMotor();
/**
* Constructor
*/
public VehicleMotor() {
MOTORS = 2;
THE_MOTOR = new ToshibaMotor();
MOTOR_NAME.toLowercase();
THE_MOTOR.fillFuel(20.5);
}
//
//
//
//
Gives a syntax error as MOTORS has already been assigned a value.
Gives a syntax error as THE_MOTOR has already been assigned a value.
Does not give a syntax error, because it returns a new String rather than editing the MOTOR_NAME variable.
Does not give a syntax error, as it changes a variable in the motor object, not the variable itself.
Classes and Objects
Classes and Objects
An object-oriented program is built from objects. A class is a "template" that is used to create objects. The class defines the values the object can contain and the operations that can
be performed on the object.
After compilation, a class is stored on the file system in a '(class-name).class' file.
The class is loaded into memory when we are about to create the first object from that class, or when we call one of its static functions.
During class loading all the class static variables are initialized. Also operations defined in a static { ... } block are executed. Once a class is loaded it stays in memory, and the
class static variables won't be initialized again.
After the class is loaded into memory, objects can be created from that class. When an object is created, its member variables are initialized, but the class static variables are not.
When there are no more references to an object, the garbage collector will destroy the object and free its memory, so that the memory can be reused to hold new objects.
Defining Classes
Fundamentals
Every class in Java can be composed of the following elements:
fields or member variables or instance variables — Fields are variables that hold data specific to each object. For example, an employee might have an ID number. There is
one field for each object of a class.
member methods or instance variables — Member methods perform operations on an object. For example, an employee might have a method to issue his paycheck or to
access his name.
static fields — Static fields are common to any object of the same class. For example, a static field within the Employee class could keep track of the last ID number issued.
Only one static field exists for one class.
static methods — Static methods are methods that do not affect a specific object.
inner classes — Sometimes it is useful to contain a class within another one if it is useless outside of the class or should not be accessed outside the class.
Constructors — A special method that generates a new object.
Parameterized types — Since 1.5, parameterized types can be assigned to a class during definition. The parameterized types will be substituted with the types specified at
the class's instantiation. It is done by the compiler. It is similar to the C language macro '#define' statement, where a preprocessor evaluates the macros.
Code listing 4.1: Employee.java
1 public class Employee {
2
// This defines the Employee class.
// The public modifier indicates that
3
4
5
// it can be accessed by any other class
6
7
8
9
10
private static int nextID;
// Define a static field. Only one copy of this will exist,
// no matter how many Employees are created.
private int myID;
// Define fields that will be stored
private String myName;
// for each Employee. The private modifier indicates that
// only code inside the Employee class can access it.
public Employee(String name) {
// This is a constructor. You can pass a name to the constructor
// and it will give you a newly created Employee object.
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
myName = name;
myID = nextID;
// Automatically assign an ID to the object
nextID++;
// Increment the ID counter
}
19
20
21
public String getName() {
22
23
24
}
25
26
27
28
29
return myName;
public int getID() {
// This is another member method.
return myID;
}
public static int getNextID() {
30
31
32
33 }
// This is a member method that returns the
// Employee object's name.
// Note how it can access the private field myName.
// This is a static method that returns the next ID
// that will be assigned if another Employee is created.
return nextID;
}
The following Java code would produce this output:
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Code listing 4.2: EmployeeList.java
Console for Code listing 4.2
1 public class EmployeeList {
public static void main(String[] args) {
2
0
3
0: John Doe
4
5
System.out.println(Employee.getNextID());
6
7
Employee a = new Employee("John Doe");
8
Employee b = new Employee("Jane Smith");
Employee c = new Employee("Sally Brown");
9
10
System.out.println(Employee.getNextID());
3
1: Jane Smith
2: Sally Brown
11
System.out.println(a.getID() + ": " + a.getName());
12
13
System.out.println(b.getID() + ": " + b.getName());
14
15
System.out.println(c.getID() + ": " + c.getName());
}
16 }
Constructors
A constructor is called to initialize an object immediately after the object has been allocated:
Code listing 4.3: Cheese.java
1 public class Cheese {
2
3
// This is a constructor
public Cheese() {
4
System.out.println("Construct an instance"
5
}
6 }
Typically, a constructor is invoked using the new keyword:
Code section 4.1: A constructor call.
1 Cheese cheese = new Cheese();
The constructor syntax is close to the method syntax. However, the constructor has the same name as the name of the class (with the same case) and the constructor has no return
type. The second point is the most important difference as a method can also have the same name as the class, which is not recommended:
Code listing 4.4: Cheese.java
1 public class Cheese {
2
// This is a method with the same name as the class
3
4
5
public void Cheese() {
System.out.println("A method execution.");
}
6 }
The returned object is always a valid, meaningful object, as opposed to relying on a separate initialization method. A constructor cannot be abstract, final, native, static,
strictfp nor synchronized. However, a constructor, like methods, can be overloaded and take parameters.
Code listing 4.5: Cheese.java
1 public class Cheese {
2
// This is a constructor
3
public Cheese() {
4
5
doStuff();
}
6
7
8
9
// This is another constructor
public Cheese(int weight) {
doStuff();
10
11
12
}
13
14
15
16 }
public Cheese(String type, int weight
doStuff();
}
// This is yet another constructor
By convention, a constructor that accepts an object of its own type as a parameter and copies the data members is called a copy constructor. One interesting feature of constructors
is that if and only if you do not specify a constructor in your class, the compiler will create one for you. This default constructor, if written out would look like:
Code listing 4.6: Cheese.java
1 public class Cheese {
public Cheese() {
2
3
4
5 }
super();
}
The super() command calls the constructor of the superclass. If there is no explicit call to super(...) or this(...), then the default superclass constructor super(); is called
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before the body of the constructor is executed. That said, there are instances where you need to add in the call manually. For example, if you write even one constructor, no matter
what parameters it takes, the compiler will not add a default constructor. The code listing 4.8 results in a runtime error:
Code listing 4.7: Cheese.java
1 public class Cheese {
2
3
public Cheese(int weight, String type) {
4
}
doStuff();
5 }
Code listing 4.8: Mouse.java
1 public class Mouse {
2
public void eatCheese() {
Cheese c = new Cheese(); // Oops, compile time error!
3
4
}
5 }
This is something to keep in mind when extending existing classes. Either make a default constructor, or make sure every class that inherits your class uses the correct constructor.
Initializers
Initializers are blocks of code that are executed at the same time as initializers for fields.
Static initializers
Static initializers are blocks of code that are executed at the same time as initializers for static fields. Static field initializers and static initializers are executed in the order declared.
The static initialization is executed after the class is loaded.
Code section 4.2: Static initializer.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
static int count = 20;
static int[] squares;
static { // a static initializer
squares = new int[count];
for (int i = 0; i < count; i++)
squares[i] = i * i;
}
static int x = squares[5]; // x is assigned the value 25
Instance initializers
Instance initializers are blocks of code that are executed at the same time as initializers for instance (non-static) fields. Instance field initializers and instance initializers are
executed in the order declared. Both instance initializers and instance field initializers are executed during the invocation of a constructor. The initializers are executed immediately
after the superclass constructor and before the body of the constructor.
Inheritance
The inheritance is one of the most powerful mechanism of the Object Oriented Programming. It allows the reuse of the members of a class (called the superclass or the mother
class) in another class (called subclass, child class or the derived class) that inherits from it. This way, classes can be built by successive inheritance.
In Java, this mechanism is enabled by the extends keyword. Example:
Code listing 4.9: Vehicle.java
1 public class Vehicle {
2
public int speed;
3
4 }
public int numberOfSeats;
Code listing 4.10: Car.java
1 public class Car extends Vehicle
2
public Car() {
3
this.speed = 90;
4
5
6 }
this.numberOfSeats = 5;
}
In the Code listing 4.10, the class Car inherits from Vehicle, which means that the attributes speed and numberOfSeats are present in the class Car, whereas they are defined in
the class Vehicle. Also, the constructor defined in the class Car allows to initialize those attributes. In Java, the inheritance mechanism allows to define a class hierarchy with all
the classes. Without explicit inheritance, a class implicitly inherits from the Object class. This Object class is the root of the class hierarchy.
Some classes can't be inherited. Those classes are defined with the final keyword. For instance, the Integer class can't have subclasses. It is called a final class.
The Object class
At the instantiating, the child class receives the features inherited from its superclass, which also has received the features inherited from its own superclass and so on to the Object
class. This mechanism allows to define reusable global classes, whose user details the behavior in the derived more specific classes.
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In Java, a class can only inherit from one class. Java does not allow you to create a subclass from two classes, as that would require creating complicated rules to disambiguate fields
and methods inherited from multiple superclasses. If there is a need for Java to inherit from multiple sources, the best option is through interfaces, described in the next chapter.
The super keyword
The super keyword allows access to the members of the superclass of a class, as you can use this to access the members of the current class. Example:
Code listing 4.11: Plane.java
1 public class Plane extends Vehicle {
2
public Plane() {
3
super();
4
5 }
}
In this example, the constructor of the Plane class calls the constructor of its superclass Vehicle. You can only use super to access the members of the superclass inside the child
class. If you use it from another class, it accesses the superclass of the other class. This keyword also allows you to explicitly access the members of the superclass, for instance, in
the case where there is a method with the same name in your class (overriding, ...). Example :
Code listing 4.12: Vehicle.java
1 public class Vehicle {
2
// ...
3
public void run() throws Exception
4
position += speed;
5
}
6 }
Code listing 4.13: Plane.java
1 public class Plane extends Vehicle {
2
// ...
3
public void run() throws Exception {
4
5
if (0 < height) {
throw new Exception("A plane can't run in flight.");
6
7
} else {
super.run();
}
8
9
}
10 }
Test your knowledge
Question 4.1: Consider the following classes.
Question 4.1: Class1.java
1 public class Class1 {
2
public static final int CONSTANT_OF_CLASS_1 = 9;
3
4
5
6 }
public int myAttributeOfClass1 = 40;
public void myMethodOfClass1(int i) {
}
Question 4.1: Class2.java
1 public class Class2 extends Class1 {
2
3
4
public int myAttributeOfClass2 = 10;
public void myMethodOfClass2(int i) {
}
5 }
Question 4.1: Class3.java
1 public class Class3 {
2
3
4
public static final int CONSTANT_OF_CLASS_3 = 9;
public void myMethodOfClass3(int i) {
}
5 }
Question 4.1: Question1.java
1 public class Question1 extends Class2 {
2
public static final int CONSTANT = 2;
3
public int myAttribute = 20;
4
public void myMethod(int i) {
5
6 }
}
List all the attributes and methods that can be accessed in the class Question1.
Answer
CONSTANT_OF_CLASS_1
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myAttributeOfClass1
myMethodOfClass1(int)
myAttributeOfClass2
myMethodOfClass2(int)
CONSTANT
myAttribute
myMethod(int)
Question1
inherits from Class1 and Class2 but not from Class3.
See also the Object Oriented Programming book about the inheritance concept.
Interfaces
An interface is an abstraction of class with no implementation details. For example, java.lang.Comparable is a standard interface in Java. You cannot instantiate an interface. An
interface is not a class but it is written the same way. The first difference is that you do not use the class keyword but the interface keyword to define it. Then, there are fields
and methods you cannot define here:
A field is always a constant: it is always public, static and final, even if you do not mention it.
A method must be public and abstract, but it is not required to write the public and abstract keywords.
Constructors are forbidden.
An interface represents a contract:
Code listing 4.14: SimpleInterface.java
1 public interface SimpleInterface {
2
3
public static final int CONSTANT1 = 1;
int method1(String parameter);
4 }
You can see that the method1() method is abstract (unimplemented). To use an interface, you have to define a class that implements it, using the implements keyword:
Code listing 4.15: ClassWithInterface.java
1 public class ClassWithInterface implements SimpleInterface
2
int method1(String parameter) {
3
4
}
return 0;
5 }
A class can implement several interface, separated by a comma. Java interfaces behave much like the concept of the Objective-C protocol. It is recommended to name an interface
<verb>able , to mean the type of action this interface would enable on a class. However, it is not recommended to start the name of an interface by I as in C++. It is useless. Your
IDE will help you instead.
Interest
If you have objects from different classes that do not have common superclasses, you can't call a same method on them, even if the two classes implement a method with the same
signature.
Code listing 4.16: OneClass.java
1 public class OneClass {
2
public int method1(String parameter)
3
4
5 }
return 1;
}
Code listing 4.17: AnotherClass.java
1 public class AnotherClass {
2
public int method1(String parameter) {
3
4
5 }
return 2;
}
Code section 4.16: Impossible call.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
public static void main(String[] args) {
doAction(new OneClass());
doAction(new AnotherClass());
}
public void doAction(Object anObject) {
anObject.method1("Hello!");
}
The solution is to write an interface that defines the method that should be implemented in the two classes as the SimpleInterface in the Code listing 4.14 and then the both class
implement the interface as in the Code listing 4.15.
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Code section 4.17: Interface use.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
public static void main(String[] args) {
doAction(new ClassWithInterface());
doAction(new AnotherClassWithInterface());
}
public void doAction(SimpleInterface anObject) {
anObject.method1("Hello!");
}
You can also have this interest using a common super class but a class can only inherit from one super class whereas it can implement several interfaces. Java does not support full
orthogonal multiple inheritance. Java does not allow you to create a subclass from two classes. Multiple inheritance in C++ has complicated rules to disambiguate fields and
methods inherited from multiple superclasses and types inherited multiple times. By separating interface from implementation, interfaces offer much of the benefit of multiple
inheritance with less complexity and ambiguity. The price of no multiple inheritance is some code redundancy; since interfaces only define the signature of a class but cannot
contain any implementation, every class inheriting an interface must provide the implementation of the defined methods, unlike in pure multiple inheritance, where the
implementation is also inherited. The major benefit of that is that all Java objects can have a common ancestor. That class is called Object. When overriding methods defined in
interfaces there are several rules to be followed:
Checked exceptions should not be declared on implementation methods other than the ones declared by the interface method or subclasses of those declared by the interface
method.
The signature of the interface method and the same return type or subtype should be maintained when implementing the methods.
All the methods of the interface need to be defined in the class, unless the class that implements the interface is abstract.
Extending interfaces
An interface can extend several interfaces, similar to the way that a class can extend another class, using the
extends keyword:
Code listing 4.18: InterfaceA.java
1 public interface InterfaceA {
2
public void methodA();
3 }
Code listing 4.19: InterfaceB.java
1 public interface InterfaceB {
2
public void methodB();
3 }
Code listing 4.20: InterfaceAB.java
1 public interface InterfaceAB extends InterfaceA, InterfaceB
2
public void otherMethod();
3 }
This way, a class implementing the InterfaceAB interface has to implement the methodA(), the methodB() and
the otherMethod() methods:
Execution of this example on BlueJ.
Code listing 4.21: ClassAB.java
1 public class ClassAB implements InterfaceAB
2
public void methodA() {
3
System.out.println("A");
4
5
6
7
}
8
9
10
}
public void methodB() {
System.out.println("B");
public void otherMethod() {
11
12
13
}
System.out.println("foo");
14
15
16
public static void main(String[] args) {
ClassAB classAb = new ClassAB();
classAb.methodA();
17
classAb.methodB();
18
classAb.otherMethod();
19
}
20 }
Doing so, a ClassAB object can be casted into InterfaceA, InterfaceB and InterfaceAB.
Test your knowledge
Question 4.2: Consider the following interfaces.
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Question 4.2: Walkable.java
1 public interface Walkable {
void walk();
2
3 }
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Question 4.2: Jumpable.java
1 public interface Jumpable {
2
3 }
void jump();
Question 4.2: Swimable.java
1 public interface Swimable {
2
void swim();
3 }
Question 4.2: Movable.java
1 public interface Movable extends Walkable, Jumpable {
2 }
List all the methods that an implementing class of Movable should implement.
Answer
walk()
jump()
Answer 4.2: Person.java
1 public class Person implements Movable {
2
public void walk() {
3
System.out.println("Do something.");
4
5
}
6
7
public void jump() {
System.out.println("Do something.");
8
9 }
}
Question 4.3: Consider the following classes and the following code.
Question 4.3: ConsoleLogger.java
1 import java.util.Date;
2
3 public class ConsoleLogger {
4
5
6
7 }
public void printLog(String log) {
System.out.println(new Date() + ": " + log);
}
Question 4.3: FileLogger.java
1 import java.io.File;
2 import java.io.FileOutputStream;
3
4 public class FileLogger {
5
6
7
public void printLog(String log) {
try {
File file = new File("log.txt");
8
9
10
11
FileOutputStream stream = new FileOutputStream(file);
byte[] logInBytes = (new Date() + ": " + log).getBytes();
stream.write(logInBytes);
12
13
14
stream.flush();
stream.close();
15
} catch (Exception e) {
e.printStackTrace();
}
16
17
}
18
19 }
Question 4.3: Common code.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Object[] loggerArray = new Object[2];
loggerArray[0] = new ConsoleLogger();
loggerArray[1] = new FileLogger();
for (Object logger : loggerArray) {
// logger.printLog("Check point.");
}
Change the implementation of the code in order to be able to uncomment the commented line without compile error.
Answer
You have to create an interface that defines the method printLog(String) and makes ConsoleLogger and FileLogger implement it:
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Answer 4.3: Logger.java
1 public interface Logger {
2
3 }
void printLog(String log);
Answer 4.3: ConsoleLogger.java
1 import java.util.Date;
2
3 public class ConsoleLogger implements Logger {
4
5
public void printLog(String log) {
System.out.println(new Date() + ": " + log);
6
}
7 }
Answer 4.3: FileLogger.java
1 import java.io.File;
2 import java.io.FileOutputStream;
3
4 public class FileLogger implements Logger {
5
6
7
public void printLog(String log) {
try {
File file = new File("log.txt");
8
9
FileOutputStream stream = new FileOutputStream(file);
byte[] logInBytes = (new Date() + ": " + log).getBytes();
10
11
stream.write(logInBytes);
12
13
14
stream.flush();
stream.close();
15
16
17
} catch (Exception e) {
e.printStackTrace();
}
18
}
19 }
Now your code has to cast the objects to the Logger type and then you can uncomment the code.
Answer 4.3: Common code.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Logger[] loggerArray = new Logger[2];
loggerArray[0] = new ConsoleLogger();
loggerArray[1] = new FileLogger();
for (Logger logger : loggerArray) {
logger.printLog("Check point.");
}
Overloading Methods and Constructors
Method overloading
In a class, there can be several methods with the same name. However they must have a different signature. The signature of a method is comprised of its name, its parameter types
and the order of its parameter. The signature of a method is not comprised of its return type nor its visibility nor its exceptions it may throw. The practice of defining two or more
methods within the same class that shares the same names but different parameters is called overloading methods.
Methods with the same name in a class are called overloaded methods. Overloading methods offers no specific benefit to the JVM but it is useful to the programmer to have several
methods do the same things but with different parameters. For example, we may have the operation runAroundThe represented as two methods with the same name, but different
input parameter types:
Code section 4.22: Method overloading.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
public void runAroundThe(Building block) {
...
}
public void runAroundThe(Park park) {
...
}
One type can be the subclass of the other:
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Code listing 4.11: ClassName.java
Console for Code listing 4.11
1 public class ClassName {
String
2
3
4
Object
5
6
7
8
9
public static void sayClassName(Object aObject) {
System.out.println("Object");
}
public static void sayClassName(String aString) {
System.out.println("String");
}
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10
11
12
public static void main(String[] args) {
String aString = new String();
13
14
sayClassName(aString);
Object aObject = new String();
sayClassName(aObject);
15
16
17
}
18 }
Although both methods would be fit to call the method with the String parameter, it is the method with the nearest type that will be called instead. To be more accurate, it will call
the method whose parameter type is a subclass of the parameter type of the other method. So, aObject will output Object. Beware! The parameter type is defined by the declared
type of an object, not its instantiated type!
The following two method definitions are valid
Code section 4.23: Method overloading with the type order.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
public void logIt(String param, Error err) {
...
}
public void logIt(Error err, String param) {
...
}
because the type order is different. If both input parameters were type String, that would be a problem since the compiler would not be able to distinguish between the two:
Code section 4.24: Bad method overloading.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
public void logIt(String param, String err) {
...
}
public void logIt(String err, String param) {
...
}
The compiler would give an error for the following method definitions as well:
Code section 4.25: Another bad method overloading.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
public void logIt(String param) {
...
}
public String logIt(String param) {
String retValue;
...
return retValue;
}
Note, the return type is not part of the unique signature. Why not? The reason is that a method can be called without assigning its return value to a variable. This feature came from
C and C++. So for the call:
Code section 4.26: Ambiguous method call.
1 logIt(msg);
the compiler would not know which method to call. It is also the case for the thrown exceptions.
Test your knowledge
Question 4.6: Which methods of the Question6 class will cause compile errors?
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Question6.java
1 public class Question6 {
2
3
public void example1() {
4
}
5
6
public int example1() {
7
8
9
10
}
public void example2(int x) {
}
11
12
13
public void example2(int y) {
}
14
15
16
private void example3() {
}
17
18
19
public void example3() {
}
20
21
22
23
public String example4(int x) {
return null;
}
24
25
public String example4() {
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26
return null;
27
}
28 }
Answer
Question6.java
1 public class Question6 {
2
3
4
public void example1() {
}
5
public int example1() {
6
7
}
8
9
public void example2(int x) {
10
}
11
12
13
public void example2(int y) {
}
14
15
private void example3() {
16
17
}
18
19
public void example3() {
}
20
21
public String example4(int x) {
22
23
}
24
25
public String example4() {
return null;
26
return null;
27
}
28 }
The example1, example2 and example3 methods will cause compile errors. The example1 methods cannot co-exist because they have the same signature (remember, return
type is not part of the signature). The example2 methods cannot co-exist because the names of the parameters are not part of the signature. The example3 methods cannot
co-exist because the visibility of the methods are not part of the signature. The example4 methods can co-exist, because they have different method signatures.
Variable Argument
Instead of overloading, you can use dynamic number of arguments. After the last parameter, you can pass optional unlimited parameters of the same type. These parameters are
defined by adding a last parameter and adding ... after its type. The dynamic arguments will be received as an array:
Code section 4.27: Variable argument.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
public void registrerPersonInAgenda(String firstName, String lastName, Date... meeting
String[] person = {firstName, lastName};
lastPosition = lastPosition + 1;
contactArray[lastPosition] = person;
if (meeting.length > 0) {
Date[] temporaryMeetings = registreredMeetings.length + meeting.length;
for (i = 0; i < registreredMeetings.length; i++) {
temporaryMeetings[i] = registreredMeetings[i];
}
for (i = 0; i < meeting.length; i++) {
temporaryMeetings[registreredMeetings.length + i] = meeting[i];
}
registreredMeetings = temporaryMeetings;
}
}
The above method can be called with a dynamic number of arguments, for example:
Code section 4.27: Constructor calls.
1 registrerPersonInAgenda("John", "Doe");
2 registrerPersonInAgenda("Mark", "Lee", new Date(), new Date());
This feature was not available before Java 1.5 .
Constructor overloading
The constructor can be overloaded. You can define more than one constructor with different parameters. For example:
Code listing 4.12: Constructors.
1 public class MyClass {
2
3
4
private String memberField;
5
6
7
/**
* MyClass Constructor, there is no input parameter
*/
8
9
10
public MyClass() {
...
}
11
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12
/**
13
14
* MyClass Constructor, there is one input parameter
*/
15
public MyClass(String param1) {
16
memberField = param1;
...
17
}
18
19 }
In the code listing 4.12, we defined two constructors, one with no input parameter, and one with one input parameter. You may ask which constructor will be called. Its depends
how the object is created with the new keyword. See below:
Code section 4.29: Constructor calls.
1
2
3
4
5
// The constructor with no input parameter will be called
MyClass obj1 = new MyClass();
// The constructor with one input param. will be called
MyClass obj2 = new MyClass("Init Value");
In the code section 4.29, we created two objects from the same class, or we can also say that obj1 and obj2 both have the same type. The difference between the two is that in the
first one the memberField field is not initialized, in the second one that is initialized to "Init Value". A constructor may also be called from another constructor, see below:
Code listing 4.13: Constructor pooling.
1 public class MyClass {
2
3
private String memberField;
4
5
/**
6
7
* MyClass Constructor, there is no input parameter
*/
8
public MyClass() {
9
MyClass("Default Value");
10
}
11
12
/**
13
14
* MyClass Constructor, there is one input parameter
*/
15
public MyClass(String param1) {
16
17
18
memberField = param1;
...
}
19 }
In the code listing 4.13, the constructor with no input parameter calls the other constructor with the default initial value. This call must be the first instruction of a constructor or else
a compiler error will occur. The code gives an option to the user, to create the object with the default value or create the object with a specified value. The first constructor could
have been written using the this keyword as well:
Code section 4.30: Another constructor pooling.
1
2
3
public MyClass() {
this("Default Value");
}
Such a call reduces the code repetition.
Method overriding
To easily remember what can be done in method overriding, keep in mind that all you can do on an object of a class outside this class, you can do it also on an object of a subclass,
only the behavior can change. A subclass should be covariant.
Although a method signature has to be unique inside a class, the same method signature can be defined in different classes. If we define a method that exists in the super class then
we override the super class method. It is called method overriding. This is different from method overloading. Method overloading happens with methods with the same name
different signature. Method overriding happens with same name, same signature between inherited classes.
The return type can cause the same problem we saw above. When we override a super class method the return type also must be the same. If that is not the same, the compiler will
give you an error.
Beware! If a class declares two public methods with the same name, and a subclass overrides one of them, the subclass still inherits the other method. In this respect, the Java
programming language differs from C++.
Method overriding is related dynamic linking, or runtime binding. In order for the Method Overriding to work, the method call that is going to be called can not be determined at
compilation time. It will be decided at runtime, and will be looked up in a table.
Code section 4.31: Runtime binding.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
MyClass obj;
if (new java.util.Calendar().get(java.util.Calendar.AM_PM) == java.util.Calendar.AM) {
// Executed a morning
obj = new SubOfMyClass();
} else {
// Executed an afternoon
obj = new MyClass();
}
obj.myMethod();
In the code section 4.31, the expression at line 3 is true if it is executed a morning and false if it is executed an afternoon. Thus, the instance of obj will be a MyClass or a
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depending on the execution time. So it is impossible to determine the method address at compile time. Because the obj reference can point to object and all its sub
object, and that will be known only at runtime, a table is kept with all the possible method addresses to be called. Do not confuse:
SubOfMyClass
Code section 4.32: Declared type and instantiated type.
1 obj.myMethod(myParameter);
The implementation of this method is searched using the instantiated type of the called object (obj) and the declared type of the parameter object (myParameter).
Also another rule is that when you do an override, the visibility of the new method that overrides the super class method can not be reduced. The visibility can be increased,
however. So if the super class method visibility is public, the override method can not be package, or private. An override method must throw the same exceptions as the super
class, or their subexceptions.
references to the parent class (i.e. super.someMethod()). It can be used in a subclass to access inherited methods that the subclass has overridden or inherited fields that the
subclass has hidden.
super
A common mistake to think that if we can override methods, we could also override member variables. This is not the case, as it is useless. You can redefine a variable that
is private in the super class as such a variable is not visible.
Object Lifecycle
Before a Java object can be created the class byte code must be loaded from the file system (with .class extension) to memory. This process of locating the byte code for a given
class name and converting that code into a Java class instance is known as class loading. There is one class created for each type of Java class.
All objects in Java programs are created on heap memory. An object is created based on its class. You can consider a class as a blueprint, template, or a description how to create an
object. When an object is created, memory is allocated to hold the object properties. An object reference pointing to that memory location is also created. To use the object in the
future, that object reference has to be stored as a local variable or as an object member variable.
The Java Virtual Machine (JVM) keeps track of the usage of object references. If there are no more reference to the object, the object can not be used any more and becomes
garbage. After a while the heap memory will be full of unused objects. The JVM collects those garbage objects and frees the memory they allocated, so the memory can be reused
again when a new object is created. See below a simple example:
Code section 4.30: Object creation.
1 {
2
// Create an object
3
MyObject obj = new MyObject();
4
5
// Use the object
6
obj.printMyValues();
7 }
The obj variable contains the object reference pointing to an object created from the MyObject class. The obj object reference is in scope inside the { }. After the } the object
becomes garbage. Object references can be passed in to methods and can be returned from methods.
Creating object with the new keyword
99% of new objects are created using the new keyword.
Code listing 4.13: MyProgram.java
1 public class MyProgram {
2
3
4
public static void main(String[] args) {
// Create an 'MyObject' for the first time the application started
5
MyObject obj = new MyObject();
6
}
7 }
When an object from the MyObject class is created for the first time, the JVM searches the file system for the definition of the class, that is the Java byte code. The file has the
extension of *.class. The CLASSPATH environment variable contains locations where Java classes are stored. The JVM is looking for the MyObject.class file. Depending on
which package the class belongs to, the package name will be translated to a directory path.
When the MyObject.class file is found, the JVM's class loader loads the class in memory, and creates a java.lang.Class object. The JVM stores the code in memory, allocates
memory for the static variables, and executes any static initialize block. Memory is not allocated for the object member variables at this point, memory will be allocated for them
when an instance of the class, an object, is created.
There is no limit on how many objects from the same class can be created. Code and static variables are stored only once, no matter how many objects are created. Memory is
allocated for the object member variables when the object is created. Thus, the size of an object is determined not by its code's size but by the memory it needs for its member
variables to be stored.
Creating object by cloning an object
Cloning is not automatically available to classes. There is some help though, as all Java objects inherit the protected Object clone() method. This base method would allocate
the memory and do the bit by bit copying of the object's states.
You may ask why we need this clone method. Couldn't I create a constructor and just passing in the same object, and do the copying variable by variable? Let's see:
Code listing 4.14: MyObject.java
1 public class MyObject {
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2
private int memberVar;
3 ...
4
MyObject(MyObject obj) {
this.memberVar = obj.memberVar;
5
6
...
}
7
8 ...
9 }
You might think that accessing the private memberVar variable of obj would fail but as this is in the same class this code is legal. The clone() method copies the whole object's
memory in one operation. This is much faster than using the new keyword. Object creation with the new keyword is expensive, so if you need to create lots of objects with the same
type, performance will be better if you create one object and clone new ones from it. See below a factory method that will return a new object using cloning.
Code section 4.31: Object cloning.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
HashTable cacheTemplate = new HashTable();
...
/** Clone Customer object for performance reason */
public Customer createCustomerObject() {
// See if a template object exists in our cache
Customer template = cacheTemplate.get("Customer");
if (template == null) {
// Create template
template = new Customer();
cacheTemplate.put("Customer", template);
}
return template.clone();
}
Now, let's see how to make the Customer object cloneable.
1. First the Customer class needs to implement the Cloneable Interface.
2. Override and make the clone() method public, as that is protected in the Object class.
3. Call the super.clone()method at the beginning of your clone method.
4. Override the clone() method in all the subclasses of Customer.
Code listing 4.15: Customer.java
1 public class Customer implements Cloneable {
2 ...
3
public Object clone() throws CloneNotSupportedException {
4
5
6
7
Object obj = super.clone();
return obj;
}
8 }
In the code listing 4.15 we used cloning for speed up object creation. Another use of cloning could be to take a snapshot of an object that can change in time. Let's say we want to
store Customer objects in a collection, but we want to disassociate them from the 'live' objects. So before adding the object, we clone them, so if the original object changes from
that point forward, the added object won't. Also let's say that the Customer object has a reference to an Activity object that contains the customer activities. Now we are facing a
problem, it is not enough to clone the Customer object, we also need to clone the referenced objects. The solution:
1. Make the Activity class also cloneable
2. Make sure that if the Activity class has other 'changeable' object references, those has to be cloned as well, as seen below
3. Change the Customer class clone() method as follows:
Code listing 4.16: Customer.java
1 public class Customer implements Cloneable {
2
Activity activity;
3
...
4
5
6
public Customer clone() throws CloneNotSupportedException {
Customer clonedCustomer = (Customer) super.clone();
7
8
9
10
11
12
13 }
// Clone the object referenced objects
if (activity != null) {
clonedCustomer.setActivity((Activity) activity.clone());
}
return clonedCustomer;
}
Note that only mutable objects needs to be cloned. References to unchangeable objects such as String be used in the cloned object without worry.
Creating object receiving from a remote source
When an object is sent through a network, the object needs to be recreated at the receiving host.
Object Serialization
The term Object Serialization refers to the act of converting the object to a byte stream. The byte stream can be stored on the file system, or can be sent through a network.
At the later time the object can be re-created from that stream of bytes. The only requirement is that the same class has to be available at both times, when the object is
serialized and also when the object is re-created. If that happens in different servers, then the same class must be available on both servers. Same class means that exactly the
same version of the class must be available, otherwise the object won't be able to be re-created. This is a maintenance problem to those applications where java serialization is
used to persist object or sent the object through the network.
When a class is modified, there could be a problem re-creating those objects that were serialized using an earlier version of the class.
Java has built-in support for serialization, using the Serializable interface; however, a class must first implement the Serializable interface.
By default, a class will have all of its fields serialized when converted into a data stream (with transient fields being skipped). If additional handling is required beyond the default
of writing all fields, you need to provide an implementation for methods:
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private void writeObject(java.io.ObjectOutputStream out) throws IOException;
private void readObject(java.io.ObjectInputStream in) throws IOException, ClassNotFoundException;
private void readObjectNoData() throws ObjectStreamException;
If the object needs to write or provide a replacement object during serialization, it needs to implement the following two methods, with any access specifier:
Object writeReplace() throws ObjectStreamException;
Object readResolve() throws ObjectStreamException;
Normally, a minor change to the class can cause the serialization to fail. You can still allow the class to be loaded by defining the serialization version id:
Code section 4.32: Serialization version id.
1 private static final long serialVersionUID = 42L;
Destroying objects
Unlike in many other object-oriented programming languages, Java performs automatic garbage collection — any unreferenced objects are automatically erased from memory —
and prohibits the user from manually destroying objects.
finalize()
When an object is garbage-collected, the programmer may want to manually perform cleanup, such as closing any open input/output streams. To accomplish this, the finalize()
method is used. Note that finalize() should never be manually called, except to call a super class' finalize method from a derived class' finalize method. Also, we can not rely on
when the finalize() method will be called. If the java application exits before the object is garbage-collected, the finalize() method may never be called.
Code section 4.33: Finalization.
1 protected void finalize() throws Throwable {
2
try {
3
doCleanup();
// Perform some cleanup. If it fails for some reason, it is ignored.
4
} finally {
5
super.finalize(); // Call finalize on the parent object
6
}
7 }
The garbage-collector thread runs in a lower priority than the other threads. If the application creates objects faster than the garbage-collector can claim back memory, the program
can run out of memory.
The finalize method is required only if there are resources beyond the direct control of the Java Virtual Machine that needs to be cleaned up. In particular, there is no need to
explicitly close an OutputStream, since the OutputStream will close itself when it gets finalized. Instead, the finalize method is used to release either native or remote resources
controlled by the class.
Class loading
One of the main concerns of a developer writing hot re-deployable applications is to understand how class loading works. Within the internals of the class loading mechanism lies
the answer to questions like:
What happens if I pack a newer version of an utility library with my application, while an older version of the same library lingers somewhere in the server's lib directory?
How can I use two different versions of the same utility library, simultaneously, within the same instance of the application server?
What version of an utility class I am currently using?
Why do I need to mess with all this class loading stuff anyway?
Scope
Scope
The scope of a class, a variable or a method is its visibility and its accessibility. The visibility or accessibility means that you can use the item from a given place.
Scope of method parameters
A method parameter is visible inside of the entire method but not visible outside the method.
Code listing 3.14: Scope.java
1 public class Scope {
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
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public void method1(int i) {
i = i++;
method2();
int j = i * 2;
}
public void method2() {
int k = 20;
10
11
12
}
13
14
public static void main(String[] args) {
method1(10);
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}
16 }
In code listing 3.14, i is visible within the entire method1 method but not in the method2 and the main methods.
Scope of local variables
A local variable is visible after its declaration until the end of the block in which the local variable has been created.
Code section 3.50: Local variables.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
{
...
// myNumber is NOT visible
{
// myNumber is NOT visible
int myNumber;
// myNumber is visible
{
...
// myNumber is visible
}
// myNumber is visible
}
// myNumber is NOT visible
...
}
Access modifiers
You surely would have noticed by now, the words public, protected and private at the beginning of class's method declarations used in this book. These keywords are called the
access modifiers in the Java language syntax, and they define the scope of a given item.
For a class
If a class has public visibility, the class can be referenced by anywhere in the program.
If a class has package visibility, the class can be referenced only in the package where the class is defined.
If a class has private visibility, (it can happen only if the class is defined nested in an other class) the class can be accessed only in the outer class.
For a variable
If a variable is defined in a public class and it has public visibility, the variable can be referenced anywhere in the application through the class it is defined in.
If a variable has protected visibility, the variable can be referenced only in the sub-classes and in the same package through the class it is defined in.
If a variable has package visibility, the variable can be referenced only in the same package through the class it is defined in.
If a variable has private visibility, the variable can be accessed only in the class it is defined in.
For a method
If a method is defined in a public class and it has public visibility, the method can be called anywhere in the application through the class it is defined in.
If a method has protected visibility, the method can be called only in the sub-classes and in the same package through the class it is defined in.
If a method has package visibility, the method can be called only in the same package through the class it is defined in.
If a method has private visibility, the method can be called only in the class it is defined in.
For an interface
The interface methods and interfaces are always public. You do not need to specify the access modifier. It will default to public. For clarity it is considered a good practice to put
the public keyword.
The same way all member variables defined in the Interface by default will become static final once inherited in a class.
Summary
Class
public
visible from anywhere
Nested class
Method, or Member variable
same as its class
same as its class
Interface
visible from anywhere
Interface method signature
visible from anywhere
N/A
its class and its subclass
its class and its subclass, and from its package
N/A
N/A
package
only from its package
only from its package
only from its package
N/A
N/A
private
N/A
only from its class
only from its class
N/A
N/A
protected
The cases in bold are the default.
Utility
A general guideline for visibilities is to only make a member as visible as it needs to be. Don't make a member public if it only needs to be private.
Doing so, you can rewrite a class and change all the private members without making compilation errors, even you don't know all the classes that will use your class as long as you
do not change the signature of the public members.
Field encapsulation
Generally, it is best to make data private or protected. Access to the data is controlled by setter and getter methods. This lets the programmer control access to data, allowing
him/her to check for and handle invalid data.
Code section 3.51: Encapsulation.
1 private String name;
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2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
/**
* This is a getter method because it accesses data from the object.
*/
public String getName() {
return name;
}
/**
* This is a setter method because it changes data in the object.
*/
public boolean setName(String newName) {
if (newName == null) {
return false;
} else {
name = newName;
return true;
}
}
In the code section 3.51, the setName() method will only change the value of name if the new name is not null. Because setName() is conditionally changing name, it is wise to
return a boolean to let the program know if the change was successful.
Test your knowledge
Question 3.15: Consider the following class.
Question 3.15: Question15.java
1 public class Question15 {
2
3
public static final int QKQKQKQK_MULTIPLIER = 2;
4
5
public int ijijijijijijijijijAwfulName = 20;
6
private int unununununununununCrummyName = 10;
7
8
9
10
11
private void mememememememeUglyName(int i) {
i = i++;
tltltltltltltltltlBadName();
12
13
14
int j = i * QKQKQKQK_MULTIPLIER;
}
15
16
17
18
public void tltltltltltltltltlBadName() {
int k = ijijijijijijijijijAwfulName;
}
19
20
21
public static void main(String[] args) {
mememememememeUglyName(unununununununununCrummyName);
}
22 }
List the fields and methods of this class that can be renamed without changing or even knowing the client classes.
Answer
1. unununununununununCrummyName
2. mememememememeUglyName()
Every field or method that is public can be directly called by a client class so this class would return a compile error if the field or the method has a new name.
Nested Classes
In Java you can define a class inside an other class. A class can be nested inside another class or inside a method. A class that is not nested is called a top-level class and a class
defining a nested class is an outer class.
Inner classes
Nesting a class inside a class
When a class is declared inside another class, the nested class' access modifier can be public, private, protected or package(default).
Code listing 4.10: OuterClass.java
1 public class OuterClass {
2
private String outerInstanceVar;
3
4
5
public class InnerClass {
public void printVars() {
6
7
8
System.out.println("Print Outer Class Instance Var.:" + outerInstanceVar
}
}
9 }
The inner class has access to the enclosing class instance's variables and methods, even private ones, as seen above. This makes it very different from the nested class in C++, which
are equivalent to the "static" inner classes, see below.
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An inner object has a reference to the outer object. In other words, all inner objects are tied to the outer object. The inner object can only be created through a reference to the
'outer' object. See below.
Code section 4.20: Outer class call.
1 public void testInner() {
2
...
3
OuterClass outer = new OuterClass();
4
OuterClass.InnerClass inner = outer.new InnerClass();
5
...
6 }
Note that inner objects, because they are tied to the outer object, cannot contain static variables or methods.
When in a non-static method of the outer class, you can directly use new InnerClass(), since the class instance is implied to be this.
You can directly access the reference to the outer object from within an inner class with the syntax OuterClass.this; although this is usually unnecessary because you already
have access to its fields and methods.
Inner classes compile to separate ".class" bytecode files, with the name of the enclosing class, followed by a "$", followed by the name of the inner class. So for example, the above
inner class would be compiled to a file named "OuterClass$InnerClass.class".
Static inner classes
An inner class can be declared static. These classes are not bound to an instance of the outer defining class. A static inner class has no enclosing instance, and therefore cannot
access instance variables and methods of the outer class. You do not specify an instance when creating a static inner class. This is equivalent to the inner classes in C++.
Nesting a class inside a method
These inner classes, also called local classes, cannot have access modifiers, like local variables, since the class is 'private' to the method. The inner class can be only abstract or
final.
Code listing 4.11: OuterClass.java
1 public class OuterClass {
2
public void method() {
3
class InnerClass {
4
5
}
6
7 }
}
In addition to instance variables of the enclosing class, local classes can also access local variables of the enclosing method, but only ones that are declared final. This is because
the local class instance might outlive the invocation of the method, and so needs its own copy of the variable. To avoid problems with having two different copies of a mutable
variable with the same name in the same scope, it is required to be final, so it cannot be changed.
Anonymous Classes
In Java, a class definition and its instantiation can be combined into a single step. By doing that the class does not require a name. Those classes are called anonymous classes. An
anonymous class can be defined and instantiated in contexts where a reference can be used, and it is a nested class to an existing class. Anonymous class is a special case of a class
local to a method; hence they also can access final local variables of the enclosing method.
Anonymous classes are most useful to create an instance of an interface or adapter class without needing a brand new class.
Code listing 4.12: ActionListener.java
1 public interface ActionListener {
2
public void actionPerformed();
3 }
Code section 4.21: Anonymous class.
1 ActionListener listener = new ActionListener() {
2
public void actionPerformed() {
3
// Implementation of the action event
4
...
5
return;
6
}
7
};
In the above example the class that implements the ActionListener is anonymous. The class is defined where it is instantiated.
The above code is harder to read than if the class is explicitly defined, so why use it? If many implementations are needed for an interface, those classes are used only in one
particular place, and it would be hard to come up with names for them, using an anonymous inner class makes sense.
The following example uses an anonymous inner class to implement an action listener.
Code listing 4.13: MyApp.java
1 import java.awt.Button;
2 import java.awt.event.ActionEvent;
3 import java.awt.event.ActionListener;
4
5 class MyApp {
Button aButton = new Button();
6
7
8
9
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MyApp() {
aButton.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
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public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e) {
11
12
}
System.out.println("Hello There");
}
13
14
15
);
}
16 }
The following example does the same thing, but it names the class that implements the action listener.
Code listing 4.14: MyApp.java
1 import java.awt.Button;
2 import java.awt.event.ActionEvent;
3 import java.awt.event.ActionListener;
4
5 class MyApp {
6
Button aButton = new Button();
7
8
9
10
// Nested class to implement the action listener
class MyActionListener implements ActionListener {
public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e) {
11
12
System.out.println("Hello There");
}
13
}
14
MyApp() {
aButton.addActionListener(new MyActionListener());
15
16
}
17 }
Using anonymous classes is especially preferable when you intend to use many different classes that each implement the same interface.
Generics
Java is a strongly typed language, so a field in a class may be typed like this:
Code listing 4.34: Repository.java
1 public class Repository {
2
3
public Integer item;
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
public Integer getItem() {
return item;
}
public void setItem(Integer newItem) {
item = newItem;
}
12 }
This ensures that, only Integer objects can be put in the field and a ClassCastException can't occur at runtime, only compile-time error can occur. Unfortunately, it can be used
only with Integer objects. If you want to use the same class in another context with Strings, you have to generalize the type like this:
Code listing 4.35: Repository.java
1 public class Repository {
2
3
4
5
public Object item;
public Object getItem() {
6
7
8
}
return item;
9
public void setItem(Integer newItem) {
item = newItem;
10
11
12
}
13
14
15
public void setItem(String newItem) {
item = newItem;
}
16 }
But you will have ClassCastException at runtime again and you can't easily use your field. The solution is to use Generics.
Generic class
A generic class does not hard code the type of a field, a return value or a parameter. The class only indicates that a generic type should be the same, for a given object instance. The
generic type is not specified in the class definition. It is specified during object instantiation. This allows the generic type to be different from an instance to another. So we should
write our class this way:
Code listing 4.36: Repository.java
public class Repository<T> {
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1
2
public T item;
3
4
public T getItem() {
5
6
return item;
7
}
8
9
public void setItem(T newItem) {
10
11
item = newItem;
}
12 }
Here, the generic type is defined after the name of the class. Any new identifier can be chosen. Here, we have chosen T, which is the most common choice. The actual type is
defined at the object instantiation:
Code section 4.35: Instantiation.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Repository<Integer> arithmeticRepository = new Repository<Integer>();
arithmeticRepository.setItem(new Integer(1));
Integer number = arithmeticRepository.getItem();
Repository<String> textualRepository = new Repository<String>();
textualRepository.setItem("Hello!");
String message = textualRepository.getItem();
Although each object instance has its own type, each object instance is still strongly typed:
Code section 4.36: Compile error.
1 Repository<Integer> arithmeticRepository = new Repository<Integer>();
2 arithmeticRepository.setItem("Hello!");
A class can define as many generic types as you like. Choose a different identifier for each generic type and separate them by a comma:
Code listing 4.37: Repository.java
1 public class Repository<T, U> {
2
3
public T item;
4
5
6
7
public U anotherItem;
public T getItem() {
8
return item;
9
10
}
11
12
public void setItem(T newItem) {
item = newItem;
13
14
}
15
16
17
public U getAnotherItem() {
return anotherItem;
}
18
19
20
public void setAnotherItem(U newItem) {
anotherItem = newItem;
21
22 }
}
When a type that is defined with generic (for example, Collection<T>) is not used with generics (for example, Collection) is called a raw type.
Generic method
A generic type can be defined for just a method:
Code section 4.37: Generic method.
1 public <D> D assign(Collection<D> generic, D obj)
2
generic.add(obj);
3
return obj;
4 }
Here a new identifier (D) has been chosen at the beginning of the method declaration. The type is specific to a method call and different types can be used for the same object
instance:
Code section 4.38: Generic method call.
1
2
3
4
Collection<Integer> numbers = new ArrayList<Integer>();
Integer number = assign(numbers, new Integer(1));
Collection<String> texts = new ArrayList<String>();
String text = assign(texts, "Store it.");
The actual type will be defined by the type of the method parameter. Hence, the generic type can't be defined only for the return value as it wouldn't be resolved. See the Class<T>
section for a solution.
Test your knowledge
Question 4.8: Consider the following class.
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Question 4.8: Question8.java
1 public class Question8<T> {
2
3
public T item;
4
5
public T getItem() {
return item;
6
}
7
8
public void setItem(T newItem) {
9
10
item = newItem;
}
11
12
public static void main(String[] args) {
13
Question8<String> aQuestion = new Question8<String>();
aQuestion.setItem("Open your mind.");
14
15
aQuestion.display(aQuestion.getItem());
16
17
}
18
public void display(String parameter) {
19
20
System.out.println("Here is the text: " + parameter);
}
21
22
public void display(Integer parameter) {
23
24
}
25
26
27
System.out.println("Here is the number: " + parameter);
public void display(Object parameter) {
System.out.println("Here is the object: " + parameter);
28
}
29 }
What will be displayed on the console?
Answer
Console for Answer 4.8
Here is the text: Open your mind.
aQuestion.getItem()
is typed as a string.
Wildcard Types
As we have seen above, generics give the impression that a new container type is created with each different type parameter. We have also seen that in addition to the normal type
checking, the type parameter has to match as well when we assign generics variables. In some cases this is too restrictive. What if we would like to relax this additional checking?
What if we would like to define a collection variable that can hold any generic collection, regardless of the parameter type it holds? The wildcard type is represented by the
character <?>, and pronounced Unknown, or Any-Type. Any-Type can be expressed also by <? extends Object>. Any-Type includes Interfaces, not only Classes. So now we
can define a collection whose element type matches anything. See below:
Code section 4.39: Wildcard type.
1 Collection<?> collUnknown;
Upper bounded wildcards
You can specify a restriction on the types of classes that may be used. For example, <? extends ClassName> only allows objects of class ClassName or a subclass. For example, to
create a collection that may only contain "Serializable" objects, specify:
Code section 4.40: Collection of serializable subobjects.
1 Collection<String> textColl = new ArrayList<String>();
2
3 Collection<? extends Serializable> serColl = textColl;
The above code is valid because the String class is serializable. Use of a class that is not serializable would cause a compilation error. The added items can be retrieved as
Serializable object. You can call methods of the Serializable interface or cast it to String. The following collection can only contain objects that extend the class Animal.
Code listing 4.38: Dog.java
1 class Dog extends Animal {
2 }
Code section 4.41: Example of subclass.
1 // Create "Animal Collection" variable
2 Collection<? extends Animal> animalColl = new ArrayList<Dog>();
Lower bounded wildcards
<? super ClassName>
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specifies a restriction on the types of classes that may be used. For example, to declare a Comparator that can compare Dogs, you use:
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Code section 4.42: Superclass.
1 Comparator<? super Dog> myComparator;
Now suppose you define a comparator that can compare Animals:
Code section 4.43: Comparator.
1 class AnimalComparator implements Comparator<Animal> {
2
int compare(Animal a, Animal b) {
3
//...
4
}
5 }
Since Dogs are Animals, you can use this comparator to compare Dogs also. Comparators for any superclass of Dog can also compare Dog; but comparators for any strict subclass
cannot.
Code section 4.44: Generic comparator.
1 Comparator<Animal> myAnimalComparator = new AnimalComparator();
2
3 static int compareTwoDogs(Comparator<? super Dog> comp, Dog dog1, Dog dog2) {
4
return comp.compare(dog1, dog2);
5 }
The above code is valid because the Animal class is a supertype of the Dog class. Use of a class that is not a supertype would cause a compilation error.
Unbounded wildcard
The advantage of the unbounded wildcard (i.e. <?>) compared to a raw type (i.e. without generic) is to explicitly say that the parameterized type is unknown, not any type. That
way, all the operations that implies to know the type are forbidden to avoid unsafe operation. Consider the following code:
Code section 4.45: Unsafe operation.
1 public void addAtBottom(Collection anyCollection) {
2
anyCollection.add(new Integer(1));
3 }
This code will compile but this code may corrupt the collection if the collection only contains strings:
Code section 4.46: Corruption of list.
1 List<String> col = new ArrayList<String>();
2 addAtBottom(col);
3 col.get(0).endsWith(".");
Console for Code section 4.46
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.ClassCastException: java.lang.Integer incompatible with java.lang.String
at Example.main(Example.java:17)
This situation could have been avoided if the addAtBottom(Collection) method was defined with an unbounded wildcard: addAtBottom(Collection<?>). With this signature, it
is impossible to compile a code that is dependent of the parameterized type. Only independent methods of a collection (clear(), isEmpty(), iterator(), remove(Object o),
size(), ...) can be called. For instance, addAtBottom(Collection<?>) could contain the following code:
Code section 4.47: Safe operation.
1 public void addAtBottom(Collection<?> anyCollection) {
2
Iterator<?> iterator = anyCollection.iterator();
3
while (iterator.hasNext()) {
4
System.out.print(iterator.next());
5
}
6 }
Class<T>
Since Java 1.5, the class java.lang.Class is generic. It is an interesting example of using generics for something other than a container class. For example, the type of String.class
is Class<String>, and the type of Serializable.class is Class<Serializable>. This can be used to improve the type safety of your reflection code. In particular, since the
newInstance() method in Class now returns T, you can get more precise types when creating objects reflectively. Now we can use the newInstance() method to return a new
object with exact type, without casting. An example with generics:
Code section 4.48: Automatic cast.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Customer cust = Utility.createAnyObject(Customer.class);
...
public static <T> T createAnyObject(Class<T> cls) {
T ret = null;
try {
ret = cls.newInstance();
} catch (Exception e) {
// Exception Handling
}
return ret;
}
// No casting
The same code without generics:
Code section 4.49: Former version.
1 Customer cust = (Customer) Utility.createAnyObject(Customer.class);
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// Casting is needed
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2 ...
3 public static Object createAnyObject(Class cls) {
4
Object ret = null;
5
try {
6
ret = cls.newInstance();
7
} catch (Exception e) {
// Exception Handling
8
9
}
return ret;
10
11 }
Motivation
Java was long criticized for the need to explicitly type-cast an element when it was taken out of a "container/collection" class. There was no way to enforce that a "collection" class
contains only one type of object (e.g., to forbid at compile time that an Integer object is added to a Collection that should only contain Strings). This is possible since Java 1.5.
In the first couple of years of Java evolution, Java did not have a real competitor. This has changed by the appearance of Microsoft C#. With Generics Java is better suited to
compete against C#. Similar constructs to Java Generics exist in other languages, see Generic programming for more information. Generics were added to the Java language syntax
in version 1.5. This means that code using Generics will not compile with Java 1.4 and less. Use of generics is optional. For backwards compatibility with pre-Generics code, it is
okay to use generic classes without the generics type specification (<T>). In such a case, when you retrieve an object reference from a generic object, you will have to manually cast
it from type Object to the correct type.
Note for C++ programmers
Java Generics are similar to C++ Templates in that both were added for the same reason. The syntax of Java Generic and C++ Template are also similar. There are some differences
however. The C++ template can be seen as a kind of macro, in that a new copy of the code is generated for each generic type referenced. All extra code for templates is generated
at compiler time. In contrast, Java Generics are built into the language. The same code is used for each generic type. For example:
Code section 4.50: Java generics.
1 Collection<String> collString = new ArrayList<String>();
2 Collection<Integer> collInteger = new ArrayList<Integer>();
Both these objects appear as the same type at runtime (both ArrayList's). The generic type information is erased during compilation (type erasure). For example:
Code section 4.51: Type erasure.
1 public <T> void method(T argument) {
T variable;
2
…
3
4 }
is transformed by erasure into:
Code section 4.52: Transformation.
1 public void method(Object argument) {
2
Object variable;
3
…
4 }
Test your knowledge
Question 4.9: Consider the following class.
Question 4.9: Question9.java
1 import java.util.ArrayList;
2 import java.util.Collection;
3
4 public class Question9 {
5
public static void main(String[] args) {
Collection<String> collection1 = new ArrayList<String>();
Collection<? extends Object> collection2 = new ArrayList<String>();
Collection<? extends String> collection3 = new ArrayList<String>();
Collection<? extends String> collection4 = new ArrayList<Object>();
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Collection<? super Object> collection5 = new ArrayList<String>();
Collection<? super Object> collection6 = new ArrayList<Object>();
Collection<?> collection7 = new ArrayList<String>();
13
14
15
Collection<? extends Object> collection8 = new ArrayList<?>();
Collection<? extends Object> collection9 = new ArrayList<Object>();
Collection<? extends Integer> collection10 = new ArrayList<String>();
16
17
18
Collection<String> collection11 = new ArrayList<? extends String>();
Collection collection12 = new ArrayList<String>();
}
19 }
Which lines will generate a compile error?
Answer
Answer 4.9: Answer9.java
1 import java.util.ArrayList;
2 import java.util.Collection;
3
4 public class Answer9 {
5
6
7
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public static void main(String[] args) {
Collection<String> collection1 = new ArrayList<String>();
Collection<? extends Object> collection2 = new ArrayList<String>();
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8
Collection<? extends String> collection3 = new ArrayList<String>();
9
10
Collection<? extends String> collection4 = new ArrayList<Object>();
Collection<? super Object> collection5 = new ArrayList<String>();
11
Collection<? super Object> collection6 = new ArrayList<Object>();
12
Collection<?> collection7 = new ArrayList<String>();
13
Collection<? extends Object> collection8 = new ArrayList<?>();
14
Collection<? extends Object> collection9 = new ArrayList<Object>();
15
Collection<? extends Integer> collection10 = new ArrayList<String>();
16
17
18
Collection<String> collection11 = new ArrayList<? extends String>();
Collection collection12 = new ArrayList<String>();
}
19 }
Line 9: Object does not extend String.
Line 10: String is not a superclass of Object.
Line 13: ArrayList<?> can't be instantiated.
Line 15: Integer does not extend String.
Line 16: ArrayList<? extends String> can't be instantiated.
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Java Programming/Print version2
Aggregate
In the previous chapters, we have discovered the array. An array stores a group of primitive types. To group objects, or to reference a group of objects, we can use Java aggregate classes.
There are two main interfaces, those are java.util.Collection and java.util.Map . Implementations for those interfaces are not interchangeable.
Collection
The implementations of java.util.Collection interface are used for grouping simple java objects.
Example
We can group together all patients in a Hospital to a "patient" collection.
Map
The implementations of java.util.Map interface are used to represent mapping between "key" and "value" objects. A Map represents a group of "key" objects, where each "key" object is
mapped to a "value" object.
Example
For each patient, there is one and only one main nurse assigned to. That association can be represented by a "patient-nurse" Map.
Choice
A collection is better when you have to access all the items at once. A map is better when you have to randomly access an item regularly.
Before selecting a particular collection implementation, ask the following question:
Can my collection contain the same elements, i.e. are duplicates allowed?
Can my collection contain the null element?
Should the collection maintain the order of the elements? Is the order important in any way?
How do you want to access an element? By index, key or just with an iterator?
Does the collection need to be synchronized?
From a performance perspective, which one needs to be faster, updates or reads?
From a usage perspective, which operation will be more frequent, updates or reads?
Once you know your needs, you can select an existing implementation. But first decide if you need a Collection, or a Map.
Note that the above associations are explicit. The objects them-self do not have any knowledge/information about that they are part in an association. But creating explicit associations
between simple java objects is the main idea about using the aggregate/collection classes.
Collection
The most basic collection interface is called Collection. This interface gives the user a generic usage of a collection. All collections need to have the same basic operations. Those are:
Adding element(s) to the collection
Removing element(s) from the collection
Obtaining the number of elements in the collection
Listing the contents of the collection, (Iterating through the collection)
Code listing 5.1: CollectionProgram.java
Console for Code listing 5.1
1 import java.util.Collection;
// Interface
The collection contains 3 item(s).
2 import java.util.ArrayList;
// Implementation
The collection is empty.
3
4 public class CollectionProgram {
5
6
public static void main(String[] args) {
7
Collection myCollection = new ArrayList();
8
9
myCollection.add("1");
myCollection.add("2");
10
myCollection.add("3");
11
12
System.out.println("The collection contains " + myCollection.size() + " item(s)."
13
14
myCollection.clear();
if (myCollection.isEmpty()) {
15
System.out.println("The collection is empty.");
16
17
18
19
} else {
System.out.println("The collection is not empty.");
}
}
20 }
When you put an object in a collection, this object is not actually in the collection. Only its object reference is added to the collection. This means that if an object is changed after it was put
in an collection, the object in the collection also changes. The code listing 5.2 computes the seven next days from tomorrow and store each date in a list to read it after. See what happens:
Code listing 5.2: SevenNextDays.java
1 import java.util.ArrayList;
Console for Code listing 5.2
The next day is: Sat Feb 6 19:09:22 UTC 2016
The next day is: Sat Feb 6 19:09:22 UTC 2016
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2 import java.util.Calendar;
3 import java.util.Collection;
4 import java.util.Date;
5 import java.util.GregorianCalendar;
6
7 public class SevenNextDays {
8
9
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The next day is: Sat Feb 6 19:09:22 UTC 2016
The next day is: Sat Feb 6 19:09:22 UTC 2016
The next day is: Sat Feb 6 19:09:22 UTC 2016
The next day is: Sat Feb 6 19:09:22 UTC 2016
The next day is: Sat Feb 6 19:09:22 UTC 2016
public static void main(String[] args) {
10
11
12
// The calendar is set at the current date: today
Calendar calendar = new GregorianCalendar();
13
14
Collection collectionOfDays = new ArrayList();
15
Date currentDate = new Date();
16
for (int i = 0; i < 7; ++i) {
17
18
// The calendar is now set to the next day
calendar.add(Calendar.DATE, 1);
19
20
currentDate.setTime(calendar.getTimeInMillis());
collectionOfDays.add(currentDate);
21
22
23
}
24
for (Object oneDay : collectionOfDays) {
System.out.println("The next day is: " + oneDay);
25
26
}
}
27
28 }
Each collection items were said to be updated to a different date but they all have been updated to the last one. It means that each update has updated all the collection items. And this is the
case. The currentDate has been used to fill all the collection items. The collection didn't keep trace of the added values (one of the seven dates) but the added object references
(currentDate). So the collection contains the same object seven times! To avoid this issue, we should have coded it this way:
Code listing 5.3: ActualSevenNextDays.java
Console for Code listing 5.3
1 import java.util.ArrayList;
The next day is: Sun Jan 31 19:09:22 UTC 2016
2 import java.util.Calendar;
3 import java.util.Collection;
The next day is: Mon Feb 1 19:09:22 UTC 2016
The next day is: Tue Feb 2 19:09:22 UTC 2016
4 import java.util.Date;
5 import java.util.GregorianCalendar;
The next day is: Wed Feb 3 19:09:22 UTC 2016
6
The next day is: Thu Feb 4 19:09:22 UTC 2016
7 public class ActualSevenNextDays {
8
9
10
public static void main(String[] args) {
11
// The calendar is set at the current date: today
12
13
Calendar calendar = new GregorianCalendar();
14
Collection collectionOfDays = new ArrayList();
15
16
for (int i = 0; i < 7; ++i) {
Date currentDate = new Date();
17
18
// The calendar is now set to the next day
19
currentDate.setTime(calendar.getTimeInMillis());
The next day is: Fri Feb 5 19:09:22 UTC 2016
The next day is: Sat Feb 6 19:09:22 UTC 2016
calendar.add(Calendar.DATE, 1);
20
21
collectionOfDays.add(currentDate);
22
23
}
24
for (Object oneDay : collectionOfDays) {
25
26
}
System.out.println("The next day is: " + oneDay);
27
}
28 }
Now each time we add an item to the collection, it is a different instance. All the items evolve separately. To add an object in a collection and avoid this item to be changed each time the
source object is changed, you have to copy or clone the object before you add it to the collection.
Generics
Objects put into a collection are upcasted to Object class. It means that you need to cast the object reference back when you get an element out from the collection. It also means that you
need to know the type of the object when you take it out. If a collection contains different types of objects, we will have difficulty finding out the type of the objects obtained from a
collection at run time. Let's use a collection with any objects in it:
Code section 5.1: Collection feeding.
1 Collection ageList = new ArrayList();
2 ageList.add(new Integer(46));
3 ageList.add("50");
Code section 5.2: Collection reading.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Integer sum = new Integer(0);
for (Object age : ageList) {
sum = sum.add((Integer) age);
}
Console for Code section 5.2
ClassCastException.
if (!ageList.isEmpty()) {
System.out.println("The average age is " + sum / ageList.size());
}
This error could have been fixed earlier, at compile time, using generic types.
The Generics has been added since JDK version 1.5. It is an enhancement to the type system of the Java language. All collection implementations since 1.5 now have one parameterized
type <E> added. The E refers to an Element type. When a collection is created, the actual Element type will replace the E. In the collection, the objects are now upcasted to E class.
Code section 5.3: Collection with generics.
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1 Collection<Integer> ageList = new ArrayList<Integer>();
2 ageList.add(new Integer(46));
// Integer can be added
3 ageList.add("50");
// Compilation error, ageList can have only Integers inside
ageList
is a collection that can contain only Integer objects as elements. No casting is required when we take out an element.
Code section 5.4: Item reading.
1 Integer age = ageList.get(0);
Generics is not mandatory but it is often used with the collection classes.
Collection classes
There is no direct implementation for the java.util.Collection interface. The Collection interface has five sub interfaces.
Figure 1: The five sub interfaces of the java.util.Collection interface.
Set
A set collection contains unique elements, so duplicates are not allowed. It is similar to a mathematical Set. When adding a new item to a set, the set calls the method int hashCode() of
the item and compare it to the hash code of all the already inserted items. If the hash code has not been found, the item is added. If it is, the set now call the boolean equals(Object
obj); method with all the set items. If all calls returns false, the item is inserted. If not, the item is not inserted.
Figure 2: Set class diagram.
java.util.HashSet<E>
This is the basic implementation of the Set interface. Not synchronized. Allows the null elements
java.util.TreeSet<E>
Elements are sorted, not synchronized. null not allowed
java.util.CopyOnWriteArraySet<E>
Thread safe, a fresh copy is created during modification operation. Add, update, delete are expensive.
java.util.EnumSet<E extends Enum<E>>
All of the elements in an enum set must come from a single enum type that is specified, explicitly or implicitly, when the set is created. Enum sets are represented internally as bit
vectors.
java.util.LinkedHashSet<E>
Same as HashSet, plus defines the iteration ordering, which is the order in which elements were inserted into the set.
Detecting duplicate objects in Sets
Set cannot have duplicates in it. You may wonder how duplicates are detected when we are adding an object to the Set. We have to see if that object exists in the Set or not. It is not
enough to check the object references, the objects' values have to be checked as well.
To do that, fortunately, each java object has the boolean equals(Object obj), method available inherited from Object. You need to override it. That method will be called by the Set
implementation to compare the two objects to see if they are equal or not.
There is a problem, though. What if I put two different type of objects to the Set. I put an Apple and an Orange. They can not be compared. Calling the equals() method would cause a
ClassCastException. There are two solutions to this:
Solution one : Override the int hashCode() method and return the same values for the same type of objects and return different values for different type of objects. The equals()
method is used to compare objects only with the same value of hashCode. So before an object is added, the Set implementation needs to:
find all the objects in the Set that have the same hashCode as the candidate object hashCode
and for those, call the equals() methods passing in the candidate object
if any of them returns true, the object is not added to the Set.
Solution two : Create a super class for the Apple and Orange, let's call it Fruit class. Put Fruits in the Set. You need to do the following:
Do not override the equals() and hashCode() methods in the Apple and Orange classes
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Create appleEquals() method in the Apple class, and create orangeEquals() method in the Orange class
Override the hashCode() method in the Fruit class and return the same value, so the equals() is called by the Set implementation
Override the equals() method in the Fruit class for something like this.
Code section 5.5: equals method implementation.
1 public boolean equals(Object obj) {
2
boolean ret = false;
3
if (this instanceof Apple &&
obj instanceof Apple) {
4
ret = this.appleEquals(obj);
5
} else if (this instanceof Orange &&
6
7
obj instanceof Orange) {
8
ret = this.orangeEquals(obj);
9
} else {
10
// Can not compare Orange to Apple
11
ret = false;
12
}
13
return ret;
14 }
Note:
Only the objects that have the same hashCode will be compared.
You are responsible to override the equals() and hashCode() methods. The default implementations in Object won't work.
Only override the hashCode() method if you want to eliminate value duplicates.
Do not override the hashCode() method if you know that the values of your objects are different, or if you only want to prevent adding the exactly same object.
Beware that the hashCode() may be used in other collection implementations, like in a Hashtable to find an object fast. Overriding the default hashCode() method may affect
performance there.
The default hashCodes are unique for each object created, so if you decide not to override the hashCode() method, there is no point overriding the equals() method, as it won't be
called.
SortedSet
The SortedSet interface is the same as the Set interface plus the elements in the SortedSet are sorted. It extends the Set Interface. All elements in the SortedSet must implement the
Comparable Interface, furthermore all elements must be mutually comparable.
Note that the ordering maintained by a sorted set must be consistent with equals if the sorted set is to correctly implement the Set interface. This is so because the Set interface is defined in
terms of the equals operation, but a sorted set performs all element comparisons using its compare method, so two elements that are deemed equal by this method are, from the standpoint of
the sorted set, equal.
The SortedSet interface has additional methods due to the sorted nature of the 'Set'. Those are:
E first();
returns the first element
E last();
returns the last element
SortedSet headSet(E toElement);
returns from the first, to the exclusive toElement
SortedSet tailSet(E fromElement);
returns from the inclusive fromElement to the end
SortedSet subSet(E fromElement, E
returns elements range from fromElement, inclusive, to toElement, exclusive. (If fromElement and toElement are equal, the returned
sorted set is empty.)
toElement);
List
In a list collection, the elements are put in a certain order, and can be accessed by an index. Duplicates are allowed, the same element can be added twice to a list. It has the following
implementations:
Figure 3: List class diagram.
java.util.Vector<E>
Synchronized, use in multiple thread access, otherwise use ArrayList.
java.util.Stack<E>
It extends class Vector with five operations that allow a vector to be treated as a stack. It represents a last-in-first-out (LIFO) stack of objects.
java.util.ArrayList<E>
The basic implementation of the List interface is the ArrayList. The ArrayList is not synchronized, not thread safe. Vector is synchronized, and thread safe. Vector is slower,
because of the extra overhead to make it thread safe. When only one thread is accessing the list, use the ArrayList. Whenever you insert or remove an element from the list, there are
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extra overhead to reindex the list. When you have a large list, and you have lots of insert and remove, consider using the LinkedList.
java.util.LinkedList<E>
Non-synchronized, update operation is faster than other lists, easy to use for stacks, queues, double-ended queues. The name LinkedList implies a special data structure where the
elements/nodes are connected by pointers.
Head
Node 1
Node 2
Node n
______
| Size |
_________________
_______________
_____________
|______|
|
| point
|
|
| point |
|
|
|
| First|-------->| Data | to next |------>| Data | to next|-- ... -->| Data | null |
| elem |
|______|_________|
|______|________|
|______|______|
|______|
^
| Last |
|
| elem |----------------------------------------------------------------|______|
Each node is related to an item of the linked list. To remove an element from the linked list the pointers need to be rearranged. After removing Node 2:
Head
Node 1
Node 2
Node n
______
_____________________
| Size |
_________________
|
_______________
|
______________
|_- 1__|
|
| point
|
| |
| point | |
|
|
|
| First|-------->| Data | to next |---| Data | to next|
-...-->| Data | null |
| elem |
|______|_________|
|______|________|
|______|______|
|______|
^
| Last |
|
| elem |----------------------------------------------------------------|______|
javax.management.AtributeList<E>
Represents a list of values for attributes of an MBean. The methods used for the insertion of Attribute objects in the AttributeList overrides the corresponding methods in the
superclass ArrayList. This is needed in order to insure that the objects contained in the AttributeList are only Attribute objects.
javax.management.relation.RoleList<E>
A RoleList represents a list of roles (Role objects). It is used as parameter when creating a relation, and when trying to set several roles in a relation (via 'setRoles()' method). It is
returned as part of a RoleResult, to provide roles successfully retrieved.
javax.management.relation.RoleUnresolvedList<E>
A RoleUnresolvedList represents a list of RoleUnresolved objects, representing roles not retrieved from a relation due to a problem encountered when trying to access (read or write
to roles).
Queue
The Queue interface provides additional insertion, extraction, and inspection operations. There are FIFO (first in, first out) and LIFO (last in, first out) queues. This interface adds the
following operations to the Collection interface:
E element()
Retrieves, but does not remove, the head of this queue. This method differs from the peek method only in that it throws an exception if this queue is empty
boolean offer(E o)
Inserts the specified element into this queue, if possible.
E peek()
Retrieves, but does not remove, the head of this queue, returning null if this queue is empty
E poll()
Retrieves and removes the head of this queue, or null if this queue is empty
E remove()
Retrieves and removes the head of this queue. This method differs from the poll method in that it throws an exception if this queue is empty.
Figure 4: Queue class diagram.
java.util.BlockingQueue<E>
waits for the queue to become non-empty when retrieving an element, and waits for space to become available in the queue when storing an element. Best used for producerconsumer queues.
java.util.PriorityQueue<E>
orders elements according to an order/priority specified at construction time, null element is not allowed.
java.util.concurrent.ArrayBlockingQueue<E>
orders elements FIFO; synchronized, thread safe.
java.util.concurrent.SynchronousQueue<E>
each put must wait for a take, and vice versa, does not have any internal capacity, not even a capacity of one, an element is only present when you try to take it; you cannot add an
element (using any method) unless another thread is trying to remove it.
Complete UML class diagram
Figure 5: UML class diagram of the Collection interfaces and their implementations.
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Synchronization
Synchronization is important when you are running several threads. Beware, synchronization does not mean that your collection is thread-safe. A thread-safe collection is also called a
concurrent collection. Most of the popular collection classes have implementations for both single thread and multiple thread environments. The non-synchronized implementations are
always faster. You can use the non-synchronized implementations in multiple thread environments, when you make sure that only one thread updates the collection at any given time.
A new Java JDK package was introduced at Java 1.5, that is java.util.concurrent. This package supplies a few Collection implementations designed for use in multi-threaded
environments.
The following table lists all the synchronized collection classes:
synchronized
java.util.Vector
List
non-synchronized
java.util.ArrayList
java.util.Stack
java.util.LinkedList
java.util.concurrent.CopyOnWriteArrayList
java.util.TreeSet
java.util.HashSet
Set
java.util.LinkHashSet
java.util.concurrent.CopyOnWriteArraySet
Custom collection
The Java JDK collection implementations are quite powerful and good, so it is unlikely that you will need to write your own. The usage of the different collections are the same but the
implementations are different. If the existing collection implementations do not meet your needs, you can write your version of the implementation. Your version of the implementation just
needs to implement the same java.util.Collection interface, then you can switch to using your implementation and the code that is using the collection does not need to be changed.
Use the Collection interface if you need to keep related (usually the same type of) objects together in a collection where you can:
Search for a particular element
List the elements
Maintain and/or change the order of the elements by using the collection basic operations (Add, Remove, Update,..)
Access the elements by an index number
The advantages of using the Collection interface are:
Gives a generic usage, as we talked about above, it is easy to switch implementation
It makes it easy to convert one type of collection to another.
The Collection interface defines the following basic operations:
Using Element type E
boolean add(E o);
boolean addAll(Collection c);
boolean remove(Object
o);
boolean removeAll(Collection c);
boolean retainAll(Collection c);
Return true if the collection has changed due to the operation.
Note that in addAll() we can add any type of collection. This is the beauty of using the Collection interface. You can have a LinkedList and just call the addAll(list) method, passing
in a list. You can pass in a Vector, an ArrayList, a HashSet, a TreeSet, a YourImpOfCollection, ... All those different types of collection will be magically converted to a LinkedList.
Let's have a closer look at this magic. The conversion is easy because the Collection interface defines a standard way of looping through the elements. The following code is a possible
implementation of addAll() method of the LinkedList.
Code section 5.6: Collection transfer.
1 import java.util.Collection
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import java.util.Iterator
...
public boolean addAll(Collection coll) {
int sizeBefore = this.size();
Iterator iter = coll.iterator();
while(iter.hasNext()) {
this.add(iter.next());
}
if (sizeBefore > this.size()) {
return true;
} else {
return false;
}
}
The above code just iterates through the passed in collection and adds the elements to the linked list. You do not have to do that, since that is already defined. What you might need to code
for is to loop through a Customer collection:
Code section 5.7: Iteration on a collection.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
import java.util.Collection
import java.util.Iterator
import java.yourcompany.Customer
...
public String printCustomerNames(Collection customerColl) {
StringBuffer buf = new StringBuffer();
Iterator iter = customerColl.iterator();
while(iter.hasNext()) {
Customer cust = (Customer) iter.next();
buf.append(cust.getName());
buf.append( "\n" );
}
return buf.toString();
}
Notice two things:
The above code will work for all type of collections.
We have to know the type of objects inside the collection, because we call a method on it.
ArrayList
The ArrayList class extends AbstractList and implements the List interface. ArrayList supports dynamic arrays that can grow as needed.
Standard Java arrays are of a fixed length. After arrays are created, they cannot grow or shrink, which means that you must know in advance how many elements an array will hold.
Array lists are created with an initial size. When this size is exceeded, the collection is automatically enlarged. When objects are removed, the array may be shrunk.
Initializing
The ArrayList class supports three constructors. The first constructor builds an empty array list.:
ArrayList( )
The following constructor builds an array list that is initialized with the elements of the collection c.
ArrayList(Collection c)
The following constructor builds an array list that has the specified initial capacity. The capacity is the size of the underlying array that is used to store the elements.
The capacity grows automatically as elements are added to an array list.
ArrayList(int capacity)
Methods
ArrayList defines following methods:
Adding Element in ArrayList
Inserts the specified element at the specified position index in this list. Throws IndexOutOfBoundsException if the specified index is out of range (index < 0 || index > size()).
void add(int index, Object element)
Appends the specified element to the end of this list.
boolean add(Object o)
Appends all of the elements in the specified collection to the end of this list, in the order that they are returned by the specified collection's iterator. Throws NullPointerException if
the specified collection is null.
boolean addAll(Collection c)
Inserts all of the elements in the specified collection into this list, starting at the specified position. Throws NullPointerException if the specified collection is null.
boolean addAll(int index, Collection c)
Size of ArrayList
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Returns the number of elements in this list.
int size()
Adding Element and Size of ArrayList
import java.util.*;
public class ArrayListDemo{
public static void main(String[] args) {
// create an array list
ArrayList al= new ArrayList();
System.out.println("Initial ArrayList : "+al);
// add elements to the array list
al.add("A");
al.add("B");
//find size of ArrayList
System.out.println("Size of al :"+al.size());
// display the array list
System.out.println("Contents of al :"+al);
al.add(1,"C");
System.out.println("Contents of al :"+al);
System.out.println("Size of al :"+al.size());
}
}
Output for Adding Element and Size of ArrayList
Initial ArrayList : []
Size of al :2
Contents of al :[A, B]
Contents of al :[A, C, B]
Size of al :3
Get and Set ArrayList Element
Returns the element at the specified position in this list. Throws IndexOutOfBoundsException if the specified index is is out of range (index < 0 or index >= size()).
Object get(int index)
Replaces the element at the specified position in this list with the specified element. Throws IndexOutOfBoundsException if the specified index is is out of range (index < 0 or index
>= size()).
Object set(int index, Object element)
Find Index of ArrayList Element
Returns the index in this list of the first occurrence of the specified element, or -1 if the List does not contain this element.
int indexOf(Object o)
Returns the index in this list of the last occurrence of the specified element, or -1 if the list does not contain this element.
int lastIndexOf(Object o)
Find Element Contain in ArrayList
Returns true if this list contains the specified element. More formally, returns true if and only if this list contains at least one element e such that (o==null ? e==null : o.equals(e)).
boolean contains(Object o)
Different Method in ArrayList
public class ArrayListDemo {
public static void main(String[] args) {
// create an array list
ArrayList al = new ArrayList();
// add elements to the array list
al.add("A");
al.add("B");
al.add("C");
al.add("A");
al.add("D");
al.add("A");
al.add("E");
System.out.println("Contents of al : " + al);
// find index of element in ArrayList
System.out.println("Index of D : " + al.indexOf("D"));
System.out.println("Index of A : " + al.indexOf("A"));
// find index of element in ArrayList
System.out.println("Index of A : " + al.lastIndexOf("A"));
// get element at given Index
System.out.println("Element at Second Index : " + al.get(2));
System.out.println("Element at Sixth Index : " + al.get(6));
//set element at given Index
al.set(3,"B"); // replacing third index element by "B"
System.out.println("Contents of al : " + al);
//check ArrayList contains given element
System.out.println("ArrayList contain D : "+al.contains("D"));
System.out.println("ArrayList contain F : "+al.contains("F"));
}
}
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Output for Different Method in ArrayList
Contents of al : [A, B, C, A, D, A, E]
Index of D : 4
Index of A : 0
Index of A : 5
Element at Second Index : C
Element at Sixth Index : E
Contents of al : [A, B, C, B, D, A, E]
ArrayList contain D : true
ArrayList contain F : false
Test your knowledge
Question: Consider the following code:
public class ArrayListDemo {
public static void main(String[] args) {
ArrayList al = new ArrayList();
al.add("A");
al.add("B");
al.add("C");
al.add("E");
al.add("F");
al.remove(2);
al.remove("F");
al.set(1, "G");
al.add("H");
al.set(3, "I");
System.out.println("Size of al : " + al.size());
System.out.println("Contents of al : " + al);
}
}
In the example above, what is output?
Answer
Size of al : 4
Contents of al : [A, G, E, I]
Some more ArrayList methods:
Method
Description
Object clone()
Returns a shallow copy of this ArrayList.
Object[] toArray()
Returns an array containing all of the elements in this list in the correct order. Throws NullPointerException if the specified
array is null.
void trimToSize()
Trims the capacity of this ArrayList instance to be the list's current size.
void ensureCapacity(int minCapacity)
Increases the capacity of this ArrayList instance, if necessary, to ensure that it can hold at least the number of elements
specified by the minimum capacity argument.
protected void removeRange(int fromIndex,
int toIndex)
Removes from this List all of the elements whose index is between fromIndex, inclusive and toIndex, exclusive.
Map
Aside from the java.util.Collection interface, the Java JDK has the java.util.Map interface as well. It is sometimes also called an Associated Array or a Dictionary. A map defines
key value mappings. Implementations of the Map interface do not contain collections of objects. Instead they contain collections of key->value mappings. It can be thought of as an array
where the index doesn't need to be an integer.
Code section 5.17: Use of a map.
1
2
3
4
5
6
import java.util.Map;
import java.util.Hashtable;
...
Map map = new Hashtable();
...
map.put(key, value);
Use the Map interface if you need to keep related objects together in a Map where you can:
Access an element by a key object
Map one object to other
Figure 5.6: Map Interfaces.
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java.util.Map<K,V>
maps keys to values. A map cannot contain duplicate keys; each key can map to at most one value. The Map interface provides three collection views, which allow a map's contents
to be viewed as a set of keys, collection of values, or set of key-value mappings. The key is usually a non-mutable object. The value object however can be a mutable object.
java.util.SortedMap<K,V>
same as the Map interface, plus the keys in the Map are sorted.
In the above example, the same operations are made with two different map implementations:
Code listing 5.4: MapImplementations.java
Console for Code listing 5.4
1 import java.util.LinkedHashMap;
2 import java.util.Map;
Process the map
3
3 import java.util.TreeMap;
2
4
1
5 /**
Process the map
6
7
* Compare the map implementations.
*
1
2
8
* @author xxx
3
9 */
10 public class MapImplementations {
11
12
/**
13
* Compare the map implementations.
14
15
* @param args The execution parameters.
*/
16
public static void main(String[] args) {
processMap(new LinkedHashMap<String, Integer>());
17
18
processMap(new TreeMap<String, Integer>());
19
20
}
21
22
23
/**
* Use a map:
24
25
* 1. Fill the map with key-> value.
* 2. Print all the keys.
26
*
27
* @param map The used map.
28
*/
public static void processMap(Map<String, Integer> map) {
System.out.println("Process the map");
29
30
31
map.put("3", new Integer(3));
32
33
map.put("2", new Integer(2));
map.put("1", new Integer(1));
34
35
for (String key : map.keySet()) {
System.out.println(key);
36
}
37
38
}
39 }
We see that only the TreeMap has sorted the keys. Beware of the generics. The Map interface is tricky. The methods get() and remove() are not generic. This means that you must be
careful of the type of the key:
Code section 5.18: Tricky generics.
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2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Console for Code section 5.18
Map<Integer, String> map = new TreeMap<Integer, String>();
Watch
out
map.put(new Integer(1), "Watch");
map.put(new Integer(2), "out");
map.put(new Integer(3), "!");
!
map.remove("2");
for (String value : map.values()) {
System.out.println(value);
}
The remove() call has done nothing because "2" is a String, not an Integer so no key and value has been found and removed.
Map Classes
The Map interface has the following implementations:
Figure 5.7: Map class diagram.
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java.util.TreeMap<E>
guarantees that the map will be in ascending key order, sorted according to the natural order for the key's class, not-synchronized.
java.util.Hashtable<E>
Synchronized, null can not be used as key
java.util.HashMap<E>
is roughly equivalent to Hashtable, except that it is unsynchronized and permits nulls
java.util.concurrent.ConcurrentHashMap
same as Hashtable, plus retrieval operations (including get) generally do not block, so may overlap with update operations (including put and remove).
java.util.WeakHashMap<E>
entry in a WeakHashMap will automatically be removed when its key is no longer in ordinary use. Non-synchronized.
java.util.LinkedHashMap<E>
This linked list defines the iteration ordering, which is normally the order in which keys were first inserted into the map (first insertion-order). Note that insertion order is not affected
if a key is re-inserted into the map.
java.util.IdentityHashMap
This class implements the Map interface with a hash table, using reference-equality in place of object-equality when comparing keys (and values). In other words, in an
IdentityHashMap, two keys k1 and k2 are considered equal if and only if (k1==k2). (In normal Map implementations (like HashMap) two keys k1 and k2 are considered equal if
and only if (k1==null ? k2==null : k1.equals(k2)).) Not-synchronized.
java.util.EnumMap
All of the keys in an enum map must come from a single enum type that is specified, explicitly or implicitly, when the map is created. Enum maps are represented internally as arrays.
This representation is extremely compact and efficient. Not-synchronized.
Thread safe maps
The following table lists all the synchronized map classes:
synchronized
non-synchronized
java.util.TreeMap
java.util.Hashtable
java.util.concurrent.ConcurrentHashMap
java.util.HashMap
java.util.LinkedHashMap
java.util.IdentityHashMap
java.util.EnumMap
Comparing Objects
In Java, we can distinguish two kinds of equality.
Object reference equality: when two object references point to the same object.
Object value equality: when two separate objects happen to have the same values/state.
If two objects are equal in reference, they are equal in value too.
Comparing for reference equality
The == operator can be used to check if two object references point to the same object.
Code section 5.19: Reference equality.
1 if (objRef1 == objRef2) {
2
// The two object references point to the same object
3 }
Comparing for value equality
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To be able to compare two Java objects of the same class the boolean equals(Object obj) method must be overriden and implemented by the class.
The implementor decides which values must be equal to consider two objects to be equal. For example in the below class, the name and the address must be equal but not the
description.
Code listing 5.5: Customer.java
1 public class Customer {
2
3
private String name;
private String address;
4
private String description;
5
// ...
public boolean equals(Object obj) {
6
7
8
if (this == obj) {
return true;
9
} else if (obj == null) {
10
return false;
11
} else if (obj instanceof Customer) {
12
Customer cust = (Customer) obj;
13
14
if ((cust.getName() == null && name == null) ||
(cust.getName().equals(name) && ((cust.getAddress() == null && address == null
15
16
|| cust.getAddress().equals(address))) {
return true;
17
}
18
19
}
return false;
20
}
21
22 }
After the equals() method is overriden, two objects from the same class can be compared like this:
Code section 5.20: Method usage.
1
2
3
4
5
6
Customer cust1 = new Customer();
Customer cust2 = new Customer();
//...
if (cust1.equals(cust2)) {
// Two Customers are equal, by name and address
}
Note that equal objects must have equal hash codes. Therefore, when overriding the equals method, you must also override the hashCode method. Failure to do so violates the general
contract for the hashCode method, and any classes that use the hash code, such as HashMap will not function properly.
Sorting/Ordering
In Java, there are several existing methods that already sort objects from any class like Collections.sort(List<T> list). However, Java needs to know the comparison rules between
two objects. So when you define a new class and want the objects of your class to be sortable, you have to implement the Comparable and redefine the compareTo(Object obj) method.
int
compareTo(T o)
Compares two objects and return an integer:
A negative integer means that the current object is before the parameter object in the natural ordering.
Zero means that the current object and the parameter object are equal.
A positive integer means that the current object is after the parameter object in the natural ordering.
Let's say that the name is more important than the address and the description is ignored.
Code listing 5.6: SortableCustomer.java
1 public class SortableCustomer implements Comparable<SortableCustomer> {
2
private String name;
3
private String address;
4
5
private String description;
// ...
6
7
public int compareTo(SortableCustomer anotherCustomer) {
if (name.compareTo(anotherCustomer.getName()) == 0) {
8
return address.compareTo(anotherCustomer.getAddress();
9
10
11
12
} else {
return name.compareTo(anotherCustomer.getName();
}
}
13
14 }
Objects that implement this interface can be used as keys in a sorted map or elements in a sorted set, without the need to specify a comparator.
The natural ordering for a class C is said to be consistent with equals if and only if e1.compareTo((Object) e2) == 0 has the same boolean value as e1.equals((Object) e2) for every
e1 and e2 of class C. Note that null is not an instance of any class, and e.compareTo(null) should throw a NullPointerException even though e.equals(null) returns false.
It is strongly recommended (though not required) that natural orderings be consistent with equals. This is because sorted sets (and sorted maps) without explicit comparators behave
"strangely" when they are used with elements (or keys) whose natural ordering is inconsistent with equals. In particular, such a sorted set (or sorted map) violates the general contract for set
(or map), which is defined in terms of the equals method.
Change Sorting/Ordering
Sometimes we may want to change the ordering of a collection of objects from the same class. We may want to order descending or ascending order. We may want to sort by name or by
address.
We need to create a class for each way of ordering. It has to implement the Comparator interface.
Since Java 5.0, the Comparator interface is generic; that means when you implement it, you can specify what type of objects your comparator can compare.
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Code listing 5.7: CustomerComparator.java
1 public class CustomerComparator implements Comparator<Customer> {
2
public int compare(Customer cust1, Customer cust2) {
3
4
return cust1.getName().compareTo(cust2.getName());
}
5 }
The above class then can be associated with a SortedSet or other collections that support sorting.
Code section 5.21: Comparator usage.
1 Collection<Customer> orderedCustomers = new TreeSet<Customer>(new CustomerComparator());
Using the Iterator the orderedCustomers collection can be iterated in order of sorted by name.
A List can be sorted by the Collections' sort method.
Code section 5.22: Customized comparison.
1 java.util.Collections.sort(custList, new CustomerComparator());
Sorts the specified list according to the order induced by the specified comparator. All elements in the list must be mutually comparable using the specified comparator.
An array of objects can also be sorted with the help of a Comparator.
Code section 5.23: Array sorting.
1 SortableCustomer[] customerArray;
2 //...
3 java.util.Arrays.sort(customerArray, new CustomerComparator());
Sorts the specified array of Customer objects (customerArray) according to the order induced by the specified comparator. All elements in the array must be mutually comparable by the
specified comparator.
Exceptions
The ideal time to catch an error is at compile time, before you even try to run the program. However, not all errors can be detected at compile time. The rest of the problems must be
handled at run time through some formality that allows the originator of the error to pass appropriate information to a recipient who will know how to handle the difficulty properly.
Improved error recovery is one of the most powerful ways that can increase the robustness of your code. Error recovery is a fundamental concern for every program you write, but it's
especially important in Java, where one of the primary goals is to create program components for others to use. To create a robust system, each component must be robust. By providing a
consistent error-reporting model using exceptions, Java allows components to reliably communicate problems to client code.
Flow of code execution
In Java, there are two main flows of code executions.
Normal main sequential code execution, the program doing what it meant to accomplish.
Exception handling code execution, the main program flow was interrupted by an error or some other condition that prevent the continuation of the normal main sequential code
execution.
Exception
Exceptions are Java's way of error handling. Whenever an unexpected condition occurs, an exception can be thrown with an exception object as a parameter. It means that the normal
program control flow stops and the search for a catch block begins. If that is not found at the current method level the search continues at the caller method level, until a matching
catch block is found. If none is found the exception will be handled by the JVM, and usually the java program terminates.
When a catch "matching" block is found, that block will be executed, the exception object is passed to the block as a parameter. Then normal program execution continues after the
catch block. See Java exception handling syntax.
Exception Object
This is the object that is "thrown" as a parameter from the error, and passed to the catch block. Exception object encapsulates the information about the error's location and its nature.
All Exception objects must be inherited from the java.lang.Throwable. See the UML diagram below.
Figure 6.1: Java exception classes
Matching rule
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A thrown exception object can be caught by the catch keyword and specifying the exception object's class or its super-class.
Naming convention
It is good practice to add Exception to all exception classes. Also the name of the exception should be meaningful, should represent the problem. For example
CustomerNotFoundException indicate that customer was not found.
Throwing and Catching Exceptions
Language compilers are adept at pointing out most of the erroneous code in a program, however there are some errors that only become apparent when the program is executed. Consider
the code listing 6.1; here, the program defines a method divide that does a simple division operation taking two integers as parameter arguments and returning the result of their division. It
can safely be assumed that when the divide(4, 2) statement is called, it would return the number 2. However, consider the next statement, where the program relies upon the provided
command line arguments to generate a division operation. What if the user provides the number zero (0) as the second argument? We all know that division by zero is impossible, but the
compiler couldn't possibly have anticipated the user providing zero as an argument.
Code listing 6.1: SimpleDivisionOperation.java
1 public class SimpleDivisionOperation {
2
3
public static void main(String[] args) {
System.out.println(divide(4, 2));
4
if (args.length > 1) {
5
6
int arg0 = Integer.parseInt(args[0]);
int arg1 = Integer.parseInt(args[1]);
7
System.out.println(divide(arg0, arg1));
8
9
Output for Code listing 6.1
$ java SimpleDivisionOperation 1 0
2
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.ArithmeticException: / by zero
at SimpleDivisionOperation.divide(SimpleDivisionOperation.java:12)
at SimpleDivisionOperation.main(SimpleDivisionOperation.java:7)
}
}
10
11
public static int divide(int a, int b) {
12
13
}
return a / b;
14 }
Such exceptional code that results in erroneous interpretations at program runtime usually results in errors that are called exceptions in Java. When the Java interpreter encounters an
exceptional code, it halts execution and displays information about the error that occurs. This information is known as a stack trace. The stack trace in the above example tells us more
about the error, such as the thread — "main" — where the exception occurred, the type of exception — java.lang.ArithmeticException, a comprehensible display message — / by
zero, and the exact methods and the line numbers where the exception may have occurred.
Exception object
The preceding exception could have been created explicitly by the developer as it is the case in the following code:
Code listing 6.2: SimpleDivisionOperation.java
1 public class SimpleDivisionOperation {
public static void main(String[] args) {
2
Output for Code listing 6.2
$ java SimpleDivisionOperation 1 0
2
3
System.out.println(divide(4, 2));
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.ArithmeticException: You can't divide by zero!
4
5
if (args.length > 1) {
at SimpleDivisionOperation.divide(SimpleDivisionOperation.java:14)
at SimpleDivisionOperation.main(SimpleDivisionOperation.java:7)
// Convert a string to an integer
6
7
int arg0 = Integer.parseInt(args[0]);
8
System.out.println(divide(arg0, arg1));
int arg1 = Integer.parseInt(args[1]);
}
9
10
}
11
12
public static int divide(int a, int b) {
13
if (b == 0) {
14
15
throw new ArithmeticException("You can\'t divide by zero!");
} else {
16
17
18
return a / b;
}
}
19 }
Note that when b equals zero, there is no return value. Instead of a java.lang.ArithmeticException generated by the Java interpreter itself, it is an exception created by the coder. The
result is the same. It shows you that an exception is an object. Its main particularity is that it can be thrown. An exception object must inherit from java.lang.Exception. Standard
exceptions have two constructors:
1. The default constructor; and,
2. A constructor taking a string argument so that you can place pertinent information in the exception.
Code section 6.1: Instance of an exception object with the default constructor.
1 new Exception();
Code section 6.2: Instance of an Exception object by passing string in constructor.
1 new Exception("Something unexpected happened");
This string can later be extracted using various methods, as you can see in the code listing 6.2.
You can throw any type of Throwable object using the keyword throw. It interrupts the method. Anything after the throw statement would not be executed, unless the thrown exception is
handled. The exception object is not returned from the method, it is thrown from the method. That means that the exception object is not the return value of the method and the calling
method can be interrupted too and so on and so on...
Typically, you'll throw a different class of exception for each different type of error. The information about the error is represented both inside the exception object and implicitly in the
name of the exception class, so someone in the bigger context can figure out what to do with your exception. Often, the only information is the type of exception, and nothing meaningful is
stored within the exception object.
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Oracle standard exception classes
The box 6.1 below talks about the various exception classes within the java.lang package.
Box 6.1: The Java exception classes
Throwable
The Throwable class is the superclass of all errors and exceptions in the Java language. Only objects that are instances
of this class (or one of its subclasses) are thrown by the Java Virtual Machine or can be thrown by the Java throw
statement.
A throwable contains a snapshot of the execution stack of its thread at the time it was created. It can also contain a
message string that gives more information about the error. Finally, it can contain a cause: another throwable that
caused this throwable to get thrown. The cause facility was added in release 1.4. It is also known as the chained
exception facility, as the cause can, itself, have a cause, and so on, leading to a "chain" of exceptions, each caused by
another.
Error
An Error indicates serious problems that a reasonable application should not try to handle. Most such errors are
abnormal conditions.
Exception
The class Exception and its subclasses are a form of Throwable that indicates conditions that a reasonable application
might want to handle. Also this is the class that a programmer may want to extend when adding business logic
exceptions.
RuntimeException
RuntimeException is the superclass of those exceptions that can be thrown during the normal operation of the Java
Virtual Machine. A method is not required to declare in its throws clause any subclasses of RuntimeException that
might be thrown during the execution of the method but not caught.
Figure 6.2: The exception classes and their inheritance
model in the JCL.
try/catch statement
By default, when an exception is thrown, the current method is interrupted, the calling method is interrupted too and so on till the main method. A thrown exception can also be caught using
a try/catch statement. Below is how a try/catch statement works:
Code section 6.3: Division into a try block.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
int a = 4;
int b = 2;
int result = 0;
try {
int c = a / b;
result = c;
} catch(ArithmeticException ex) {
result = 0;
}
return result;
The executed code lines have been highlighted. When no exception is thrown, the method flow executes the try statement and not the catch statement.
Code section 6.4: Catching 'division by zero' errors.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
int a = 4;
int b = 0;
int result = 0;
try {
int c = a / b;
result = c;
} catch(ArithmeticException ex) {
result = 0;
}
return result;
As there is a thrown exception at line 5, the line 6 is not executed, but the exception is caught by the catch statement so the catch block is executed. The following code is also executed.
Note that the catch statement takes an exception as parameter. There is a third case: when the exception is not from the same class as the parameter:
Code section 6.5: Uncaught exception.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
int a = 4;
int b = 0;
int result = 0;
try {
int c = a / b;
result = c;
} catch(NullPointerException ex) {
result = 0;
}
return result;
It is as if there is no try/catch statement. The exception is thrown to the calling method.
catch blocks
A try/catch statement can contain several catch blocks, to handle different exceptions in different ways. Each catch block must take a parameter of a different throwable class. A thrown
object may match several catch block but only the first catch block that matches the object will be executed. A catch-block will catch a thrown exception if and only if:
the thrown exception object is the same as the exception object specified by the catch-block.
the thrown exception object is the subtype of the exception object specified by the catch-block.
This means that the catch block order is important. As a consequence, you can't put a catch block that catches all the exception (which take a java.lang.Exception as parameter) before
a catch block that catches a more specific exception as the second block could never be executed.
Code section 6.6: Exception handling with catch blocks.
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try {
// Suppose the code here throws any exceptions,
// then each is handled in a separate catch block.
Exception handling code for ArithmeticException or IndexOutOfBoundsException.
int[] tooSmallArray = new int[2];
int outOfBoundsIndex = 10000;
tooSmallArray[outOfBoundsIndex] = 1;
System.out.println("No exception thrown.");
} catch(NullPointerException ex) {
System.out.println("Exception handling code for the NullPointerException.");
} catch(NumberFormatException ex) {
System.out.println("Exception handling code for the NumberFormatException.");
} catch(ArithmeticException | IndexOutOfBoundsException ex) {
System.out.println("Exception handling code for ArithmeticException"
+ " or IndexOutOfBoundsException.");
} catch(Exception ex) {
System.out.println("Exception handling code for any other Exception.");
}
At line 14, we use a multi-catch clause. It is available since the JDK 7. This is a combination of several catch clauses and let's you handle exceptions in a single handler while also
maintaining their types. So, instead of being boxed into a parent Exception super-class, they retain their individual types.
You can also use the java.lang.Throwable class here, since Throwable is the parent class for the application-specific Exception classes. However, this is discouraged in Java
programming circles. This is because Throwable happens to also be the parent class for the non-application specific Error classes which are not meant to be handled explicitly as they are
catered for by the JVM itself.
finally block
A finally block can be added after the catch blocks. A finally block is always executed, even when no exception is thrown, an exception is thrown and caught, or an exception is
thrown and not caught. It's a place to put code that should always be executed after an unsafe operation like a file close or a database disconnection. You can define a try block without
catch block, however, in this case, it must be followed by a finally block.
Example of handling exceptions
Let's examine the following code:
Code section 6.7: Handling exceptions.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
public void methodA() throws SomeException {
// Method body
}
public void methodB() throws CustomException, AnotherException {
// Method body
}
public void methodC() {
methodB();
methodA();
}
In the code section 6.7, methodC is invalid. Because methodA and methodB pass (or throw) exceptions, methodC must be prepared to handle them. This can be handled in two ways: a
try-catch block, which will handle the exception within the method and a throws clause which would in turn throw the exception to the caller to handle. The above example will cause a
compilation error, as Java is very strict about exception handling. So the programmer is forced to handle any possible error condition at some point.
A method can do two things with an exception: ask the calling method to handle it by the throws declaration or handle the exception inside the method by the try-catch block.
To work correctly, the original code can be modified in multiple ways. For example, the following:
Code section 6.8: Catching and throwing exceptions.
1 public void methodC() throws CustomException, SomeException
2
try {
3
methodB();
4
} catch(AnotherException e) {
5
// Handle caught exceptions.
6
}
7
methodA();
8 }
The AnotherException from methodB will be handled locally, while CustomException and SomeException will be thrown to the caller to handle it. Most of the developers are
embarrassed when they have to choose between the two options. This type of decision should not be taken at development time. If you are a development team, it should be discussed
between all the developers in order to have a common exception handling policy.
Keyword references
try
catch
finally
throws
throw
Checked Exceptions
A checked exception is an exception that must be either caught or declared in a method where it can be thrown. For example, the java.io.IOException is a checked exception. To
understand what is a checked exception, consider the following code:
Code section 6.9: Unhandled exception.
1 public void ioOperation(boolean isResourceAvailable) {
if (!isResourceAvailable) {
2
throw new IOException();
3
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}
4
5 }
This code won't compile as it throws or can throw a checked exception without catching it or declare it. Two different modifications can resolve the situation: to catching it or to declare it
by the throws keyword.
Code section 6.10: Catching an exception.
Code section 6.11: Declaring an exception.
1 public void ioOperation(boolean isResourceAvailable) {
2
try {
3
if (!isResourceAvailable) {
4
throw new IOException();
5
}
6
} catch(IOException e) {
// Handle caught exceptions.
7
}
8
9 }
1 public void ioOperation(boolean isResourceAvailable) throws IOException
2
if (!isResourceAvailable) {
3
throw new IOException();
4
}
5 }
In the Java class hierarchy, an exception is a checked exception if it inherits from java.lang.Exception, but not from java.lang.RuntimeException. All the application or business
logic exceptions should be checked exceptions.
It is possible that a method declares that it can throw an exception, but actually it does not. Still, the caller has to deal with it. The checked exception declaration has a domino effect. Any
methods that will use the previous method will also have to handle the checked exception, and so on.
So the compiler for the Java programming language checks, at compile time, that a program contains handlers for all application exceptions, by analyzing each method body. If, by executing
the method body, an exception can be thrown to the caller, that exception must be declared. How does the compiler know whether a method body can throw an exception? That is easy.
Inside the method body, there are calls to other methods; the compiler looks at each of their method signature, what exceptions they declared to throw.
Why Force Exception Handling?
This may look boring to the developer but it forces them to think about all the checked exceptions and increase the code quality. This compile-time checking for the presence of exception
handlers is designed to make the application developer life easier. To debug whether a particular thrown exception has a matching catch would be a long process. In conventional languages
like C, and C++, a separate error handling debugging were needed. In java we can be sure that when an application exception is thrown, that exception somewhere in the program is
handled. In C, and C++, that has to be tested. In Java that does not need to be tested, so the freed up time can be used for more meaningful testing, testing the business features.
What Exceptions can be Declared when Overriding a Method?
The checked exception classes specified after the throws keyword are part of the contract between the implementer and user. An overriding method can declare the same exceptions,
subclasses or no exceptions.
What Exceptions can be Declared when Implementing an Interface?
When interfaces are involved, the implementation declaration must have a throws-clause that is compatible with the interface declarations.
Unchecked Exceptions
Unchecked, uncaught or runtime exceptions are exceptions that are not required to be caught or declared, even if it is allowed to do so. So a method can throw a runtime exception, even if
this method is not supposed to throw exceptions. For example, ConcurrentModificationException is an unchecked exception.
The unchecked exceptions can only be the RuntimeException and its subclasses, and the class Error and its subclasses. All other exception classes must be handled, otherwise the
compiler gives an error.
Sometime it is desirable to catch all exception for logging purposes, then throw it back on. For example, in servlet programming when application server calls the server doPost(), we want
to monitor that no exception even runtime exception happened during serving the request. The application has its own logging separate from the server logging. The runtime exceptions
would just go through without detecting it by the application. The following code would check all exceptions, log them, and throw it back again.
Code section 6.12: Declaring an exception.
1 public void doPost(HttpReguest request, HttpResponse response
2
try {
3
...
4
handleRequest();
5
...
6
} catch(Exception e) {
7
log.error("Error during handling post request", e);
8
9
throw e;
10
}
11 }
In the above code, all business logic exception are handled in the handleRequest() method. Runtime exceptions are caught for logging purposes, and then thrown back to the server to
handle it.
Runtime exceptions are usually caused by data errors, like arithmetic overflow, divide by zero, ... . Runtime exceptions are not business related exceptions. In a well debugged code, runtime
exceptions should not occur. Runtime exceptions should only be used in the case that the exception could be thrown by and only by something hard-coded into the program. These should
not be able to be triggered by the software's user(s).
Preventing NullPointerException
is a RuntimeException. In Java, a special null can be assigned to an object reference. NullPointerException is thrown when an application attempts to use an
object reference, having the null value. These include:
NullPointerException
Calling an instance method on the object referred by a null reference.
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Accessing or modifying an instance field of the object referred by a null reference.
If the reference type is an array type, taking the length of a null reference.
If the reference type is an array type, accessing or modifying the slots of a null reference.
If the reference type is a subtype of Throwable, throwing a null reference.
Applications should throw instances of this class to indicate other illegal uses of the null object.
Code section 6.13: Null pointer.
1 Object obj = null;
2 obj.toString(); // This statement will throw a NullPointerException
The above code shows one of the pitfall of Java, and the most common source of bugs. No object is created and the compiler does not detect it. NullPointerException is one of the most
common exceptions thrown in Java.
Why do we need null?
The reason we need it is because many times, we need to create an object reference before the object itself is created. Object references cannot exist without a value, so we assign the null
value to it.
Code section 6.14: Non-instantiated declared object.
1 public Person getPerson(boolean isWoman) {
Person person = null;
2
3
if (isWoman) {
4
person = createWoman();
} else {
5
6
person = createMan();
7
}
return person;
8
9 }
In the code section 6.14 we want to create the Person inside the if-else, but we also want to return the object reference to the caller, so we need to create the object reference outside of the
if-else, because of the scoping rule in Java. Incorrect error-handling and poor contract design can be a pitfall with any programming language. This is also true for Java.
Now we will describe how to prevent NullPointerException. It does not describe general techniques for how you should program Java. It is of some use, to make you more aware of null
values, and to be more careful about generating them yourself.
This list is not complete — there are no rules for preventing NullPointerException entirely in Java, because the standard libraries have to be used, and they can cause
NullPointerExceptions. Also, it is possible to observe an uninitialized final field in Java, so you can't even treat a final field as being completely trusted during the object's creation.
A good approach is to learn how to deal with NullPointerExceptions first, and become competent with that. These suggestions will help you to cause less NullPointerExceptions, but
they don't replace the need to know about NullPointerExceptions.
Comparing string variable with a string literal
When you compare a variable with a string literal, most of people would do that this way:
Code section 6.15: Bad comparison.
1 if (state.equals("OK")) {
...
2
3 }
Always put the string literal first:
Code section 6.16: Better comparison.
1 if ("OK".equals(state)) {
...
2
3 }
If the state variable is null, you get a NullPointerException in the first example, but not in the second one.
Minimize the use of the keyword 'null' in assignment statements
This means not doing things like:
Code section 6.17: Declaring an exception.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
String s = null;
while (something) {
if (something2) {
s = "yep";
}
}
if (s != null) {
something3(s);
}
You can replace this with:
Code section 6.18: Declaring an exception.
1 boolean done = false;
2
3 while (!done && something) {
if (something2) {
4
done = true;
5
something3("yep");
6
}
7
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8 }
You might also consider replacing null with "" in the first example, but default values bring about bugs caused by default values being left in place. A NullPointerException is actually
better, as it allows the runtime to tell you about the bug, rather than just continue with a default value.
Minimize the use of the new Type[int] syntax for creating arrays of objects
An array created using new Object[10] has 10 null pointers. That's 10 more than we want, so use collections instead, or explicitly fill the array at initialization with:
Code section 6.19: Declaring an exception.
1 Object[] objects = {"blah", 5, new File("/usr/bin")};
or:
Code section 6.20: Declaring an exception.
1 Object[] objects;
2 objects = new Object[]{"blah", 5, new File("/usr/bin")};
Check all references obtained from 'untrusted' methods
Many methods that can return a reference can return a null reference. Make sure you check these. For example:
Code section 6.21: Declaring an exception.
1
2
3
4
5
File file = new File("/etc");
File[] files = file.listFiles();
if (files != null) {
stuff
}
File.listFiles()
can return null if /etc is not a directory.
You can decide to trust some methods not to return null, if you like, but that's an assumption you're making. Some methods that don't specify that they might return null, actually do, instead
of throwing an exception.
For each loop trap
Beware if you loop on an array or a collection in a for each loop.
Code section 6.22: Visit a collection.
1 Collection<Integer> myNumbers = buildNumbers();
2 for (Integer myNumber : myNumbers) {
3
System.out.println(myNumber);
4 }
If the object is null, it does not just do zero loops, it throws a null pointer exception. So don't forget this case. Add an if statement or return empty collections:
Code section 6.23: Visit a collection safety.
1 Collection<Integer> myNumbers = buildNumbers();
2 if (myNumbers != null) {
3
for (Integer myNumber : myNumbers) {
4
System.out.println(myNumber);
5
}
6 }
External tools
There is tools like FindBugs that parse your code and warn you about potential bugs. Most of the time, it detects possible null pointers.
Stack trace
Stack Trace is a list of method calls from the point when the application was started to the point where the exception was thrown. The most recent method calls are at the top.
Code listing 6.3: StackTraceExample.java
1 public class StackTraceExample {
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NullPointerException: Fictitious NullPointerException
2
public static void main(String[] args) {
at StackTraceExample.method111(StackTraceExample.java:15)
3
4
}
method1();
6
7
8
9
10
11
at StackTraceExample.method11(StackTraceExample.java:11)
at StackTraceExample.method1(StackTraceExample.java:7)
at StackTraceExample.main(StackTraceExample.java:3)
5
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Output for Code listing 6.3
public static void method1() {
method11();
}
public static void method11() {
method111();
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}
13
14
15
public static void method111() {
throw new NullPointerException("Fictitious NullPointerException"
}
16
17 }
The stack trace can be printed to the standard error by calling the public void printStackTrace() method of an exception.
From Java 1.4, the stack trace is encapsulated into an array of a java class called java.lang.StackTraceElement. The stack trace element array returned by
Throwable.getStackTrace() method. Each element represents a single stack frame. All stack frames except for the one at the top of the stack represent a method invocation. The frame
at the top of the stack represents the execution point at which the stack trace was generated. Typically, this is the point at which the throwable corresponding to the stack trace was created.
A stack frame represents the following information:
Code section 6.24: Stack frame.
1 public StackTraceElement(String declaringClass,
String methodName,
2
String fileName,
3
int lineNumber);
4
Creates a stack trace element representing the specified execution point.
Converting the stack trace into string
Many times for debugging purposes, we'd like to convert the stack trace to a String so we can log it to our log file.
The following code shows how to do that:
Code section 6.25: Save the stack trace.
1 import java.io.StringWriter;
2 import java.io.PrintWriter;
3
4 ...
5
Exception e = new NullPointerException();
6
7
8
StringWriter outError = new StringWriter();
9
e.printStackTrace(new PrintWriter(outError));
10
String errorString = outError.toString();
11
12
// Do whatever you want with the errorString
Nesting Exceptions
When an exception is caught, the exception contains the stack-trace, which describes the error and shows where the exception happened, where the problem is, where the application
programmer should look to fix the problem. Sometime it is desirable to catch an exception and throw another new exception. If the new exception keep a reference to the first exception, the
first exception is called a nesting exception.
Code listing 6.4: NestingExceptionExample.java
Output for Code listing 6.4
1 public class NestingExceptionExample {
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.Exception: Horrible exception!
2
at NestingExceptionExample.main(NestingExceptionExample.java:9)
3
4
public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
Object[] localArgs = (Object[]) args;
5
6
try {
7
Integer[] numbers = (Integer[]) localArgs;
8
} catch (ClassCastException originalException) {
Exception generalException = new Exception(
9
10
11
"Horrible exception!",
originalException);
12
throw generalException;
13
14
Caused by: java.lang.ClassCastException: [Ljava.lang.String; incompatible with [Ljava.lang.Integer;
at NestingExceptionExample.main(NestingExceptionExample.java:7)
}
}
15 }
The above code is an example of a nesting exception. When the Exception is thrown, by passing in the ClassCastException object reference as a parameter, the ClassCastException is
nested in the newly created Exception, its stack-trace is appended together. When the Exception is caught, its stack-trace contains the original ClassCastException's stack-trace.
This is a kind of exception conversion, from one exception to another. For example, calling a remote object using RMI, the calling method has to deal with RemoteException which is
thrown if something is wrong during the communication. For the application point of view, RemoteException has no meaning, it should be transparent to the application that a remote object
was used or not. So the RemoteException should be converted to an application exception.
This conversion can also hide where the error is originated. The stack-trace starts when the exception is thrown. So when we catch and throw a new exception, the stack-trace starts at when
the new exception was thrown, losing the original stack-trace. This was true with the earlier version of Java (before 1.4). Since then, a so called cause facility capabilities were built in the
Throwable class.
A throwable contains a snapshot of the execution stack of its thread at the time it was created. It can also contain a message string that gives more information about the error. Finally, it can
contain a cause: another throwable that caused this throwable to get thrown. The cause facility is also known as the chained exception facility, as the cause can, itself, have a cause, and so
on, leading to a "chain" of exceptions, each caused by another.
A cause can be associated with a throwable in two ways: via a constructor that takes the cause as an argument, or via the initCause(Throwable) method. New throwable classes that wish
to allow causes to be associated with them should provide constructors that take a cause and delegate (perhaps indirectly) to one of the Throwable constructors that takes a cause. For
example:
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Code section 6.26: Chaining-aware constructor.
1 try {
2
lowLevelOp();
3 } catch (LowLevelException le) {
4
throw new HighLevelException(le);
5 }
Because the initCause method is public, it allows a cause to be associated with any throwable, even a "legacy throwable" whose implementation predates the addition of the exception
chaining mechanism to Throwable. For example:
Code section 6.27: Legacy constructor.
1 try {
2
lowLevelOp();
3 } catch (LowLevelException le) {
4
throw (HighLevelException) new HighLevelException().initCause(le
5 }
Further, as of release 1.4, many general purpose Throwable classes (for example Exception, RuntimeException, Error) have been retrofitted with constructors that take a cause. This was
not strictly necessary, due to the existence of the initCause method, but it is more convenient and expressive to delegate to a constructor that takes a cause.
By convention, class Throwable and its subclasses have two constructors, one that takes no arguments and one that takes a String argument that can be used to produce a detail message.
Further, those subclasses that might likely have a cause associated with them should have two more constructors, one that takes a Throwable (the cause), and one that takes a String (the
detail message) and a Throwable (the cause).
Concurrent Programming
In computer programming, an application program runs in a certain process of the CPU. Every statement that is then executed within the program is actually being executed in that process.
In essence, when a statement is being executed, the CPU focuses all its attention on that particular statement and for the tiniest fraction of a second puts everything else on hold. After
executing that statement, the CPU executes the next statement and so forth.
But consider for a moment that the execution of a particular statement is expected to take a considerable amount of time. You do not want to keep the CPU on halt until the statement gets
executed and done with; you would want the CPU to continue with some other application process and resume the current application as smoothly as possible after its statement is executed.
It can only be possible if you can run several processes simultaneously, such that when one process is executing a statement that is expected to take some time, another process in the queue
would continue doing other things and so on. Such a principle of programming is called concurrent programming.
Throughout this chapter, we will be taking a look at concurrent programming constructs present in the Java programming language.
Threads and Runnables
CPUs for any computer are designed to execute one task at any given time, yet we run multiple applications side-by-side and everything works in perfect congruence. It's not just because
CPUs are extremely fast in performing calculations, it's because CPUs use a clever device of dividing their time amongst various tasks. Each application or task that is invoked on a
computer gets associated with the CPU in the form of a process. A CPU therefore manages various processes, and jumps back and forth amongst each process giving it a fraction of its time
and processing capability. This happens so fast that to a normal computer user it presents with the illusion of processes being run simultaneously. This capability of the CPU to divide its time
amongst processes is called multitasking.
So, if we run a Java application on a computer, we are effectively creating a process with the CPU that gets a fraction of the CPU's time. In Java parlance, this main process gets called the
daemon process or the daemon thread. But, Java goes one step further. It allows programmers to divide this daemon thread into several multiple threads which get executed simultaneously
(much like a CPU) hence providing a Java application with a finer multitasking capability called multithreading.
In this section, we will take a look at what threads are and how multithreading is implemented within a Java program to make it appear congruent and effectively fast to respond.
Threads
In light of the above discussion, a thread is the smallest unit of processing that can be scheduled by an operating system. Therefore, using threads, a programmer can effectively create two
or more tasks[1] that run at the same time. The first call-to-action is to implement a set of tasks that a particular thread would execute. To do so, we require the creation of a Runnable
process.
Creating a Runnable process block
A Runnable process block is a simple class that implements a run() method. Within the run() method is the actual task that needs to be executed by a running thread. By implementing a
class with the Runnable (http://download.oracle.com/javase/1.5.0/docs/api/java/lang/Runnable.html) interface, we ensure that the class holds a run() method. Consider the following
program:
Code listing 1: A runnable process
import java.util.Random;
public class RunnableProcess implements Runnable {
private String name;
private int time;
private Random rand = new Random();
public RunnableProcess(String name) {
this.name = name;
this.time = rand.nextInt(999);
}
public void run() {
try {
System.out.printf("%s is sleeping for %d \n", this.name, this.time);
Thread.sleep(this.time);
System.out.printf("%s is done.\n", this.name);
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} catch(Exception ex) {
ex.printStackTrace();
}
}
}
In the above code, we create a class called RunnableProcess and implement the Runnable interface to ensure that we have a run() method in the class declaration.
Code section 1.1: Implementing the Runnable interface
public class RunnableProcess implements Runnable {
...
public void run() {
...
}
}
We then declare the rest of the logic for the class. For the constructor, we take a String parameter that would serve as the name of the class. Then, we initialize the class member variable
with a random number between 0 and 999. To ensure the initialization of a random number, we use the Random class in the java.util package.
time
Code section 1.2: Including ability to generate random integers between 0 and 999
import java.util.Random;
...
private Random rand = new Random();
...
this.time = rand.nextInt(999);
The actual task that would be executed per this runnable block is presented within the run() method. To keep safe from exceptions occurring because of the concurrent programming, we
wrap the code within this method with a try..catch block. The executing task actually consists of just three statements. The first outputs the provided name for the Runnable process, and
the last reports that the thread has executed. Perhaps the most intriguing part of the code is the second statement: Thread.sleep(...).
Code section 1.3: The actual runnable process task
...
System.out.printf("%s is sleeping for %d \n", this.name, this.time);
Thread.sleep(this.time);
System.out.printf("%s is done \n", this.name);
...
This statement allows the thread executing the current runnable block to halt its execution for the given amount of time. This time is presented in milliseconds. But for our convenience, this
time would be the random number generated in the constructor and can be anywhere between 0 and 999 milliseconds. We will explore this in a later section. Creating a Runnable process
block is just the beginning. No code is actually executed. To do so, we would require the creation of threads that would then individually execute this task.
Creating threads
Once we have a Runnable process block, we can create various threads that can then execute the logic encased within such blocks. Multithreading capabilities in Java are utilized and
manipulated using the Thread (http://download.oracle.com/javase/1.5.0/docs/api/java/lang/Thread.html) class. A Thread object therefore holds all the necessary logic and devices to create
truly multithreaded programs. Consider the following program:
Code listing 2: Creating Thread objects
public class ThreadLogic {
public static void main(String[] args) {
Thread t1 = new Thread(new RunnableProcess("Thread-1"));
Thread t2 = new Thread(new RunnableProcess("Thread-2"));
Thread t3 = new Thread(new RunnableProcess("Thread-3"));
}
}
Creating threads is as simple as the above program suggests. You just have to create an object of the Thread class and pass a reference to a Runnable process object. In the case above, we
present the Thread constructor with the class object for the RunnableProcess class that we created in code listing 1. But for each object, we give a different name (i.e., "Thread-1" and
"Thread-2", etc.) to differentiate between the three Thread objects. The above example only declares Thread objects and hasn't yet started them for execution.
Starting threads
Now, that we know how to effectively create a Runnable process block and a Thread object that executes it, we need to understand how to start the created Thread objects. This couldn't
be simpler. For this process, we will be calling the start() method on the Thread objects and voilà, our threads will begin executing their individual process tasks.
Code listing 3: Starting the Thread objects
public class ThreadLogic {
public static void main(String[] args) {
Thread t1 = new Thread(new RunnableProcess("Thread-1"));
Thread t2 = new Thread(new RunnableProcess("Thread-2"));
Thread t3 = new Thread(new RunnableProcess("Thread-3"));
t1.start();
t2.start();
t3.start();
}
}
The above code will start all three declared threads. This way, all three threads will begin their execution one-by-one. However, this being concurrent programming and us having declared
random times for the halting of the execution, the outputs for every one of us would differ. Following is the output we received when we executed the above program.
Output for code listing 3
Thread-1 is sleeping for 419
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Thread-3 is sleeping for 876
Thread-2 is sleeping for 189
Thread-2 is done
Thread-1 is done
Thread-3 is done
It should be noted that the execution of the Thread didn't occur in the desired order. Instead of the order t1–t2–t3, the threads executed in the order of t1–t3–t2. The order in which the
threads are executed is completely dependant on the operating system and may change for every execution of the program, thus making output of multithreaded application difficult to
predict and control. Some people suggest that this is the major reason that adds to the complexity of multithreaded programming and its debugging. However, it should be observed that once
the threads were put to sleep using the Thread.sleep(...) function, the execution intervals and order can be predicted quite capably. The thread with the least amount of sleeping time
was t2 ("Thread-2") with 189 milliseconds of sleep hence it got called first. Then t1 was called and finally t3 was called.
Manipulating threads
It can be said that the execution order of the threads was manipulated to some degree using the Thread.sleep(...) method. The Thread class has such static methods that can arguably
affect the execution order and manipulation of threads. Below are some useful static methods in the Thread class. These methods when called will only affect the currently running threads.
Method
Description
Thread.currentThread()
Returns the currently executing thread at any given time.
Thread.dumpStack()
Prints a stack trace of the currently running thread.
Thread.sleep(long millis)
Halts execution of the currently running thread for the given amount of time (in milliseconds).
throws InterruptedException
Thread.sleep(long millis, int nanos)
Halts execution of the currently running thread for the given amount of time (in milliseconds plus provided nanoseconds).
throws InterruptedException
Thread.yield()
Temporarily pauses the execution of the currently running thread to allow other threads to execute.
Synchronization
Given below is an example of creating and running multiple threads that behave in a synchronous manner such that when one thread is using a particular resource, the others wait until the
resource has been released. We will talk more about this in later sections.
Code listing 4: Creation of the multiple Thread objects running synchronously
public class MultiThreadExample {
public static boolean cthread;
public static String stuff = " printing material";
public static void main(String args[]) {
Thread t1 = new Thread(new RunnableProcess());
Thread t2 = new Thread(new RunnableProcess());
t1.setName("Thread-1");
t2.setName("Thread-2");
t2.start();
t1.start();
}
/*
* Prints information about the current thread and the index it is
* on within the RunnableProcess
*/
public static void printFor(int index) {
StringBuffer sb = new StringBuffer();
sb.append(Thread.currentThread().getName()).append(stuff);
sb.append(" for the ").append(index).append(" time.");
System.out.print(sb.toString());
}
}
class RunnableProcess implements Runnable {
public void run() {
for(int i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
synchronized(MultiThreadExample.stuff) {
MultiThreadExample.printFor(i);
try {
MultiThreadExample.stuff.notifyAll();
MultiThreadExample.stuff.wait();
} catch(InterruptedException ex) {
ex.printStackTrace();
}
}
}
}
}
Output for code listing 4
Thread-1 printing material for the 0 time.
Thread-2 printing material for the 0 time.
Thread-1 printing material for the 1 time.
Thread-2 printing material for the 1 time.
Thread-1 printing material for the 2 time.
Thread-2 printing material for the 2 time.
Thread-1 printing material for the 3 time.
Thread-2 printing material for the 3 time.
Thread-1 printing material for the 4 time.
Thread-2 printing material for the 4 time.
Thread-1 printing material for the 5 time.
Thread-2 printing material for the 5 time.
Thread-1 printing material for the 6 time.
Thread-2 printing material for the 6 time.
Thread-1 printing material for the 7 time.
Thread-2 printing material for the 7 time.
Thread-1 printing material for the 8 time.
Thread-2 printing material for the 8 time.
Thread-1 printing material for the 9 time.
Thread-2 printing material for the 9 time.
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Where are threads used?
Threads are used intensively in applications that require a considerable amount of CPU usage. For operations that are time-consuming and intensive,
it is usually advised to use threads. A example of such an application would be a typical video game. At any given time, a video game involves
various characters, objects in the surroundings and other such nuances that needs to be dealt with simultaneously. Dealing with each element or
object within the game requires a fair amount of threads to monitor every object.
For example, take this screen-shot of a role-playing strategy game on the right. Here the game visuals depict various in-game characters moving about
on the screen. Now imagine processing the movements, direction and behaviors of each of the characters visible on screen. It would certainly take a
lot of time moving each character one-by-one if this were to be done one task after another. However if fundamentals of multi-threading are
employed, each character would move in a synchronous manner with respect to others.
Threads are not only used heavily in video games, their use is common in everything from simple browser applications to complex operating systems
and networking applications. Today it often goes beyond the simple preference of the developer but into the need to maximize the usefulness of
contemporaneous hardware that is predicated in heavy multitasking.
Video games intensively use threads
References
1. The number of tasks that can be run simultaneously for a single Java application depends on how many tasks an operating system allows to be multithreaded.
Daemon thread tutorial (http://www.javaexperience.com/daemon-threads-in-java-with-example-code)
Basic Synchronization
In a multi-threaded environment, when more than one thread can access and modify a resource, the outcome could be unpredictable. For example, let's have a counter variable that is
incremented by more than one thread.
Beware! Synchronization is an ambiguous term. It doesn't consist of making all threads executing the same code section at the same time. It is the opposite. It prevents any two threads from
executing the same code section at the same time. It synchronizes the end of one processing with the beginning of a second processing.
Code section 1.1: Counter implementation
int counter = 0;
...
counter += 1;
The above code is built up by the following sub-operations:
Read ; read variable counter
Add ; add 1 to the value
Save ; save the new value to variable counter
Let's say that two threads need to execute that code, and if the initial value of the counter variable is zero, we expect after the operations the value to be 2.
Thread 1 Thread 2
Read 0
Read 0
Add 1
Add 1
Save 1
Save 1
In the above case Thread 1 operation is lost, because Thread 2 overwrites its value. We'd like Thread 2 to wait until Thread 1 finishes the operation. See below:
Thread 1 Thread 2
Read 0
blocked
Add 1
blocked
Save 1
unblocked
Read 1
Add 1
Save 2
Critical Section
In the above example the code counter+=1 must be executed by one and only one thread at any given time. That is called critical section. During programming, in a multi-threading
environment we have to identify all those pieces of code that belongs to a critical section, and make sure that only one thread can execute those codes at any given time. That is called
synchronization.
Synchronizing threads
The thread access to a critical section code must be synchronized among the threads, that is to make sure that only one thread can execute it at any given time.
Object monitor
Each object has an Object monitor. Basically it is a semaphore, indicating if a critical section code is being executed by a thread or not. Before a critical section can be executed, the
thread must obtain an Object monitor. Only one thread at a time can own that object's monitor.
A thread becomes the owner of the object's monitor in one of three ways
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By executing a synchronized instance method of that object. See synchronized keyword.
By executing the body of a synchronized statement that synchronizes on the object. See synchronized keyword.
For objects of type Class, by executing a synchronized static method of that class.
The Object Monitor takes care of the synchronization, so why do we need the "wait() and notify() methods"?
For synchronization we don't really need them, however for certain situations it is nice to use them. A nice and considerate thread will use them. It can happen that during executing a
critical section, the thread is stuck, cannot continue. It can be because it's waiting for an IO and other resources. In any case, the thread may need to wait a relatively long time. It
would be selfish for the thread to hold on to the object monitor and blocking other threads to do their work. So the thread goes to a 'wait' state, by calling the wait() method on the
object. It has to be the same object the thread obtained its object monitor from.
On the other hand though, a thread should call the wait() method only if there is at least one other thread out there who will call the notify() method when the resource is
available, otherwise the thread will wait for ever, unless a time interval is specified as parameter.
Let's have an analogy. You go in a shop to buy some items. You line up at the counter, you obtain the attention of the sales-clerk - you get her "object-monitor". You ask for the item
you want. One item needs to be brought in from a warehouse. It'll take more than five minutes, so you release the sales-clerk (give her back her "object-monitor") so she can serve
other customers. You go into a wait state. Let's say there are five other customers already waiting. There is another sales-clerk, who brings in the items from the warehouse. As she
does that, she gets the attention of the first sales-clerk, getting her object-monitor and notifies one or all waiting customer(s), so the waited customer(s) wake up and line up again to
get the attention of the first sales-clerk.
Note the synchronization between the waiting customer and the sales-clerk who brings in the items. This is kind of producer-consumer synchronization.
Also note that there is only one object-monitor, belonging to the first sales-clerk. That object-monitor/the attention of clerk needs to be obtained first before a wait and a notify can
happen.
method
The current thread must own this object's monitor. The thread releases ownership of this monitor and waits until another thread notifies the threads waiting on this object's monitor to
wake up either through a call to the notify method or to the notifyAll method. The thread then waits until it can re-obtain ownership of the monitor and resume execution.
final void wait()
final void wait(long time)
The same as wait, but the thread wakes after the specified duration of time passes, regardless of whether there was a notification or not.
final void notify()
This method should only be called by a thread that is the owner of this object's monitor. Wakes up a single thread that is waiting on this object's monitor. If many threads are waiting on
this object's monitor, one of them is chosen to be awakened. The choice is arbitrary and occurs at the discretion of the implementation. A thread waits on an object's monitor by calling
one of the wait methods.
The awakened thread will not be able to proceed until the current thread relinquishes the lock on this object. The awakened thread will compete in the usual manner with any other
threads that might be actively competing to synchronize on this object; for example, the awakened thread enjoys no reliable privilege or disadvantage in being the next thread to lock
this object.
final void notifyAll()
Same as notify(), but it wakes up all threads that are waiting on this object's monitor.
What are the differences between the sleep() and wait() methods?
Thread.sleep(millis)
This is a static method of the Thread class. Causes the currently executing thread to sleep (temporarily cease execution) for the specified number of milliseconds. The thread
does not lose ownership of any monitors. It means that if the thread has an object-monitor, all other threads that need that monitor are blocked. This method can be called
regardless whether the thread has any monitor or not.
wait()
This method is inherited from the Object class. The thread must have obtained the object-monitor of that object first before calling the wait() method. The object monitor is
released by the wait() method, so it does not block other waiting threads wanting this object-monitor.
Client Server
In 1990s, the trend was moving away from Mainframe computing to Client/Server, as the price of Unix servers dropped. The database access and some business logic were centralized on
the back-end server, collecting data from the user program was installed on the front-end users' "client" computers. In the Java world there are three main ways the front-end and the
back-end could simply communicate.
The client application using JDBC to connect the data base server, (Limited business logic on the back-end, unless using Stored procedures)
The client application using RMI (Remote Method Invocation) to communicate with the back-end.
The client application using socket connection to communicate with the back-end.
Socket Connection Example
In this page there is an example for socket connection.
Create a Server
Java language was developed having network computing in mind. For this reason it is very easy to create a server program. A server is a piece of code that runs all the time listening on a
particular port on the computer for incoming request. When a request arrives, it starts a new thread to service the request. See the following example:
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Figure 1:Simple Client Server Implementation
Listening on a port
ComServer
class is for listening on a port for a client.
Code listing 1.1: ComServer
import java.net.ServerSocket;
/**
* -- Main Server Class; Listening on a port for client; If there is a client,
* starts a new Thread and goes back to listening for further clients. -*/
public class ComServer
{
static boolean
GL_listening = true;
/**
* -- Main program to start the Server -*/
public static void main(String[] args) throws IOException
{
ComServer srv = new ComServer();
srv.listen();
} // --- End of Main Method --/**
* -- Server method; Listen for client -*/
public int listen() throws IOException
{
ServerSocket serverSocket = null;
int iPortNumber = 9090;
// --- Open the Server Socket where this should listen --try {
System.out.println( "*** Open the listening socket; at:"+ iPortNumber + " ***" );
serverSocket = new ServerSocket( iPortNumber );
} catch (IOException e) {
System.err.println("Could not listen on port:"+iPortNumber );
System.exit(1);
}
while ( GL_listening )
{
ComServerThread clientServ;
// --- Listening for client; If there is a client start a Thread System.out.println( "*** Listen for a Client; at:"+ iPortNumber + " ***" );
clientServ = new ComServerThread( serverSocket.accept() );
// --- Service a Client --System.out.println( "*** A Client came; Service it ***" );
clientServ.start();
//
}
clientServ.run();
/* --- Use for multy Threaded --- */
/* --- Use for Single Threaded --- */
// --- Close the Server socket;
serverSocket.close();
Server exiting ---
return 0;
} // --- End of listen Method --}
// --- End of ComServer Class ---
ServerSocket( iPortNumber )
Creates a server socket, bound to the specified port.
serverSocket.accept()
Listens for a connection to be made to this socket and accepts it. The method blocks until a connection is made. It returns a new Socket.
Service One Client
ComServerThread
This class extended from a Thread; Responsible to service one client. The Socket connection will be open between the client and server. A simple protocol has to be defined between
the client and server, the server has to understand what the client wants from the server. The client will send a terminate command, for which the server will terminate the socket
connection. The ComServerThread class is responsible to handle a client request, until the client sends a terminate command.
Code listing 1.2: ComServerThread
/**
* -- A class extended from a Thread; Responsible to service one client -*/
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class '''ComServerThread''' extends Thread
{
private Socket clientSocket = null;
COM_DATA tDataFromClient;
COM_DATA tDataToClient;
ObjectInputStream oIn;
ObjectOutputStream oOut;
/**
* -- Constructor -*/
public ComServerThread( Socket socket )
{
super( "ComServerThread" );
this.clientSocket = socket;
} // -- End of ComServerThread() constructor -/**
* -- Overrun from the Thread (super) class -*/
public void run()
{
try {
// --- Create the Writer; will be used to send data to client --oOut = new ObjectOutputStream( clientSocket.getOutputStream() );
// --- Create the Reader; will be used to get data from client --oIn = new ObjectInputStream( clientSocket.getInputStream() );
// --- Create a new protocol object --ComProtocol comp = new ComProtocol();
// --- Send something to client to indicate that server is ready --tDataToClient = '''comp.processInput( null );'''
'''sendDataToClient'''( tDataToClient, oOut );
// --- Get the data from the client --while ( true )
{
try {
tDataFromClient = '''getDataFromClient( oIn )''';
// --- Parse the request and get the reply --tDataToClient = '''comp.processInput( tDataFromClient );'''
// --- Send data to the Client --'''sendDataToClient'''( tDataToClient, oOut );
}
catch ( EOFException e ) {
System.out.println( "Client Disconnected, Bye, Bye" );
break;
}
// --- See if the Client wanted to terminate the connection --if ( tDataToClient.bExit )
{
System.out.println( "Client said Bye. Bye" );
break;
}
}
// --- Close resources;
comp.Final();
This client is gone ---
oOut.close();
oIn.close();
clientSocket.close();
} catch ( IOException e ) {
e.printStackTrace();
}
} // -- End of run() Method -/**
* Get data from Client
*/
private static COM_DATA '''getDataFromClient'''( ObjectInputStream oIn ) throws IOException
{
COM_DATA
tDataFromClient = null;
// --- Initialize variables --//
tDataFromClient = new COM_DATA();
while ( tDataFromClient == null )
{
try {
// --- Read Line Number first -tDataFromClient = (COM_DATA) oIn.readObject();
} catch ( ClassNotFoundException e ) {
System.out.println( "ClassNotFound" );
}
}
System.out.println( "Get: " + tDataFromClient.comData );
return tDataFromClient;
} // --- getDataFromClient() Method --/**
* Send data to Client
*/
private static void '''sendDataToClient'''( COM_DATA tDataToClient,
ObjectOutputStream
oOut ) throws IOException
{
System.out.println( "Sent: " + tDataToClient.comData );
oOut.writeObject( tDataToClient );
return;
} // -- End of sendDataToClient() Method -} // --- End of ComServerThread class ---
COM_DATA tDataFromClient
This variable will contain the data object from the client.
COM_DATA tDataToClient
This variable will contain the data object to be sent to the client.
sendDataToClient
This method sends the data object to the client.
getDataFromClient
This method gets the data object from the client.
processInput( tDataFromClient )
This method of the class ComProtocol interprets the client commands and returns the data object that will be sent back to the client.
Handling the request; implements the communication protocol
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ComProtocol
This class implements, and encapsulates the communication logic (protocol). The protocol is the following:
1. The client initiate the connection.
2. The server accepts it and sends an acknowledgment notifying that it's ready
3. The client sends a request
4. The server response based on the request
...
1. The client sends a BYE request
2. The server acknowledge the BYE request and disconnects the socket connection
3. The client gets the acknowledgment to the BYE
...
1. The client sends a SHUTDOWN request
2. The server acknowledge the SHUTDOWN request and disconnects and also stops listening of other clients.
3. The client gets the acknowledgment to the SHUTDOWN
Code listing 1.3: ComProtocol
class '''ComProtocol'''
{
private static final int COM_STATUS_WAITING
= 0;
private static final int COM_STATUS_READY_SENT = 1;
private static final int COM_STATUS_DATA_SENT = 2;
private static final int COM_STATUS_WAITING_FOR_TERMINALID = 3;
private int state = COM_STATUS_WAITING;
// --- Reference to 'BACK-END' module --private MqTeAccess mqTe;
...
/**
* Create a protokol object; CAll MQ INI function
*/
public ComProtocol()
{
int
iRet = 0;
// --- Initialize 'BACK-END' modules
mqTe. ...
---
...
}
/**
* --- Process the Input and Create the output to the Client --*/
public COM_DATA processInput( COM_DATA theInput )
{
COM_DATA theOutput;
// --- Initialize Variables --theOutput = new COM_DATA();
// --- Check if the Clients want to disconnect --if ( theInput != null )
{
if ( theInput.comData.equals('''"!BYE.@"''') )
{
// --- The Client wants to terminate; Echo data back to client
theOutput.comData = "BYE.";
// --- Mark the comunication to be terminated --theOutput.bExit = true;
// --- Set the internal state to wait for a new client --state = COM_STATUS_WAITING;
// --- Return Data object to be sent to the client --return theOutput;
}
if ( theInput.comData.equals('''"!SHUTDOWN.@"''') )
{
// --- The Client wants to terminate; Echo data back to client
theOutput.comData = "BYE.";
// --- Mark the comunication to be terminated --theOutput.bExit = true;
// --- Tell the server to stop listening for new clients --ComServer.GL_listening = false;
// --- Set the internal state to wait for a new client --state = COM_STATUS_WAITING;
// --- Return Data object to be sent to the client --return theOutput;
}
}
if ( state == COM_STATUS_WAITING )
{
// --- Send ready Message to the Client --theOutput.comData = "Ready:";
// --- Set the internal state ready; and wait for TerminalId --state = COM_STATUS_WAITING_FOR_TERMINALID;
}
else if ( state == COM_STATUS_WAITING_FOR_TERMINALID )
{
int iRet;
// --- Get the Terminal ID --sTermId = theInput.comData;
// --- Call 'BACK-END' modules ...
---
mqTe. ...
...
// --- Send ready Message with the Server Version to the Client --theOutput.comData = "Ready;Server Version 1.0:";
// --- Set the internal state raedy; and wait for TerminalId --state = COM_STATUS_READY_SENT;
}
else if ( state == COM_STATUS_READY_SENT )
{
int iRet;
String sCommand = theInput.comData;
// --- Call 'BACK-END' modules ...
...
/*
** --- Check if we should get Response data --*/
if ( theInput.iRet == COM_DATA.NOWAIT_FOR_RESPONSE ) {
// -- Set the Output Value ---
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theOutput.iRet = iRet;
theOutput.comData = "";
}
else {
// --- Call 'BACK-END' modules --mqTe. ...
// --- Set the Output Value --theOutput.comData
= mqTe.sResponseBuffer;
theOutput.iRet
= iRet;
}
}
return theOutput;
} // --- End of Method processInput() --} // --- End of ComProtocol Class Definition ------
The Data object that goes through the network
COM_DATA
is data structure class that is transmitted through the network. The class contains only data.
Code listing 1.4: COM_DATA
/**
* COM_DATA data structure
*/
public class COM_DATA implements Serializable
{
public String
comData;
public boolean bExit;
public int
iRet;
/**
* --- Constants values can be passed in in iRet to the Server --*/
static final int WAIT_FOR_RESPONSE
= 0;
static final int NOWAIT_FOR_RESPONSE
= 1;
/**
* Initialize the data structure
*/
public COM_DATA()
{
comData
bExit
= "";
= false;
iRet
= 0;
} // -- End of COM_DATA() Constructor -/**
* Copy over it contents
*/
public void copy( COM_DATA tSrc )
{
this.comData
= tSrc.comData;
this.bExit
this.iRet
= tSrc.bExit;
= tSrc.iRet;
return;
}
} // -- End of COM_DATA class --
Create the Client
A client code for a server/service is usually an API that a user application uses to interface to the server. With the help of a client API the user application does not have to know how to
connect to the server to get services.
ComClient
This class is the client API. The application is using this class to communicate with the server.
The following is the client class for the above server:
Code listing 1.5: ComClient
public class ComClient
{
private Socket
comSocket;
private ObjectOutputStream oOut;
private ObjectInputStream
private boolean
/**
oIn;
IsItOpen = false;
* --- Open Socket --*/
public void openCom( String sServerName,
int
iPortNumber ) throws UnknownHostException,
IOException
{
try {
// --- Open Socket for communication --comSocket = new Socket( sServerName, iPortNumber );
// --- Get Stream to write request to the Server --oOut = new ObjectOutputStream( comSocket.getOutputStream() );
// --- Get Stream// to read from the Server
oIn = new ObjectInputStream( comSocket.getInputStream());
// --- Set internal Member variable that the Communication opened --IsItOpen = true;
} catch ( java.net.UnknownHostException e ) {
System.err.println( "(openCom:)Don't know about host: "+sServerName );
IsItOpen = false;
throw( e );
} catch ( java.io.IOException e ) {
System.err.println("(openCom:)Couldn't get I/O for the connection to: "+ sServerName );
IsItOpen = false;
throw( e );
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}
}
/**
* --- Check if Socket is open --*/
public boolean isItOpen()
{
return IsItOpen;
}
/**
* --- Get data string from the Server --*/
public void getServerData( COM_DATA tServData ) throws IOException
{
// --- Initialize Variables --tServData.comData = "";
// --- Get the Response from the Server --try {
tServData.copy( (COM_DATA) oIn.readObject() );
}
catch ( ClassNotFoundException e ) {
System.out.println( "Class Not Found" );
}
System.out.println( "Server: " + tServData.comData );
if ( tServData.comData.equals("BYE.") )
{
tServData.bExit = true;
}
return;
}
/**
* --- Send data to the Server --*/
public void sendDataToServer( COM_DATA tServData ) throws IOException
{
// --- Send the data string --System.out.println( "Send: " + tServData.comData );
oOut.writeObject( tServData );
return;
}
/**
* --- Close Socket --*/
public void closeCom() throws IOException
{
oOut.close();
oIn.close();
comSocket.close();
IsItOpen = false;
}
}
getServerData( COM_DATA tServData )
This method reads the data from the server and copies the values to tServData object.
sendDataToServer( COM_DATA tServData )
This method sends the tServData object through the network to the server.
oIn.readObject()
This method returns the data object sent by the server.
oOut.writeObject( tServData )
This method sends the data object to the server.
Remote Method Invocation
Java's Remote Method Invocation (commonly referred to as RMI) is used for client and server models. RMI is the object oriented equivalent to RPC (Remote procedure call).
The Java Remote Method Invocation (RMI) system allows an object running in one Java Virtual Machine (VM) to invoke methods on an object running in another Java VM. RMI provides
for remote communication between programs written in the Java programming language.
RMI is defined to use only with the Java platform. If you need to call methods between different language environments, use CORBA. With CORBA a Java client can call C++ server
and/or a C++ client can call a Java server. With RMI that can not be done.
STUB and SKELETON
The remote method invocation goes through a STUB on the client side and a so called SKELETON on the server side.
CLIENT --> STUB --> ... Network ... --> SKELETON --> REMOTE OBJECT
Prior to Java 1.2 the skeleton had to be explicitly generated with the rmic tool. Since 1.2 a dynamic skeleton is used, which employs the features of Java Reflection to do its work.
rmiregistry
Remote objects can be listed in the RMI Registry. Clients can get a reference to the remote object by querying the Registry. After that, the client can call methods on the remote objects.
(Remote object references can also be acquired by calling other remote methods. The Registry is really a 'bootstrap' that solves the problem of where to get the initial remote reference
from.)
The RMI Registry can either be started within the server JVM, via the LocateRegistry.createRegistry() API, or a separate process called rmiregistry that has to be started before remote
objects can be added to it, e.g. by the command line in Unix:
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rmiregistry <port> &
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or under Windows:
rmiregistry on Windows
start rmiregistry <port>
If port is not specified the default 1099 is used. The client will need to connect to this port to access the Registry.
The Registry can also be started from a program by calling the following code:
Code section 1: rmiregistry starting
import java.rmi.registry.LocateRegistry;
...
Registry reg = LocateRegistry.createRegistry(iPort);
Objects passed in as parameters to the remote objects's methods will be passed by value. If the remote object changes the passed-in object values, it won't be reflected on the client side, this
is opposite what happens when a local object is called. Objects that used as parameters for remote methods invocation must implement the java.io.Serializable interface, as they are
going to be serialized when passed through the network, and a new object will be created on the other side.
However, exported remote objects passed as parameters are passed by remote reference.
rmic tool
RMI Remote object
The remote object has to either extend the java.rmi.server.UnicastRemoteObject object, or be explicitly exported by calling the
java.rmi.server.UnicastRemoteObject.exportObject() method.
RMI clients
Here is an example of RMI client:
Code listing 7.10: HelloClient.java
1 import java.rmi.registry.LocateRegistry;
2 import java.rmi.registry.Registry;
3
4 public class HelloClient{
5
6
private HelloClient() {}
7
8
9
public static void main(String[] args) {
String host = (args.length < 1) ? null : args[0];
10
try {
11
12
Registry registry = LocateRegistry.getRegistry(host);
Hello stub = (Hello) registry.lookup("Hello");
13
String response = stub.sayHello();
14
15
System.out.println("response: " + response);
} catch (Exception e) {
16
17
System.err.println("Client exception: " + e.toString());
e.printStackTrace();
18
19
20 }
}
}
EJB
Enterprise JavaBeans (EJB) technology is the server-side component architecture for Java Platform, Enterprise Edition (Java EE). EJB technology enables to create distributed,
transactional, secure and portable application component objects.
EJB supports the development and deployment of component based business applications. Applications written using the Enterprise JavaBeans architecture are scalable, transactional, and
multi-user secure. These applications may be written once, and then deployed on any server platform that supports the Enterprise JavaBeans specification.
EJB History
EJB Features
Security Management
Persistence Management
Transaction Management
Distributable Interoperable Management
Exception Management
Types of EJB
Session Beans
StateFull Session Beans
Stateless Session Beans
Entity Beans
Message Driven Beans
Problems with EJB as a component based development
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EJBs are an attempt to create component based application development. With EJBs it is easier to develop components, but the same basic and fundamental maintenance problem will still
be there. That is the dependencies between the client and the components. The usage of a component is fixed, changes on the component interface cause to break the client code. The same
client/server problem comes back, that is as the users of a component increases the maintenance of that component getting harder and harder until it goes to impossible.
For a true component based application development we need to standardize the usage of a component. The client must somehow flexibly figure out automatically how to use a component,
so component changes don't affect any of the clients using that component. Without that flexibility, a true component based application development will remain as an idea, a dream, a
theory without significant practical use. If we had that flexibility, it could cause a paradigm shift in the software development industry.
JINI was an attempt from Sun to address this flexibility problem. In JINI, the client download the component interface implementation and execute it in the client space.
So we need to mix (somehow) EJB and JINI technologies to come up with a true flexible component based technology.
References
Sun EJB Home (http://java.sun.com/products/ejb/)
See also
EJB in Java EE
External links
EJB 2 Tutorial, interactive Java Lessons (http://javalessons.com/cgi-bin/fun/java-tutorials-main.cgi?sub=ejb&ses=ao789)
Jini
After J2EE, Sun had a vision about the next step of network computing: in a network environment, there would be many independent services and consumers. That is JavaSpaces.
JavaSpaces would allow these services/consumers to interact dynamically with each other in a robust way. It can be viewed as an object repository that provides a distributed persistent
object exchange mechanism (persistent can be in memory or disk) for Java objects. It can be used to store the system state and implement distributed algorithms. In a JavaSpace, all
communication partners (peers) communicate by sharing state. It is an implementation of the Tuple spaces idea.
JavaSpaces is used when someone wants to achieve scalability and availability and at the same time reducing the complexity of the overall system.
Processes perform simple operations to write new objects into a JavaSpace, take objects from a JavaSpace, or read (make a copy of) objects from the JavaSpace.
In conventional applications, objects are assembled from the database before presenting to the end user. In JavaSpace applications, we keep the ready made "end user" objects and store
them in the JavaSpace. In JavaSpace applications the services are decoupled from each other; they communicate through objects that they write and read/take from the JavaSpace. Services
search for objects that they want to take or read from the Space by using template object.
JINI
JavaSpaces technology is part of the Java Jini technology. The basic features of JINI are:
No user intervention is needed when services are brought on or offline. (In contrast to EJBs where the client program has to know the server and port number where the EJB is
deployed. In JINI the client is supposed to find, discover the service in the network.)
Self healing by adapting when services (consumers of services) come and go. Services need to periodically renew a lease to indicate that they are still available.
Consumers of JINI services do not need prior knowledge of the service's implementation. The implementation is downloaded dynamically and run on the consumer JVM, without
configuration and user intervention. For example, the end user may be presented with slightly different user interface depending which service is being used at the time. The
implementation of those user interface code would be provided by the service being used.
This fact that the implementation is running on the consumer/client's JVM can increase performance, by eliminating the need of remote calls.
A minimal JINI network environment consists of:
One or more services
A lookup-service keeping a list of registered services
One or more consumers
The JINI Lookup Service
The lookup service is described in the : Jini Lookup Service Specification (reggie). This service interface defines all operations that are possible on the lookup service. Clients locate
services by requesting with a lookup server that implements a particular interface. Client asks the lookup server for all services that implement the particular service interface. The lookup
service returns service objects for all registered services that implement the given interface. The client may invoke methods on that object in order to interact directly with the server.
Lookup Discovery
Jini Discovery and Join Specification describes how does the client find the jini lookup service. There is a protocol to do that, jini comes with a set of API's that implement that protocol.
The Jini Discovery Utility Specification defines a set of utility classes that are used to work with the protocol.
Leasing
When a service registers with the lookup service, it receives a lease from the lookup service, described in the Jini Distributed Leasing Specification.
Entries and Templates
Distributed Events
Annotations
Javadoc is Java source code document generator, that was introduced with the Java language from version 1.0 . Well commented Java code is supposed to have Javadoc tags. Those tags are
in the /** ... */ comment blocks, so the compiler ignores them. A separate utility would read the code and create the Java API html files.
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The Javadoc API documentations are well known. The Java JDK classes are coming with Javadoc API documentations. Most popular IDE tools automatically read Javadoc tags and
wherever that class, attribute or method are used, the tags content are displayed automatically, when the mouse courser is over of the text.
As Java matured, the "Javadoc concept" was recognized as an excellent tool for other purposes, like generating XML descriptors, or even generating Java code, with the help of the XDoclet
open source program.
With the help of the XDoclet program, it was possible to use additional Javadoc tags in the code that this program would understand and generate code or data. For example, Javadoc tags
were introduced to generate XML descriptors for EJBs. It introduced an additional step in the build process of an EJB, and compiling the code XDoclet would generate the XML
descriptors.
Recognizing its usefulness, in Java 5, annotation was added to the Java language. Annotation tags are NOT inside a comment block, any more. Annotation is part of the class and it may be
accessed at runtime.
Wherever XML descriptors were heavily used, now an alternative way is available that is the Java annotation. From EJB 3.0, it is possible to define EJBs without using XML. Also the new
JPA (Java Persistent API) using annotations.
It is important to note, that Javadoc and annotation are two different constructs.
Javadoc tags are inside a comment block and such ignored by the compiler.
Annotation tags are outside of comment blocks and they are type checked by the compiler.
Javadoc
Java allows users to document the classes and the members by using a particular syntax of comment.
Syntax
A documentation comment is framed by slash-star-star and star-slash (i.e. /** ... */). The documentation is in the HTML format.
Code listing 8.1: Example.java
1 /**
2
*
3
*/
A class to give an <b>example</b> of HTML documentation.
4 public class Example {
5
/** ...Documentation of a member with the type integer named example... */
6
public int example;
7 }
A documentation comment is placed just above the commented entity (class, constructor, method, field).
In a documentation comment, the first part is a description text in the HTML format. The second part is a list of special attributes whose name starts with an at sign (@):
Code section 8.1: Documentation comment.
1 /**
2 * Get the sum of two integers.
3 * @param a The first integer number.
4 * @param b The second integer number.
5 * @return The value of the sum of the two given integers.
6 */
7 public int sum(int a, int b) {
8
return a + b;
9 }
Get the sum of two integers.
Description of the sum method.
@param a The first integer number.
Description attribute of the parameter a of the method.
@param b The second integer number.
Description attribute of the parameter b of the method.
@return The value of the sum of the two given integers.
Description attribute of the value returned by the method.
Here is a non exhaustive list of special attributes:
Attribute and syntax
In a comment of ...
Description
@author author
class
Name of the author of the class.
@version version
class
Version of the class.
@deprecated description
class, constructor, method, field
@see reference
class, constructor, method, field Add a link in the section "See also".
@param id description
constructor and method
Describes the method parameter.
@return description
method
Describes the value returned by the method.
Flags the entity as deprecated (old version), describes why and by what replace it.
@exception type description constructor and method
If the entity flagged as deprecated by this attribute is used, the compiler give a warning.
Describes the reason of the throw of an exception of the specified type (throws clause).
See also annotations since Java 5.
Documentation
The JDK provides a tool named javadoc which allows to generate the documentation of the well commented classes. The javadoc command without argument give the complete syntax of
the command.
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Example : for a class named Example defined in a package named org.wikibooks.en dans le fichier C:\ProgJava\org\wikibooks\en\Example.java :
Code listing 8.2: Example.java
1 package org.wikibooks.en;
2
3 /**
4
*
An example class.
5 */
6 public class Example {
7
/**
8
Get the sum of two integers.
@param a The first integer number.
9
10
11
@param b The second integer number.
@return The value of the sum of the two given integers.
12
*/
13
public int sum(int a, int b) {
14
return a + b;
15
16 }
}
The documentation can be generated in a specific folder (C:\ProgDoc for example) with the following command:
Command 8.1: Documentation generation
$ javadoc -locale en_US -use -classpath C:\ProgJava -sourcepath C:\ProgJava -d C:\ProgDoc org.wikibooks.en
The options of this command are described below:
-locale en_US
The documentation in US English.
-use
Create the pages about the use of the classes and the packages.
-classpath C:\ProgJava
The path of the compiled classes (*.class).
-sourcepath C:\ProgJava
The path of the source classes (*.java).
-d C:\ProgDoc
The path where the documentation must be generated.
org.wikibooks.en
The name of the package to document. It is possible to specify several packages, or one or several class names to document only those ones.
The description page of a package copy the description text from the file named package.html which should be placed in the given folder. In our example, we should document the
package in the file C:\ProgJava\org\wikibooks\en\package.html.
Since Java 5[1], the package.html file can be replaced by a special Java file named package-info.java containing only the package declaration preceding by a documentation comment.
Code listing 8.3: C:\ProgJava\org\wikibooks\en\package-info.java
1 /**
2
3
* This fake package is used to illustrate the Java wikibook.
4
*/
* at <i>en.wikibooks.org</i>.
5 package org.wikibooks.en;
References
1. http://docs.oracle.com/javase/6/docs/technotes/tools/windows/javadoc.html#packagecomment
Annotations/Introduction
Introduction
In Java, an annotation is a language construct that was introduced in J2SE 1.5 that provides a mechanism for including metadata directly in the source code.
Annotations can provide metadata for java classes, attributes, and methods. Syntactically, annotations can be viewed as special kind of modifier and can be used anywhere that other
modifiers (such as public, static, or final) can be used
One of the main forces of adding this feature to Java was the wide spread use of XML descriptors to add additional information, metadata for Java classes. Frameworks like EJB, JSF,
Spring, Hibernate were heavily using external XML descriptors. The problem of those external descriptors is that those files are out of reach of the Java compiler and for that reason
compiler type checking could not be used. A small spelling mistake bug in a huge XML descriptor file is hard to locate and fixed. The Java annotations on the other hand use the Java
compiler type checking features, so annotation names spelling mistakes will be caught by the Java compiler.
In summary, annotations can be...
used as a source of information for the compiler;
made available for compile-time or deployment-time processing;
examined at runtime.
External links
[1] (http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/java/javaOO/annotations.html) The Java™ Tutorial on Annotations
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Annotations/Custom Annotations
Annotations can be viewed as a source of defining meta-data for a piece of code in Java. The annotation @CodeDescription used in the following sections does not come as a part of the
Java API.
Annotation Type Declaration
Before you can use an annotation with classes, theirs members and statements or expressions, you need to define an annotation type. Following is the syntax on how to define a type for the
mentioned annotation.
Code listing 1.1: Annotation type declaration
@interface CodeDescription
{
String author();
String version();
}
That's it! Our first ever annotation has been defined. Now, we can use it with any of our classes. An annotation definition if you look closely resembles the definition of a normal interface,
except that the interface keyword is preceded by the @ character. Some refer to this syntactical declaration as the annotation type declaration due to the fact that @ is 'AT' or 'Annotation
Type' for that very instance.
Annotation Element Declarations
What look like methods in the body of the annotation definition are called annotation element declarations. These are the named entities that we used with the annotation body in the
example in the previous section. However, for the sake of clarity, code below also represents the calling of the following annotation:
Code listing 1.2: Calling of annotation
public class MyMethod
{
@CodeDescription
(
author = "Unknown",
version = "1.0.0.1"
)
public void doSomething()
{
...
}
}
Using a default value
Now, for instance, you want the annotation to know that if no value for the version element is present, then it should use a default value. Declaring a default value would be done the
following way.
Code listing 1.3: Using default values.
@interface CodeDescription
{
String author();
String version() default "1.0.0.1";
}
So, now if you use the same code again, you can ignore the version element because you know that the value is to be provided by default.
Code listing 1.4: Pre-defined value.
public class MyMethod
{
@CodeDescription(author = "Sysop")
public void doSomething()
{
...
}
}
Annotations/Meta-Annotations
There are five annotation types in the java.lang.annotation package called meta-annotations. These annotation types are used to annotate other annotation types.
Documented
If a member is annotated with a type itself marked as @Documented, then that member will be documented as annotating that type.
Code listing 1.1: Use of @Documented
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@interface Secret { }
@Documented
@interface NotSecret { }
@Secret
@NotSecret
public class Example {
}
In the documentation for the Example class, such as the JavaDoc, Example will be shown as annotated with @NotSecret, but not @Secret.
Inherited
Exactly as the name sounds, an @Inherited annotation type is inherited by subclasses of an annotated type.
Code listing 1.2: Use of @Inherited
@Inherited
@interface ForEveryone { }
@interface JustForMe { }
@ForEveryone
@JustForMe
class Superclass { }
class Subclass extends Superclass { }
In this example, Superclass has been explicitly annotated with both @ForEveryone and @JustForMe. Subclass hasn't been explicitly marked with either one; however, it inherits
@ForEveryone because the latter is annotated with @Inherited. @JustForMe isn't annotated, so it isn't inherited by Subclass.
Repeatable
A @Repeatable annotation type is repeatable - i.e. can be specified multiple times on the same class. This meta-annotation was added in Java 8.
Retention
Different annotation types have different purposes. Some are intended for use with the compiler; others are meant to be reflected dynamically at runtime. There's no reason for a compiler
annotation to be available at runtime, so the @Retention meta-annotation specifies how long an annotation type should be retained. The value attribute is one of the
java.lang.annotation.RetentionPolicy enum constants. The possible values, in order from shortest to longest retention, are as follows:
RetentionPolicy.SOURCE
The annotation will not be included in the class file. This is useful for annotations which are intended for the compiler only.
RetentionPolicy.CLASS
The annotation will be included in the class file, but cannot be read reflectively.
RetentionPolicy.RUNTIME
The annotation can be reflected at runtime.
If no @Retention policy is specified, it defaults to RetentionPolicy.CLASS.
Target
The @Target meta-annotation determines what may be marked by the annotation. The value attribute is one or more of the java.lang.annotation.ElementType enum constants. Those
constants are ElementType.ANNOTATION_TYPE, CONSTRUCTOR, FIELD, LOCAL_VARIABLE, METHOD, PACKAGE, PARAMETER, and TYPE.
Annotations/Compiler and Annotations
Annotations can be used by the compiler to carry out certain directives. Much that you'd love programming in Java, you probably would have been fussed about compiler warnings.
Compiler warnings are not necessarily errors but are warnings that tell you the code might malfunction because of some reason.
Taming the compiler
You can issue directive to the compiler in the shape of three pre-defined annotation to tell it what sort of pre-processing a certain bit of code requires. The three annotations are:
@Deprecated
@Override
@SuppressWarnings(..)
@Deprecated is used to flag that a method or class should no longer be used, normally because a better alternative exists. Compilers and IDEs typically raise a warning if deprecated code is
invoked from non deprecated code. [2] (http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.5.0/docs/api/java/lang/Deprecated.html)
flags that a method overrides a method in a superclass. If there is no overridden method, a compile error should occur. [3] (http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.5.0/docs/api/java/lang
/Override.html)
@Override
@SuppressWarnings(..) SuppressWarnings tells the compiler not to report on some, or all, types of warnings. It can be applied to a type, a method or a variable. [4] (http://java.sun.com
/j2se/1.5.0/docs/api/java/lang/SuppressWarnings.html)
External links
[5] (http://cleveralias.blogs.com/thought_spearmints/2006/01/suppresswarning.html) Advanced usage of the @SuppressWarnings(..) annotation
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Designing user interfaces
Basic IO
This section covers the Java platform classes used for basic input and output. But before we begin we need to have a concrete understanding of what input and output means in
programming. To grasp this concept, think of the Java platform as a system.
Understanding input and output
The Java platform is an isolated entity, a space on your OS in a way, where everything outside this system is its environment. The interaction between the system and its environment is a
two-way dialog of sorts. Either the system receives messages from its environment, or it conveys its messages to the same. When a message is received to the system, it is called an input, its
opposite is an output. On a whole, this communication is termed input/output abbreviated as I/O.
The following chapters are designed to introduce basic input and output in Java, including reading text input from the keyboard, outputting text to the monitor, and reading/writing files from
the file system. More advanced user interaction using Graphics and Graphical User Interface (GUI) programs is taken up in the later section on Swing.
Simple Java Output: Writing to the Screen
Writing to the screen is very easy, and can be accomplished using one of two methods:
Code section 1.1: Print "Hello world" without advancing to a new line
System.out.print("Hello world");
Output on the screen
Hello world
Output on the screen
Code section 1.2: Print "Hello world" and advance to a new line
Hello world
System.out.println("Hello world");
Simple Java Input: Inputting from the keyboard
As of version 1.5.0, Java provides a class in the java.util package called Scanner that simplifies keyboard input.
Code section 1.3: Inputting with Scanner
Scanner kbdIn = new Scanner(System.in); // Instantiating a new Scanner object
System.out.print("Enter your name: "); // Printing out the prompt
String name = kbdIn.nextLine(); // Reading a line of input (until the user hits enter) from the keyboard
// and putting it in a String variable called name
System.out.println("Welcome, " + name); // Printing out welcome, followed by the user's name
On the screen
Enter your name: John Doe
Welcome, John Doe
Alternatively, one could write a method to handle keyboard input:
Code section 1.4: Line reader
public String readLine() {
// Creates a new BufferedReader object
BufferedReader x = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(System.in));
// Reads a line of input and returns it directly
return x.readLine();
}
Note that the code above shouldn't be used in most applications, as it creates new Objects every time the method is run. A better alternative would be to create a separate class file to handle
keyboard input.
Streams
The most basic input and output in Java (System.in and System.out fields that have been used in the Basic I/O) is done using streams. Streams are objects that represent sources and
destinations of data. Streams that are sources of data can be read from, and streams that are destinations of data can be written to. A stream in Java is an ordered sequence of bytes of
undetermined length. Streams are ordered and in sequence so that the java virtual machine can understand and work upon the stream. Streams are analogous to water streams. They exist as
a communication medium, just like electromagnetic waves in communication. The order or sequence of bytes in a Java stream allow the virtual machine to classify it among other streams.
Java has various inbuilt streams implemented as classes in the package java.io like the classes of System.in and System.out. Streams can be classed as both input and output streams. All
Java streams are derived from Input Stream (java.io.InputStream) and Output Stream (java.io.OutputStream) classes. They are abstract base classes meant for other stream classes.
The System.in is the input stream class derivative and analogically System.out is the output counterpart. Both are basic classes used to directly interact with input and output through
console, similarly follows System.err. Also Java has streams to communicate across different parts of a program or even among threads. There are also classes that "filter" streams,
changing one format to another (e.g. class DataOutputStream, which translates various primitive types to byte streams).
It is a characteristic of streams that they deal only in one discrete unit of data at a time, and different streams deal with different types of data. If one had a stream that represented a
destination for bytes, for example, one would send data to the destination one byte at a time. If a stream was a source of byte data, one would read the data a byte at a time. Because this is
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the only way to access data from a stream, in this latter case, we wouldn't know when we had read all the data from the stream until we actually got there. When reading a stream, one
generally has to check each unit of data each read operation to see if the end of the stream has been reached (with byte streams, the special value is the integer -1, or FFFF hex).
Input streams
Input streams acquire bytes for our programmed java application/program (e.g. a file, an array, a keyboard or monitor, etc.). InputStream is an abstract class that represents a source of byte
data. It has a read() method, which returns the next byte in the stream and a close() method, which should be called by a program when that program is done with the stream. The
read() method is overloaded, and can take a byte array to read to. It has a skip() method that can skip a number of bytes, and an available() method that a program can use to
determine the number of bytes immediately available to be read, as not all the data is necessarily ready immediately. As an abstract class, it cannot be instantiated, but describes the general
behavior of an input stream. A few examples of concrete subclasses would be ByteArrayInputStream, which reads from a byte array, and FileInputStream, which reads byte data from a
file.
In the following example, we print "Hello world!" on the screen several times. The number of times the message is printed is stored in a file named source.txt. This file should only contain
a integer and should be placed in the same folder of the ConfiguredApplication class.
Code listing 9.1: Example of input stream.
1 import java.io.File;
2 import java.io.FileInputStream;
3
4 public class ConfiguredApplication {
5
6
public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
7
8
// Data reading
9
10
File file = new File("source.txt");
FileInputStream stream = new FileInputStream(file);
11
12
StringBuffer buffer = new StringBuffer();
13
14
15
int character = 0;
while ((character = stream.read()) != -1) {
16
17
}
buffer.append((char) character);
18
19
stream.close();
20
21
// Data use
22
23
Integer readInteger = Integer.parseInt(buffer.toString());
for (int i = 0; i < readInteger ; i++) {
24
System.out.println("Hello world!");
25
26
}
}
27 }
The class start to identify the filename with a File object. The File object is used by an input stream as the source of the stream. We create a buffer and a character to prepare the data
loading. The buffer will contain all the file content and the character will temporary contain each character present in the file, one after one. This is done while{}in the loop. Each iteration
of the loop will copy a character from the stream to the buffer. The loop ends when no more character is present in the stream. Then we close the stream. The last part of the code use the
data we have loaded in from the file. It is transformed into string and then into an integer (so the data must be an integer). If it works, the integer is used to determine the number of time we
print "Hello world!" on the screen. No try/catch block has been defined for readability but the thrown exceptions should be caught.
Let's try with the following source file:
Code listing 9.2: source.txt
4
We should obtain this:
Output for ConfiguredApplication
$ java ConfiguredApplication
Hello world!
Hello world!
Hello world!
Hello world!
If it shows a FileNotFoundException or an IOException, the source may not be placed in the right folder or its name is badly spelled.
If it shows a NumberFormatException, the content of the file may not be an integer.
There is also Reader which is an abstract class that represents a source of character data. It is analogous to InputStream, except that it deals with characters instead of bytes (remember
that Java uses Unicode, so that a character is 2 bytes, not one). Its methods are generally similar to those of InputStream. Concrete subclasses include classes like FileReader, which reads
characters from files, and StringReader, which reads characters from strings. You can also convert an InputStream object to a Reader object with the InputStreamReader class, which
can be "wrapped around" an InputStream object (by passing it as an argument in its constructor). It uses a character encoding scheme (which can be changed by the programmer) to
translate a byte into a 16-bit Unicode character.
Output streams
Output Streams direct streams of bytes outwards to the environment from our program or application. OutputStream is an abstract class which is the destination counterpart of
InputStream. OutputStream has a write() method which can be used to write a byte to the stream. The method is overloaded, and can take an array as well. A close() method closes
the stream when the application is finished with it, and it has a flush() method. The stream may wait until it has a certain amount before it writes it all at once for efficiency. If the stream
object is buffering any data before writing it, the flush() method will force it to write all of this data. Like InputStream, this class cannot be instantiated, but has concrete subclasses that
parallel those of InputStream, eg ByteArrayOutputStream, FileOutputStream, etc.
In the following example, we store the current time in an already existing file called log.txt located in the same folder than the class.
Code listing 9.2: Example of output stream.
import java.io.File;
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1 2 import java.io.FileOutputStream;
3 import java.util.Date;
4
5 public class LogTime {
6
public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
7
8
// Generate data
String timeInString = new Date().toString();
9
10
// Store data
11
File file = new File("log.txt");
12
13
FileOutputStream stream = new FileOutputStream(file);
14
byte[] timeInBytes = timeInString.getBytes();
15
16
stream.write(timeInBytes);
17
18
stream.flush();
stream.close();
19
}
20 }
This case is more simple as we can put all the data in the stream at the same time. The first part of the code generate a string containing the current time. Then we create a File object
identifying the output file and an output stream for this file. We write the data in the stream, flush it and close it. That's all. No try/catch block has been defined for readability but the thrown
exceptions should be caught.
The close() is not always mandatory but can avoid some inter-process concurrency conflicts. However if it occurs before a read() or write() (in the same process) they return
the warning Stream closed.
In order to read a text file several times from the beginning, a FileChannel variable should be introduced, only to reposition the reader.
Now let's execute it:
LogTime execution
$ java LogTime
We should obtain this content:
Code listing 9.4: log.txt
Sat Jan 30 19:09:22 CEUTC 2016
If it shows a FileNotFoundException or an IOException, the file should not have been created or it is not placed in the right folder.
There is also Writer which is a character counterpart of OutputStream, and a destination counterpart to Reader, this is also an abstract superclass. Particular implementations parallel those
of Reader, eg FileWriter, StringWriter, and OutputStreamWriter, for converting a regular OutputStream into a reader so that it can take character data.
System.out and System.err
is a class in the package java.lang with a number of static members that are available to Java programs. Two members that are useful for console output are System.out and
Both System.out and System.err are PrintStream objects. PrintStream is a subclass of FilterOutputStream, itself a subclass of OutputStream (discussed above), and its
main purpose is to translate a wide variety of data types into streams of bytes that represent that data in characters according to some encoding scheme.
System
System.err.
and System.err both display text to a console where the user can read it, however what this means exactly depends on the platform used and the environment in which the
program is running. In BlueJay and Eclipse IDE, for example, there is a special "terminal" window that will display this output. If the program is launched in Windows, the output will be
sent to the DOS prompt (usually this means that you have to launch the program from the command line to see the output).
System.out
and System.err differ in what they're supposed to be used for. System.out should be used for normal program output, System.err should be used to inform the user that
some kind of error has occurred in the program. In some situations, this may be important. In DOS, for instance, a user can redirect standard output to some other destination (a file, for
example), but error output will not be redirected, but rather displayed on the screen. If this weren't the case, the user might never be able to tell that an error had occurred.
System.out
New I/O
Versions of Java prior to J2SE 1.4 only supported stream-based blocking I/O. This required a thread per stream being handled, as no other processing could take place while the active thread
blocked waiting for input or output. This was a major scalability and performance issue for anyone needing to implement any Java network service. Since the introduction of NIO (New I/O)
in J2SE 1.4, this scalability problem has been rectified by the introduction of a non-blocking I/O framework (though there are a number of open issues in the NIO API as implemented by
Oracle).
The non-blocking IO framework, though considerably more complex than the original blocking IO framework, allows any number of "channels" to be handled by a single thread. The
framework is based on the Reactor Pattern.
More Info
More information on the contents of the java.io package can be viewed on the Oracle website by clicking this link (http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/api/index.html).
Event Handling
The Java platform Event Model is the basis for event-driven programming on the Java platform.
Event-driven programming
No matter what the programming language or paradigm you are using, chances are that you will eventually run into a situation where your program will have to wait for an external event to
happen. Perhaps your program must wait for some user input, or perhaps it must wait for data to be delivered over the network. Or perhaps something else. In any case, the program must
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wait for something to happen that is beyond the program's control: the program cannot make that event happen.
In this situation there are two general options for making a program wait for an external event to happen. The first of these is called polling and means you write a little loop of the for
"while the event has not happened, check again". Polling is very simple to build and very straightforward. But it is also very wasteful: it means a program takes up processor time in order to
do absolutely nothing but wait. This is usually considered too much of a drawback for programs that have to do a lot of waiting. Programs that have a lot of waiting moments (for example,
programs that have a graphical user interface and often have to wait for long periods of time until the user does something) usually fare much better when they use the other mechanism:
event-driven programming.
In event-driven programming a program that must wait, simply goes to sleep. It no longer takes up processor time, might even be unloaded from memory and generally leaves the computer
available to do useful things. But the program doesn't completely go away; instead, it makes a deal with the computer or the operating system. A deal sort of like this:
Okay Mr. Operating System, since I have to wait for an event to happen, I'll go away and let you do useful work in the meantime. But in return,
you have to let me know when my event has happened and let me come back to deal with it.
Event-driven programming usually has a pretty large impact on the design of a program. Usually, a program has to be broken up into separate pieces to do event-driven programming (one
piece for general processing and one or more others to deal with events that occur). Event-driven programming in Java is more complicated than non-event driven but it makes far more
efficient use of the hardware and sometimes (like when developing a graphical user interface) dividing your code up into event-driven blocks actually fits very naturally with your program's
structure.
In this module we examine the basis of the Java Platform's facilities for event-driven programming and we look at some typical examples of how that basis has been used throughout the
platform.
The Java Platform Event Model
Introduction
One of the most interesting things about support for event-driven programming on the Java platform is that there is none, as such. Or, depending on your point of view, there are many
different individual pieces of the platform that offer their own support for event-driven programming.
The reason that the Java platform doesn't offer one general implementation of event-driven programming is linked to the origins of the support that the platform does offer. Back in 1996 the
Java programming language was just getting started in the world and was still trying to gain a foothold and conquer a place for itself in software development. Part of this early development
concentrated on software development tooling like IDEs. One of the trends in software development around that time was for reusable software components geared towards user interfaces:
components that would encapsulate some sort of interesting, reusable functionality into a single package that could be handled as a single entity rather than as a loose collection of individual
classes. Sun Microsystems tried to get on the component bandwagon by introducing what they called a JavaBean, a software component not only geared towards the UI but that could also
be configured easily from an IDE. In order to make this happen Sun came up with a large specification of JavaBeans (the JavaBeans Spec) dealing mostly with naming conventions (to make
the components easy to handle from an IDE). But Sun also realized at the same time that a UI-centric component would need support for an event-driven way of connecting events in the
component to business logic that would have to be written by the individual developer. So the JavaBeans Spec also included a small specification for an event Model for the Java platform.
When they started working on this Event Model, the Sun engineers were faced with a choice: try to come up with a huge specification to encompass all possible uses of an event model, or
just specify an abstract, generic framework that could be expanded for individual use in specific situations. They chose the latter option and so, love it or hate it, the Java Platform has no
generic support for event-driven programming other than this general Event Model framework.
The Event Model framework
The Event Model framework is really very simple in and of itself, consisting of three classes
(one abstract) and an interface. Most of all it consists of naming conventions that the
programmer must obey. The framework is depicted in the image on the right.
Speaking in terms of classes and interfaces, the most important parts of the framework are
the java.util.EventObject abstract class and the java.util.EventListener interface.
These two types are the centerpieces of the rules and conventions of the Java Platform Event
Model, which are:
A class that has to be notified when an event occurs, is called an event listener. An
event listener has one distinct method for each type of event notification that it is
interested in.
Event notification method declarations are grouped together into categories. Each
The basic Event Model framework
category is represented by an event listener interface, which must extend
java.util.EventListener. By convention an event listener interface is named
<Event category name>Listener. Any class that will be notified of events must implement at least one listener interface.
Any and all state related to an event occurrence will be captured in a state object. The class of this object must be a subclass of java.util.EventObject and must record at least
which object was the source of the event. Such a class is called an event class and by convention is named <Event category name>Event.
Usually (but not necessarily!) an event listener interface will relate to a single event class. An event listener may have multiple event notification methods that take the same event
class as an argument.
An event notification method usually (but not necessarily!) has the conventional signature public void <specific event>(<Event category name>Event evt).
A class that is the source of events must have a method that allows for the registration of listeners, one for each possible listener interface type. These methods must by convention
have the signature public void add<Event category name>Listener(<Event category name>Listener listener).
A class that is the source of events may have a method that allows for the deregistration of listeners, one for each possible listener interface type. These methods must by convention
have the signature public void remove<Event category name>Listener(<Event category name>Listener listener).
That seems like a lot, but it's pretty simple once you get used to it. Take a look at the image on the left,
which contains a general example of how you might use the framework. In this example we have a
class called EventSourceClass that publishes interesting events. Following the rules of the Event
Model, the events are represented by the InterestingEvent class which has a reference back to the
EventSourceClass object (source, inherited from java.util.EventObject).
Whenever an interesting event occurs, the EventSourceClass must notify all of the listeners for that
event that it knows about by calling the notification method that exist for that purpose. All of the
notification methods (in this example there is only one, interestingEventOccurred) have been
grouped together by topic in a listener interface: InterestingEventListener, which implements
java.util.EventListener and is named according to the Event Model conventions. This interface
must be implemented by all event listener classes (in this case only
InterestingEventListenerImpl). Because EventSourceClass must be able to notify any
interested listeners, it must be possible to register them. For this purpose the EventSourceClass has
an addInterestingEventListener method. And since it is required, there is a
removeInterestingEventListener method as well.
A general example of how the framework is used
As you can clearly see from the example, using the Event Model is mostly about following naming
conventions. This might seem a little cumbersome at first, but the point of having naming conventions
is to allow automated tooling to access and use the event model. And there are indeed many tools, IDEs and frameworks that are based on these naming conventions.
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Degrees of freedom in the Model
There's one more thing to notice about the Event Model and that is what is not in the Model. The Event Model is designed to allow implementations a large degree of freedom in the
implementation choices made, which means that the Event Model can serve as the basis for a very wide range of specific, purpose-built event handling systems.
Aside from naming conventions and some base classes and interfaces, the Event Model specifies the following:
It must be possible to register and deregister listeners.
An event source must publish events by calling the correct notification method on all registered listeners.
A call to an event notification method is a normal, synchronous Java call and the method must be executed by the same thread that called it.
But the Event Model doesn't specify how any of this must be done. There are no rules regarding which classes exactly must be event sources, nor about how they must keep track of
registered event listeners. So one class might publish its own events, or be responsible for publishing the events that relate to an entire collection of objects (like an entire component). And
an event source might allow listeners to be deregistered at any time (even in the middle of handling an event) or might limit this to certain times (which is relevant to multithreading).
Also, the Event Model doesn't specify how it must be embedded within any program. So, while the model specifies that a call to an event handling method is a synchronous call, the Model
does not prescribe that the event handling method cannot hand off tasks to another thread or that the entire event model implementation must run in the main thread of the application. In
fact, the Java Platform's standard user interface framework (Swing) includes an event handling implementation that runs as a complete subsystem of a desktop application, in its own thread.
Event notification methods, unicast event handling and event adaptors
In the previous section we mentioned that an event notification method usually takes a single argument. This is the preferred convention, but the specification does allow for exceptions to
this rule if the application really needs that exception. A typical case for an exception is when the event notification must be sent across the network to a remote system though non-Java
means, like the CORBA standard. In this case it is required to have multiple arguments and the Event Model allows for that. However, as a general rule the correct format for a notification
method is
Code section 1.1: Simple notification method
public void specificEventDescription(Event_type evt)
Another thing we mentioned earlier is that, as a general rule, the Event Model allows many event listeners to register with a single event source for the same event. In this case the event
source must broadcast any relevant events to all the registered listeners. However, once again the Event Model specification allows for an exception to the rule. If it is necessary from a
design point of view you may limit an event source to registering a single listener; this is called unicast event listener registration. When unicast registration is used, the registration method
must be declared to throw the java.util.TooManyListenersException exception if too many listeners are registered:
Code section 1.2: Listener registration
public void add<Event_type>Listener(<Event_type>Listener listener) throws java.util.TooManyListenersException
An event adaptor in between the event source and the event listener.
Finally, the specification allows for one more extension: the event adaptor. An event adaptor is an implementation of an event listener interface that can be inserted between an event source
and an actual event listener class. This is done by registering the adaptor with the event source object using the regular registration method. Adaptors are used to add additional functionality
to the event handling mechanism, such as routing of event objects, event filtering or enriching of the event object before processing by an actual event handler class.
A simple example
In the previous section we've explored the depths (such as there are) of the Java platform Event Model framework. If you're like most people, you've found the theoretical text more
confusing than the actual use of the model. Certainly more confusing than should be necessary to explain what is, really, quite a simple framework.
In order to clear everything up a bit, let's examine a simple example based on the Event Model framework. Let's assume that we want to write a program that reads a stream of numbers
input by the user at the command line and processes this stream somehow. Say, by keeping track of the running sum of numbers and producing that sum once the stream has been completely
read.
Of course we could implement this program quite simply with a loop in a main() method. But instead let's be a little more creative. Let's say that we want to divide our program neatly into
classes, each with a responsibility of its own (like we should in a proper, object-oriented design). And let's imagine that we want it to be possible not only to calculate the sum of all the
numbers read, but to perform any number of calculations on the same number stream. In fact, it should be possible to add new calculations with relative ease and without having to affect
any previously existing code.
If we analyze these requirements, we come to the conclusion that we have a number of different responsibilities in the program:
Reading the number stream from the command line
Processing the number stream (possibly multiple of these)
Starting the entire program
Using the Event Model framework allows us to separate the two main responsibilities cleanly and affords us the flexibility we are looking for. If we implement the logic for reading the
number stream in a single class and treat the reading of a single number as an event, the Event Model allows us to broadcast that event (and the number) to as many stream processors as we
like. The class for reading the number stream will act as the event source of the program and each stream processor will be a listener. Since each listener is a class of its own and can be
registered with the stream reader (or not) this means our model allows us to have multiple, independent stream processing that we can add on to without affecting the code to read the stream
or any pre-existing stream processor.
The Event Model says that any state associated with an event should be included in a class that represents the event. That's perfect for us; we can implement a simple event class that will
record the number read from the command line. Each listener can then process this number as it sees fit.
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For our interesting event set let's keep things simple: let's limit ourselves to having read a new number and having reached the end of the stream. With this choice we come to the following
design for our example application:
In the following sections we look at the implementation of this example.
Example basics
Let's start with the basics. According to the Event Model rules, we must define an event class to encapsulate our interesting event. We should call this class something-somethingEvent. Let's
go for NumberReadEvent, since that's what will interest us. According to the Model rules, this class should encapsulate any state that belongs with an event occurrence. In our case, that's
the number read from the stream. And our event class must inherit from java.util.EventObject. So all in all, the following class is all we need:
Code listing 1.1: NumberReadEvent.
package org.wikibooks.en.javaprogramming.example;
import java.util.EventObject;
public class NumberReadEvent extends EventObject {
private Double number;
public NumberReadEvent(Object source, Double number) {
super(source);
this.number = number;
}
public Double getNumber() {
return number;
}
}
Next, we must define a listener interface. This interface must define methods for interesting events and must extend java.util.EventListener. We said earlier our interesting events were
"number read" and "end of stream reached", so here we go:
Code listing 1.2: NumberReadListener.
package org.wikibooks.en.javaprogramming.example;
import java.util.EventListener;
public interface NumberReadListener extends EventListener {
public void numberRead(NumberReadEvent numberReadEvent);
public void numberStreamTerminated(NumberReadEvent numberReadEvent);
}
Actually the numberStreamTerminated method is a little weird, since it isn't actually a "number read" event. In a real program you'd probably want to do this differently. But let's keep
things simple in this example.
The event listener implementation
So, with our listener interface defined, we need one or more implementations (actual listener classes). At the very least we need one that will keep a running sum of the numbers read. We
can add as many as we like, of course. But let's stick with just one for now. Obviously, this class must implement our NumberReadListener interface. Keeping a running summation is a
matter of adding numbers to a field as the events arrive. And we wanted to report on the sum when the end of the stream is reached; since we know when that happens (i.e. the
numberStreamTerminated method is called), a simple println statement will do:
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Code listing 1.3: NumberReadListenerImpl.
package org.wikibooks.en.javaprogramming.example;
public class NumberReadListenerImpl implements NumberReadListener {
Double totalSoFar = 0D;
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@Override
public void numberRead(NumberReadEvent numberReadEvent) {
totalSoFar += numberReadEvent.getNumber();
}
@Override
public void numberStreamTerminated(NumberReadEvent numberReadEvent) {
System.out.println("Sum of the number stream: " + totalSoFar);
}
}
So, is this code any good? No. It's yucky and terrible and most of all not thread safe. But it will do for our example.
The event source
This is where things get interesting: the event source class. This is the interesting place because this is where we must put code to read the number stream, code to send events to all the
listeners and code to manage listeners (add and remove them and keep track of them).
Let's start by thinking about keeping track of listeners. Normally this is a tricky business, since you have to take all sorts of multithreading concerns into account. But we're being simple in
this example, so let's just stick with a simple java.util.Set of listeners. Which we can initialize in the constructor:
Code section 1.1: The constructor
private Set<NumberReadListener> listeners;
public NumberReader() {
listeners = new HashSet<NumberReadListener>();
}
That choice makes it really easy to implement adding and removing of listeners:
Code section 1.2: The register/deregister
public void addNumberReadListener(NumberReadListener listener) {
this.listeners.add(listener);
}
public void removeNumberReadListener(NumberReadListener listener) {
this.listeners.remove(listener);
}
We won't actually use the remove method in this example — but recall that the Model says it must be present.
Another advantage of this simple choice is that notification of all the listeners is easy as well. We can just assume any listeners will be in the set and iterate over them. And since the
notification methods are synchronous (rule of the model) we can just call them directly:
Code section 1.3: The notifiers
private void notifyListenersOfEndOfStream() {
for (NumberReadListener numberReadListener : listeners) {
numberReadListener.numberStreamTerminated(new NumberReadEvent(this, 0D));
}
}
private void notifyListeners(Double d) {
for (NumberReadListener numberReadListener: listeners) {
numberReadListener.numberRead(new NumberReadEvent(this, d));
}
}
Note that we've made some assumptions here. For starters, we've assumed that we'll get the Double value d from somewhere. Also, we've assumed that no listener will ever care about the
number value in the end-of-stream notification and have passed in the fixed value 0 for that event.
Finally we must deal with reading the number stream. We'll use the Console class for that and just keep on reading numbers until there are no more:
Code section 1.4: The main method
public void start() {
Console console = System.console();
if (console != null) {
Double d = null;
do {
String readLine = console.readLine("Enter a number: ", (Object[])null);
d = getDoubleValue(readLine);
if (d != null) {
notifyListeners(d);
}
} while (d != null);
notifyListenersOfEndOfStream();
}
}
Note how we've hooked the number-reading loop into the event handling mechanism by calling the notify methods? The entire class looks like this:
Code listing 1.4: NumberReader.
package org.wikibooks.en.javaprogramming.example;
import java.io.Console;
import java.util.HashSet;
import java.util.Set;
public class NumberReader {
private Set<NumberReadListener> listeners;
public NumberReader() {
listeners = new HashSet<NumberReadListener>();
}
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public void addNumberReadListener(NumberReadListener listener) {
this.listeners.add(listener);
}
public void removeNumberReadListener(NumberReadListener listener) {
this.listeners.remove(listener);
}
public void start() {
Console console = System.console();
if (console != null) {
Double d = null;
do {
String readLine = console.readLine("Enter a number: ", (Object[])null);
d = getDoubleValue(readLine);
if (d != null) {
notifyListeners(d);
}
} while (d != null);
notifyListenersOfEndOfStream();
}
}
private void notifyListenersOfEndOfStream() {
for (NumberReadListener numberReadListener: listeners) {
numberReadListener.numberStreamTerminated(new NumberReadEvent(this, 0D));
}
}
private void notifyListeners(Double d) {
for (NumberReadListener numberReadListener: listeners) {
numberReadListener.numberRead(new NumberReadEvent(this, d));
}
}
private Double getDoubleValue(String readLine) {
Double result;
try {
result = Double.valueOf(readLine);
} catch (Exception e) {
result = null;
}
return result;
}
}
Running the example
Finally, we need one more class: the kickoff point for the application. This class will contain a main() method, plus code to create a NumberReader, a listener and to combine the two:
Code listing 1.5: Main.
package org.wikibooks.en.javaprogramming.example;
public class Main {
public static void main(String[] args) {
NumberReader reader = new NumberReader();
NumberReadListener listener = new NumberReadListenerImpl();
reader.addNumberReadListener(listener);
reader.start();
}
}
If you compile and run the program, the result looks somewhat like this:
An example run
>java org.wikibooks.en.javaprogramming.example.Main
Enter a number: 0.1
Enter a number: 0.2
Enter a number: 0.3
Enter a number: 0.4
Enter a number:
Output
Sum of the number stream: 1.0
Extending the example with an adaptor
Next, let's take a look at applying an adaptor to our design. Adaptors are used to add functionality to the event handling process that:
is general to the process and not specific to any one listener; or
is not supposed to affect the implementation of specific listeners.
According to the Event Model specification a typical use case for an adaptor is to add routing logic for events. But you can also add filtering or logging. In our case, let's do that: add logging
of the numbers as "proof" for the calculations done in the listeners.
An adaptor, as explained earlier, is a class that sits between the event source and the listeners. From the point of view of the event source, it masquerades as a listener (so it must implement
the listener interface). From the point of view of the listeners it pretends to be the event source (so it should have add and remove methods). In other words, to write an adaptor you have to
repeat some code from the event source (to manage listeners) and you have to re-implement the event notification methods to do some extra stuff and then pass the event on to the actual
listeners.
In our case we need an adaptor that writes the numbers to a log file. Keeping it simple once again, let's settle for an adaptor that:
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Uses a fixed log file name and overwrites that log file with every program run.
Opens a FileWriter in the constructor and just keeps it open.
Implements the numberRead method by writing the number to the FileWriter.
Implements the numberStreamTerminated method by closing the FileWriter.
Also, we can make life easy on ourselves by just copying all the code we need to manage listeners over from the NumberReader class. Again, in a real program you'd want to do this
differently. Note that each notification method implementation also passes the event on to all the real listeners:
Code listing 1.6: NumberReaderLoggingAdaptor.
package org.wikibooks.en.javaprogramming.example;
import java.io.BufferedWriter;
import java.io.FileWriter;
import java.io.IOException;
import java.util.HashSet;
import java.util.Set;
public class NumberReaderLoggingAdaptor implements NumberReadListener {
private Set<NumberReadListener> listeners;
private BufferedWriter output;
public NumberReaderLoggingAdaptor() {
listeners = new HashSet<NumberReadListener>();
try {
output = new BufferedWriter(new FileWriter("numberLog.log"));
} catch (IOException e) {
// TODO Auto-generated catch block
e.printStackTrace();
}
}
public void addNumberReadListener(NumberReadListener listener) {
this.listeners.add(listener);
}
public void removeNumberReadListener(NumberReadListener listener) {
this.listeners.remove(listener);
}
@Override
public void numberRead(NumberReadEvent numberReadEvent) {
try {
output.write(numberReadEvent.getNumber() + "\n");
} catch (Exception e) {
}
for (NumberReadListener numberReadListener: listeners) {
numberReadListener.numberRead(numberReadEvent);
}
}
@Override
public void numberStreamTerminated(NumberReadEvent numberReadEvent) {
try {
output.flush();
output.close();
} catch (Exception e) {
}
for (NumberReadListener numberReadListener: listeners) {
numberReadListener.numberStreamTerminated(numberReadEvent);
}
}
}
Of course, to make the adaptor work we have to make some changes to the bootstrap code:
Code listing 1.7: Main.
package org.wikibooks.en.javaprogramming.example;
public class Main {
public static void main(String[] args) {
NumberReader reader = new NumberReader();
NumberReadListener listener = new NumberReadListenerImpl();
NumberReaderLoggingAdaptor adaptor = new NumberReaderLoggingAdaptor();
adaptor.addNumberReadListener(listener);
reader.addNumberReadListener(adaptor);
reader.start();
}
}
But note how nicely and easily we can re-link the objects in our system. The fact that adaptors and listeners both implement the listener interface and the adaptor and event source both look
like event sources means that we can hook the adaptor into the system without having to change a single statement in the classes that we developed earlier.
And of course, if we run the same example as given above, the numbers are now recorded in a log file.
Platform uses of the Event Model
The Event Model, as mentioned earlier, doesn't have a single all-encompassing implementation within the Java platform. Instead, the model serves as a basis for several different purposespecific implementations, both within the standard Java platform and outside it (in frameworks).
Within the platform the main implementations are found in two areas:
As part of the JavaBeans classes, particularly in the support classes for the implementation of PropertyChangeListeners.
As part of the Java standard UI frameworks, AWT and Swing.
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Canvas
An essential part of programming in Java requires you build exciting new user interfaces for yourselves. Components that come built into the Java framework are regular UI elements,
however for a more rich experience, you need controls of your own. Take, for instance, a charting application. No charting tool comes built into a Java API. You need to manually draw the
chart yourself.
Coding drawing, to begin with, is pretty daunting but once you know the basics of Graphics programming in Java, you can create elegant graphics and art in no time. But the question that
arises in one's mind is what to draw on. The answer to this question is simpler than it seems. You can start drawing on any component in the Java framework. Whether it be a panel, window
or even a button.
Let me break it down for you. A component in the Java language is a class that has been derived from the Component class. Each component has a method with a signature
which can be overridden to manually draw something atop it.
paint(Graphics)
Overriding the paint(Graphics) method
Below is an example on how you need to override the above method. For this very example, the component class that we would be using would be the Canvas class. For more information
about the Canvas class, see the section on Understanding the Canvas class
Code listing 9.1: Initializing a Canvas class
import java.awt.*;
public class MyCanvas extends Canvas {
public MyCanvas() {
//...
}
public void paint(Graphics graphics) {
/* We override the method here. The graphics
* code comes here within the method body. */
}
}
Understanding the Canvas class
Code listing 9.1 shows the simplicity and power of the syntax for enabling the graphics functions within Java. Lets begin by understanding what a Canvas class does. A Canvas class is a
derivative or a sub-class of the Component class and when placed over a Frame, displays as a blank area.
For the purpose of drawing graphics, you may use any other class derived from the Component class, for instance, JPanel or even JTextField or JButton. Why we use the Canvas class is
purely to grasp the idea of drawing in Java.
Let us refine the above code for the class to be executable and the Canvas to be displayed. For this we will add an entry-point method namely the main(String[]) method in its body and
calling a JFrame class to load the canvas on.
Code listing 9.2: Displaying a Canvas class atop a JFrame
import java.awt.*;
import javax.swing.*;
public class MyCanvas extends Canvas {
public MyCanvas() {
}
public void paint(Graphics graphics) {
}
public static void main(String[] args) {
// We initialize our class here
MyCanvas canvas = new MyCanvas();
JFrame frame = new JFrame();
frame.setSize(400, 400);
frame.setDefaultCloseOperation(JFrame.EXIT_ON_CLOSE);
// Here we add it to the frame
frame.getContentPane().add(canvas);
frame.setVisible(true);
}
}
The following code now helps our class to be executable and displays the canvas on top of the frame as it displays. Running this class would result in an empty frame, however it should be
clear that the canvas is sitting atop it and is merely not displaying any drawings yet.
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Figure 9.1: A blank canvas atop a JFrame
Get, set, draw!
Now that the basic structure of our program has been laid out, we need to explore how drawing is actually done by writing Java code. Move to the next section and try your hand at drawing
basic shapes and lines. But whilst you are still fresh to the concept of a Canvas, why not test your knowledge. Try answering these questions below.
Question 9.1: What classes are used to draw in Java?
1. Any class that is derived from the Object class.
2. Any class that is derived from the Component class.
3. None of the above.
Answer
2
A class derived from the Object class is not viable as a visible component, whereas a class derived from a Component class is a visible entity atop a Container hence a likely
candidate for displaying drawings.
Question 9.2: What is the method that needs to be overridden in order to enable drawing?
1. The main(String[]) method.
2. The MyCanvas() method.
3. The paint(Graphics) method.
4. None of the above.
Answer
3
As discussed earlier the paint(Graphics) method is the correct option. The name says it all.
Graphics
Graphics - Drawing in Java
Drawing basic shapes
Drawing complex shapes
Drawing text
Understanding gradients
Anti-aliasing basics
Interactive drawings
Graphics/Drawing shapes
Introduction to Graphics
Throughout this chapter, we will refer to the process of creating Graphical content with code as either drawing or painting. However, Java officially recognizes the latter as the proper word
for the process, but we will differentiate between the two later on.
Now, the main class that you would be needing would, without doubt, be the Graphics class. If you take a closer look at the method that we used in theIdentifying the acquisition of the
Graphics class in our code
Code listing 9.3: A basic canvas
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import java.awt.*;
import javax.swing.*;
public class MyCanvas extends Canvas {
public MyCanvas() {
}
public void paint(Graphics graphics) {
/* We would be using this method only for the sake
* of brevity throughout the current section. Note
* that the Graphics class has been acquired along
* with the method that we overrode. */
}
public static void main(String[] args) {
MyCanvas canvas = new MyCanvas();
JFrame frame = new JFrame();
frame.setSize(400, 400);
frame.setDefaultCloseOperation(JFrame.EXIT_ON_CLOSE);
frame.getContentPane().add(canvas);
frame.setVisible(true);
}
}
To view the contents of the Graphics class, please check the external links at the bottom of the page for links to the online API.
Etching a line on the canvas
Understanding coordinates
To start off your drawing experience, consider drawing the most basic shape — a line. A canvas when viewed upon with regards to drawing routines can be expressed as an inverted
Cartesian coordinate system. A plane expressed by an x- and a y-axis. The origin point or
being the top-left corner of a canvas and the visible area of the canvas being the Cartesian
quadrant I or the positive-positive (+,+) quadrant. The further you go down from the top, the greater the value of y-coordinate on the y-axis, vice-versa for the x-axis as you move toward
the right from the left. And unlike the values on a normal graph, the values appear to be positive. So a point at
would be 10 pixels away from the left and 20 pixels away from the
top, hence the format
.
Drawing a simple line across the screen
Now, we already know that a line is a connection of two discreet points atop a canvas. So, if one point is at
and
the other is at
, drawing a line would require you to write a syntax like code below. For the sake of brevity, we
will skim out the rest of the method unused in the example.
Code section 9.4: Drawing a simple line form
...
public class MyCanvas extends Canvas {
...
public void paint(Graphics graphics) {
graphics.setColor(Color.black);
graphics.drawLine(40, 30, 330, 380);
}
...
}
In the above example, a simple method is used to define precisely where to place the line on the Cartesian scale of the
canvas. The drawLine(int,int,int,int) asks you to put four arguments, appearing in order, the x1 coordinate, the
y1 coordinate, the x2 coordinate and the y2 coordinate. Running the program will show a simple black line diagonally
going across the canvas.
Figure 9.2: A simple line form displayed across the canvas from Code
section 9.4
Drawing a simple rectangle
We now proceed on to our second drawing. A simple rectangle would do it justice, see below for code.
Code section 9.5: Drawing a simple rectangle
...
public class MyCanvas extends Canvas {
...
public void paint(Graphics graphics) {
graphics.drawRect(10, 10, 100, 100);
}
...
}
In the above example, you see how easy it is to draw a simple rectangle using the drawRect(int, int, int, int)
method in the Graphics instance that we obtained. Run the program and you will see a simple black outline of a
rectangle appearing where once a blank canvas was.
The four arguments that are being passed into the method are, in order of appearance, the x-coordinate, the
y-coordinate, width and the height. Hence, the resultant rectangle would start painting at the point on the screen 10
pixels from the left and 10 from the top and would be a 100 pixel wide and a 100 pixel in height. To save the argument
here, the above drawing is that of a square with equal sides but squares are drawn using the same method and there is no
such method as drawSquare(int, int, int)
Figure 9.3: A simple black-outlined rectangle drawn
Playing around with colors
You can change the color of the outline by telling the Graphics instance the color you desire. This can be done as follows:
Code section 9.6: Changing the outline color of the rectangle
...
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public class MyCanvas extends Canvas {
...
public void paint(Graphics graphics) {
graphics.setColor(Color.red);
graphics.drawRect(100, 100, 500, 500);
}
...
}
Running the program would render the same rectangle but with a red colored outline.
For the purposes of bringing color to our drawing, we used a method namely the setColor(Color) method. This method
comes into force for all the drawing made after its call until another color is set. It asks for an argument of type Color.
Now because you have no idea of how to actually instantiate a Color class, the class itself has a few built-in colors. Some
built-in colors that you can use are mentioned below.
Color.red
Color.blue
Color.green
Color.yellow
Color.pink
Color.black
Color.white
Figure 9.4: Same rectangle drawn with a red outline
Try running the program while coding changes to colors for a different colored outline each time. Play around a bit with
more colors. Look for the Color class API documentation in the external links at the bottom of the page.
Filling up the area of the rectangle
Up until now, you have been able to draw a simple rectangle for yourself while asking a question silently, "why is the
outline of the rectangle being painted rather the area as a whole?" The answer is simple. Any method that starts with
drawXxxx(...) only draws the outline. To paint the area within the outline, we use the fillXxxx(...) methods. For
instance, the code below would fill a rectangle with yellow color while having a red outline. Notice that the arguments
remain the same.
Code section 9.7: Drawing a yellow rectangle with a red outline
...
public class MyCanvas extends Canvas {
...
public void paint(Graphics graphics) {
graphics.setColor(Color.yellow);
graphics.fillRect(10, 10, 100, 100);
graphics.setColor(Color.red);
graphics.drawRect(10, 10, 100, 100);
}
...
}
Figure 9.5: Same rectangle drawn with a red outline and a yellow fill
What about a circle?
Drawing a circle is ever so easy? It is the same process as the syntax above only that the word Rect is changed to the
word Oval. And don't ask me why oval? You simply don't have the method drawCircle(int, int, int) as you don't
have drawSquare(int, int, int). Following is the application of Graphics code to draw a circle just to whet your
appetite.
Code section 9.8: Drawing a white circle with a blue outline
...
public class MyCanvas extends Canvas {
...
public void paint(Graphics graphics) {
graphics.setColor(new Color(0,0,255));
graphics.drawOval(50, 50, 100, 100);
}
...
}
Figure 9.6: A white circle drawn with a blue outline
A new form of a rectangle
Simple so far, isn't it? Of all the shapes out there, these two are the only shapes that you'd need to build for the moment. Complex graphics routines are required to build shapes like a
rhombus, triangle, trapezium or a parallelogram. We would be tackling them later on in another section. However, on a last note I would leave you with another interesting shape - a
combination of both ovals and rectangle. Think a rectangle with rounded corners, a Rounded Rectangle (RoundRect).
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Code section 9.9: Drawing a pink rounded rectangle with a red outline
...
public class MyCanvas extends Canvas {
...
public void paint(Graphics graphics) {
graphics.setColor(Color.pink);
graphics.fillRoundRect(10, 10, 100, 100, 5, 5);
graphics.setColor(Color.red);
graphics.drawRoundRect(10, 10, 100, 100, 5, 5);
}
...
}
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Notice that the syntax of the drawRoundRect(int, int, int, int, int, int) method is a bit different than the
syntax for the simple rectangle drawing routine drawRect(int, int, int, int). The two new arguments added at the
end are the width of the arc in pixels and the height of the arc in pixels. The result is pretty amazing when you run the
program. You don't need to squint your eyes to tell that the corners of the rectangle are slightly rounded. The more the
values of the width and height of the arcs, the more roundness appears to form around the corner.
Hmm, everything's perfect, but...
Sometimes people ask, after creating simple programs like the ones above, questions like:
Why did I have to tell the Graphics instance the color before each drawing routine? Why can't it remember
my choice for the outlines and for the fill colors? The answer is simpler than it seems. But, to fully understand it,
we need to focus on one little thing called the Graphics Context. The graphics context is the information that
adheres to a single instance of the Graphics class. Such an instance remembers only one color at a time and that is
why we need to make sure the context knows of the color we need to use by using the setColor(Color) method.
Can I manipulate the shapes, like tilt them and crop them? Hold your horses, cowboy! Everything is possible in
Java, even tilting and cropping drawings. We will be focusing on these issues in a later section.
Is making shapes like triangles, rhombuses and other complex ones tedious? Well, to be honest here, you need
to go back to your dusty book cabinet and take out that High School Geometry book because we would be
covering some geometry basics while dealing with such shapes. Why not read a wikibook on Geometry?
Figure 9.7: A pink rounded rectangle with a red outline. Amazing!
Test your knowledge
Question 9.3: Throughout the exercise listings above, we have been filling the shapes first and then drawing their outlines. What happens if we do it the other way around? Consider the
code below.
...
public void paint(Graphics graphics) {
graphics.setColor(Color.red);
graphics.drawRect(10, 10, 100, 100);
graphics.setColor(Color.yellow);
graphics.fillRect(10, 10, 100, 100);
}
...
1. The left and the top outlines disappear.
2. The right and the bottom outlines disappear.
3. The color for the outline becomes the color for the fill area.
4. All the outlines disappear.
Answer
All the outlines disappear.
Question 9.4: What would drawLine(10, 100, 100, 100) give you?
1. A horizontal line.
2. A vertical line.
3. A diagonal line.
Answer
A horizontal line.
If you have any questions regarding the content provided here, please feel free to comment in this page's discussion.
External Links
Locate the Graphics class in the online Java API documentation (http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/docs/api/java/awt/Graphics.html)
Locate the Color class in the online Java API documentation (http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.4.2/docs/api/java/awt/Color.html)
Graphics/Drawing complex shapes
Code listing 9.4: Drawing complex shapes
public class Hello {
JLabel label = newJLabel("Hello, Mundo!");
JFrame frame = new JFrame("BK*");
frame.add(label);
frame.setSize(300, 300);
frame.setDefaultCloseOperation(JFrame.EXIT_ON_CLOSE);
frame.setVisible(true);
frame.setLocationRelativeTo(null);
frame.toFront();
}
}
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Graphics/Drawing text
Code listing 9.5: Drawing text
public class MyCanvas extends Canvas {
public void init() {
setFont("Times New Roman", Font.PLAIN, 24);
setColor(Color.white);
setBackGroundColor(Color.black);
setLayout(new GridLayout);
add(label);
add(button);
}
}
Applets
Overview
User Interface
Event Listeners
Graphics and Media
Applets/Overview
A Java applet is an applet delivered in the form of Java bytecode. Java applets can run in a Web browser using a Java Virtual Machine (JVM), or in Oracle's AppletViewer, a stand alone tool
to test applets. Java applets were introduced in the first version of the Java language in 1995. Java applets are usually written in the Java programming language but they can also be written
in other languages that compile to Java bytecode such as Jython.
Applets are used to provide interactive features to web applications that cannot be provided by HTML. Since Java's bytecode is platform independent, Java applets can be executed by
browsers for many platforms, including Windows, Unix, Mac OS and Linux. There are open source tools like applet2app which can be used to convert an applet to a stand alone Java
application/windows executable. This has the advantage of running a Java applet in off-line mode without the need for Internet browser software.
The Java applet is less and less used. You'd rather use JavaScript when it is possible.
First applet
The two things you must at least create is an HTML page and a Java class. It can be done on a local folder, no need to run a server but it will be harder to understand what is local, what is
remote. The HTML page has to call the Java class using the <applet/> markup:
Code listing 9.3: HelloWorld.html
1 <!DOCTYPE html>
2 <html>
<body>
3
HTML content before the applet.<applet code="HelloWorld" height="40" width="200"></applet>HTML content after the applet.
4
</body>
5
6 </html>
Save this file on a folder. As the <applet/> markup is calling a Java class called HelloWorld, our class should be called HelloWorld.java:
Code listing 9.4: HelloWorld.java
1 import java.applet.Applet;
2 import java.awt.Graphics;
3
4 public class HelloWorld extends Applet {
5
6
/**
7
8
9
* Print a message on the screen.
*/
public void paint(Graphics g) {
g.drawString("Hello, world!", 20, 10
10
11
12 }
}
Save this file and compile the class on the same folder. Now let's open the web page on a browser:
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Figure 9.8: Java applet HelloWorld.
We clearly see that "Hello, world!" is not rendered the same way as the rest of the page.
HTML code
See also applet markup.
To embed an applet in a HTML page, you have to insert a <applet/> markup. This markup can have several attributes:
code*
The name of the main class to call. It could be the name of the class with or without the .class .
height
The height of the area where the content of the applet can be rendered on the web page.
width
The width of the area where the content of the applet can be rendered on the web page.
archive
The name of a compressed zip archive having .jar extension. The archive can contain all the needed classes to run the applet. Applets are usually delivered in this form, to
minimize the download time.
The attributes with * are mandatory.
There have been some discussions about the usage of applet tag but it still can be used for beginning and also would work in the real world as well.
Java source code
Applets are not constructed in the same way as other classes or main programs. The entry point is different and the main class should extend the Applet class. The Applet class has four
methods that can be called by the browser and you can redefine:
init()
Called when the browser first loads the applet. It is only called once by browser execution.
start()
Called when the applet starts running. It is called as many times as the user visits the web page.
stop()
Called when the applet stops running. It is called as many times as the user visits the web page.
destroy()
Called when the user quits the browser. It is only called once by browser execution.
paint()
Called when the applet needs to be rendered, for example, when the browser is resized.
The four first methods define the lifecycle of an applet. At least init() or paint() must be redefined. The HTML applet tag can be embedded in the applet source code to allow the applet
to be run directly by a simple applet viewer, without the need for an .html file. Typically, the applet tag immediately follows the import statements. It must be enclosed by /* */ comments:
Code section 9.10: MyApplet comment
1
2
3
/*
<applet code="MyApplet.class"> </applet>
*/
Applets/User Interface
The main difference between an applet and a regular command-line executed program is that applets allow for extensible Graphical User Interfaces (GUI).
Since applets provide for the ability to create complex GUI, it is important for developers to know how to create such programs.
Applying styles and adding content
In Java applets, graphical portions are initialized and added in two different areas. While objects are initialized in the main class, they are added to the layout of the applet in the init()
method. This is done using the syntax of add(<object>). A typical init() method looks something like this:
Code section 9.8: A typical init() method
1 ...
2
3 public void init() {
4
setFont(new Font("Times New Roman", Font.PLAIN, 24
5
setForeground(Color.white);
6
setBackground(Color.black);
7
setLayout(new GridLayout);
8
9
...
10
add(label);
11
add(button);
12
13 }
The different aspects of this method will be covered below.
Button
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Lots of applets use buttons. There are only a few ways to have contact between the applet and the user, and the use of buttons is one of those ways. Buttons are created the same way as
most other Java applet objects:
Code section 9.9: Button creation
1 Button submitButton = new Button("Submit");
When initializing a button, it is necessary to define what text will appear on that button in the given parameter. In this example, the button is initialized with the word "Submit" printed on it.
Adding the button to the actual layout is done in the init() method, as described above.
Code section 9.10: Button display
1 public void init() {
2
3
...
4
5
add(submitButton);
6 }
Allowing buttons to carry out tasks or utilize a user's input is a bit more complicated. These functions require an ActionListener, and will be discussed in ActionListener section.
Label
Labels are areas in applets that contain text which can not be edited by the user. This is usually ideal for descriptions (i.e. "Insert name:"). Labels are initialized and added to applet layouts
in the same way as buttons. Also, like buttons, the text inside labels must be identified at initialization. If, however, the label will receive its text as the cause of a later function and should
start off blank, no text should be placed between the quotation marks.
Code section 9.11: Label display
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
Label nameLabel = new Label("Name: ");
...
public void init() {
add(nameLabel);
}
TextField
TextFields are areas in applets that allow users to insert text. The two parameters, which are optional, for TextFields can set predefined text in the field or set the number of columns allowed
in the TextField. Here are a few examples:
Code section 9.12: Text field creation
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
TextField
TextField
TextField
TextField
t1
t2
t3
t4
=
=
=
=
new
new
new
new
TextField();
TextField(5);
TextField("Input here");
TextField("Input here", 5);
//
//
//
//
Blank
Blank in 5 columns
Predefined text
Predefined text in 5 columns
...
public void init() {
add(t1);
add(t2);
add(t3);
add(t4);
...
}
Font
Using stylish fonts in your Java applets may be necessary to help keep your Java applets attractive. The setFont() allows for either the font used throughout the applet to be defined or for
one element's font to be set at a time.
The syntax for setting a font is setFont(<fontName>, <fontStyle>, <fontSize>).
To make every font in the applet plain, size 24 Times New Roman, the following code should be used:
Code section 9.13: Font setting
1 Font f = new Font("Times New Roman", Font.PLAIN, 24);
2 setFont(f);
It is not necessary to initialize the font and set the font through two different lines of code.
Code section 9.14: Direct font setting
1 setFont(new Font("Times New Roman", Font.PLAIN, 24));
However, to make the font of element a plain, size 24 Times New Roman, and element b italicized, size 28 Times New Roman, the following code should be used:
Code section 9.15: Object font setting
1 a.setFont(new Font("Times New Roman", Font.PLAIN, 24));
2 b.setFont(new Font("Times New Roman", Font.ITALIC, 28));
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To set the color of the fonts used in an applet, the setForeground(<color>) method is used. This method already includes some predefined colors which can be used by calling, for
example, setForeground(Color.white). Here are all of the predefined colors:
Color.black
Color.blue
Color.cyan
Color.darkGray
Color.gray
Color.green
Color.red
Color.white
Color.yellow
To create a custom color, the RGB values of the color can be passed in as the color parameter. For example, if red were not a predefined color, one could use setForeground(new
Color(255, 0, 0)) to define red.
Just as font styles, font colors can be applied to separate elements. The syntax follows the same pattern: a.setForeground(Color.white).
Layout
Layouts are what make applets visible. Without a layout, nothing would display. There are five different types of layouts to choose from — some are very simple while others are complex.
Flow Layout
This layout places components left to right, using as much space as is needed. The Flow Layout is the default layout for applets and, therefore, does not need to be set. However, for clarity,
one can specify the applet layout as a Flow Layout by placing this line of code at the top of the init() method:
Code section 9.16: Flow Layout
1 setLayout(new FlowLayout());
The added components to the layout that follow will be placed on screen in order of which they are added.
Code section 9.17: Component display
1 public void init() {
setLayout(new FlowLayout());
2
add(nameLabel);
3
add(t1);
4
add(submitButton);
5
6 }
Assuming that these variables are defined the same as above, these lines of code will create the layout of an applet that is composed of a label, a text field, and a button. They will all appear
on one line if the window permits. By changing the width of window, the Flow Layout will contract and expand the components accordingly.
Grid Layout
This layout arranges components in the form of the table (grid). The number of rows and columns in the grid is specified in the constructor. The other two parameters, if present, specify
vertical and horizontal padding between components.
Code listing 9.4: GridLayoutApplet.java
1 import java.applet.Applet;
2 import java.awt.Button;
3 import java.awt.GridLayout;
4 import java.awt.Label;
5 import java.awt.TextField;
6
7 public class GridLayoutApplet extends Applet {
8
9
10
Button submitButton = new Button("Submit");
TextField t1 = new TextField();
// Blank
11
TextField t2 = new TextField(5);
// Blank in 5 columns
12
13
TextField t3 = new TextField("Input here");
// Predefined text
TextField t4 = new TextField("Input here", 5); // Predefined text in 5 columns
14
15
Label nameLabel = new Label("Name: ");
16
/**
17
18
19
20
* Init.
*/
public void init() {
// 3 rows, 4 columns, 2 pixel spacing
21
setLayout(new GridLayout(3, 4, 2, 2));
22
23
add(nameLabel);
add(t1);
24
25
add(t2);
add(t3);
26
27
28
add(t4);
add(submitButton);
}
29 }
The items have been displayed in this order:
1st 2nd
3th 4th
5th 6th
We see that the layout has been configured to fill the grid left-to-right and then top-to-bottom and that the two last columns have been ignored (they don't even exist). They have been
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ignored because there are not enough items to fill them and the number of rows is prior to the number of columns. This means that when you specify a number of rows that is not zero, the
number of columns is simply ignored. You should specify zero rows in order that the number of columns is taken into account.
A grid layout creates cells with equal sizes. So it can be used not only to display items as a grid but also to display two items with the same width or height.
Border Layout
This layout places one big component in the center and up till four components at the edges. When adding to the container with this layout, you need to specify the location as the second
parameter like BorderLayout.CENTER for the center or one of the world directions for the edge (BorderLayout.NORTH points to the top edge).
Code section 9.19: Border layout
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
import java.awt.*;
Container container = getContentPane();
container.setLayout(new BorderLayout());
JButton b2 = new JButton("two");
// Add the button to the right edge.
container.add(b2, BorderLayout.EAST);
...
If you have two components, it is not the same to put the first in the north and the second to the center as to put the first in the center and the second to the south. In the first case, the layout
will calculate the size of the component and the second component will have all the space left. In the second case, it is the opposite.
Card Layout
The card layout displays only one item at a time and is only interesting with interactivity. The other items are stored in a stack and the displayed item is
one of the items of the stack. The name of the card layout is a reference to a playing card deck where you can see the card at the top of the stack and
you can put a card on the top. The difference in the card layout is that the items in the stack keeps their order. When you use this layout, you must use
this method to add items to the container, i.e. the applet:
void add(String itemId, Component item)
Adds an item to the container and associate the item to the id.
The card layout has several methods to change the currently displayed item:
void first(Container container)
Display the first item of the stack.
void next(Container container)
Display the item of the stack that is located after the displayed item.
void previous(Container container)
Display the item of the stack that is located before the displayed item.
void last(Container container)
Display the last item of the stack.
void show(Container container, String itemId)
Display an item by its id.
A card stack
Code listing 9.5: CardLayoutApplet.java
1 import java.applet.Applet;
2 import java.awt.CardLayout;
3 import java.awt.Label;
4
5 public class CardLayoutApplet extends Applet {
6
7
static final String COMPONENT_POSITION_TOP = "TOP";
8
static final String COMPONENT_POSITION_MIDDLE = "MIDDLE";
9
10
static final String COMPONENT_POSITION_BOTTOM = "BOTTOM";
11
Label topLabel = new Label("At the top");
12
13
Label middleLabel = new Label("In the middle");
Label bottomLabel = new Label("At the bottom");
14
15
/**
16
17
18
* Init.
*/
public void init() {
19
20
setLayout(new CardLayout());
add(COMPONENT_POSITION_TOP, topLabel);
21
add(COMPONENT_POSITION_MIDDLE, middleLabel);
22
23
add(COMPONENT_POSITION_BOTTOM, bottomLabel);
24
25 }
((CardLayout)getLayout()).show(this, COMPONENT_POSITION_MIDDLE
}
Panel
The main benefit of the layouts is that you can combine them one into another and you can do that with a panel. A panel is a component that has other components inside. A panel can then
be added to the top component (frame or applet) or to another panel and be placed itself as defined by layout and constraints of this parent component. It has its own layout and is normally
used to place a group of related components like buttons, for instance:
Figure 9.16: Java applet example.
Test your knowledge
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Question 9.5: We want to create a basic FTP (File Transfer Protocol) software which looks like this:
Application name
Tool Tool Tool Tool Tool Tool Tool
Tool Tool
Local folder
Remote folder
Status bar
On the top, it should display the name of the software. Under the name, it should display tool buttons that are displayed from the left to the right and the sequence of buttons is wrapped if
it reaches the right border. Under the buttons, it should display two lists of files. The widths of these two lists should be the same and they should use all the width of the application.
Under these two lists, it should display a status bar.
Create this display on an applet.
Answer
First, we have to analyze the display. We have four separate areas of components:
The name area
The tool area
The folder area
The status area
So we have to first separate these areas and then we will split these areas into components.
Answer 9.5: Answer5.java
1 import java.applet.Applet;
2 import java.awt.BorderLayout;
3 import java.awt.Button;
4 import java.awt.FlowLayout;
5 import java.awt.GridLayout;
6 import java.awt.Label;
7 import java.awt.Panel;
8
9 public class Answer5 extends Applet {
10
11
Label applicationNameLabel = new Label("Wikibooks FTP");
12
13
Button tool1Button = new Button("Tool");
Button tool2Button = new Button("Tool");
14
Button tool3Button = new Button("Tool");
15
Button tool4Button = new Button("Tool");
Button tool5Button = new Button("Tool");
16
18
Button tool6Button = new Button("Tool");
Button tool7Button = new Button("Tool");
19
Button tool8Button = new Button("Tool");
20
21
Button tool9Button = new Button("Tool");
Label localFolderLabel = new Label("5 files");
22
23
Label remoteFolderLabel = new Label("3 files");
Label statusBarLabel = new Label("Available");
17
24
25
26
/**
* Init.
*/
27
28
29
public void init() {
setLayout(new BorderLayout());
30
31
// The application name
32
add(applicationNameLabel, BorderLayout.NORTH);
33
34
// The center
35
Panel centerPanel = new Panel();
centerPanel.setLayout(new BorderLayout());
36
37
38
39
// The buttons
40
41
buttonPanel.setLayout(new FlowLayout(FlowLayout.LEFT));
buttonPanel.add(tool1Button);
42
buttonPanel.add(tool2Button);
43
44
buttonPanel.add(tool3Button);
buttonPanel.add(tool4Button);
45
46
buttonPanel.add(tool5Button);
buttonPanel.add(tool6Button);
47
buttonPanel.add(tool7Button);
48
49
buttonPanel.add(tool8Button);
buttonPanel.add(tool9Button);
Panel buttonPanel = new Panel();
50
51
centerPanel.add(buttonPanel, BorderLayout.CENTER);
52
// The local and remote folders
53
54
Panel folderPanel = new Panel();
folderPanel.setLayout(new GridLayout(0, 2, 2, 2));
55
folderPanel.add(localFolderLabel);
56
57
folderPanel.add(remoteFolderLabel);
centerPanel.add(folderPanel, BorderLayout.SOUTH);
58
59
add(centerPanel, BorderLayout.CENTER);
60
61
62
63
64 }
// The status bar
add(statusBarLabel, BorderLayout.SOUTH);
}
1. The totality of the components is put in a border layout so that we have three vertical areas of elements.
2. The area in the north is the area of the title.
3. The area in the center contains the buttons and the folders and will be split later.
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4. The area in the south is the area of the status bar.
5. The area in the center is now split with a border layout into a button area in the center and a folder area in the south.
6. The button area is then split with a flow layout.
7. The folder area is now split with a grid layout.
We use a grid layout to display the folders to have the same width between the two components. We can't use a grid layout to separate the name, the buttons, the folders and the status
bar as these areas have not the same height. The buttons must be at the center of the border layout as the number of row of buttons would be badly calculated and the last rows of
buttons would not appear.
Applets/Event Listeners
An Event Listener, once set to an applet object waits for some action to be performed on it, be it mouse click, mouse hover, pressing of keys, click of button, etc. The class you are using
(e.g. JButton, etc.) reports the activity to a class set by the class using it. That method then decides on how to react because of that action, usually with a series of if statements to determine
which action it was performed on. source.getSource() will return the name of the object that the event was performed on, while the source is the object passed to the function when the
action is performed. Every single time the action is performed, it calls the method.
ActionListener
is an interface that could be implemented in order to determine how certain event should be handled. When implementing an interface, all methods in that interface should
be implemented, ActionListener interface has one method to implement named actionPerformed().
ActionListener
The code listing 9.6 shows how to implement ActionListener:
Code listing 9.6: EventApplet.java
1 import java.applet.Applet;
2 import java.awt.Button;
3 import java.awt.Container;
4 import java.awt.Dialog;
5 import java.awt.FlowLayout;
6 import java.awt.Frame;
7 import java.awt.Label;
8 import java.awt.event.ActionEvent;
9 import java.awt.event.ActionListener;
10
11 public class EventApplet extends Applet {
12
13
/**
* Init.
14
15
16
*/
public void init() {
Button clickMeButton = new Button("Click me");
17
18
final Applet eventApplet = this;
19
20
ActionListener specificClassToPerformButtonAction = new ActionListener()
21
22
23
public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent event) {
Dialog dialog = new Dialog(getParentFrame(eventApplet), false);
24
dialog.setLayout(new FlowLayout());
dialog.add(new Label("Hi!!!"));
25
26
27
dialog.pack();
28
dialog.setLocation(100, 100);
dialog.setVisible(true);
29
30
31
}
32
private Frame getParentFrame(Container container) {
33
34
if (container == null) {
35
36
} else if (container instanceof Frame) {
return (Frame) container;
37
} else {
38
39
}
return null;
return getParentFrame(container.getParent());
40
41
}
42
};
43
44
clickMeButton.addActionListener(specificClassToPerformButtonAction);
45
46
add(clickMeButton);
}
47 }
When you compile and run the above code, the message "Hi!!!" will appear when you click on the button.
MouseListener
Applet mouse listener does not differ from the AWT mouse listener in general. When the mouse is in the applet area, the listener receives notifications about the mouse clicks and drags (if
MouseListener is registered) and mouse movements (if MouseMotionListener is registered). As applets are often small, it is a common practice to let applet itself to implement the mouse
listeners.
Applets/Graphics and Media
Painting
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By overriding the update(Graphics g) and paint(Graphics g) methods of an Applet (or one of it's sub-components), you can have fairly direct control over the rendering of an Applet.
The Graphics object provides various primitives for working for two-dimensional graphics.
Reflection
Reflection is a new concept in Java, and did not exist in classical compiled languages like C, and C++. The idea is to discover an object's attributes and its methods programmatically.
Reflection/Overview
Reflection is the mechanism by which Java exposes the features of a class during runtime, allowing Java programs to enumerate and access a class' methods, fields, and constructors as
objects. In other words, there are object-based mirrors that reflect the Java object model, and you can use these objects to access an object's features using runtime API constructs instead
of compile-time language constructs. Each object instance has a getClass() method, inherited from java.lang.Object, which returns an object with the runtime representation of that
object's class; this object is an instance of the java.lang.Class, which in turn has methods that return the fields, methods, constructors, superclass, and other properties of that class. You
can use these reflection objects to access fields, invoke methods, or instantiate instances, all without having compile-time dependencies on those features. The Java runtime provides the
corresponding classes for reflection. Most of the Java classes that support reflection are in the java.lang.reflect package. Reflection is most useful for performing dynamic operations
with Java — operations that are not hard-coded into a source program, but that are determined at run time. One of the most important aspects of reflection is dynamic class loading.
Example: Invoking a main method
One way to understand how reflection works is to use reflection to model how the Java Runtime Environment (JRE) loads and executes a class. When you invoke a Java program
Console
java fully-qualified-class-name arg0 ... argn
and pass it command line arguments, the JRE must
1. put the command line arguments arg0 ... argn into a String[] array
2. dynamically load the target class named by fully-qualified-class-name
3. access the public static void main(String[]) method
4. invoke the main method, passing the string array main String[].
Steps 2, 3, and 4 can be accomplished with Java reflection. Below is an example of loading the Distance class, locating the main method, (see Understanding a Java Program) and invoking
it via reflection.
Code section 10.1: main() method invocation.
1 public static void invokeMain()
2
throws ClassNotFoundException,
ExceptionInInitializerError,
3
4
IllegalAccessException,
5
IllegalArgumentException,
InvocationTargetException,
6
7
NoSuchMethodException,
8
SecurityException {
9
Class<?> distanceClass = Class.forName("Distance");
10
String[] points = {"0", "0", "3", "4"};
11
Method mainMethod = distanceClass.getMethod("main", String[].class
12
Object result = mainMethod.invoke(null, (Object) points);
13 }
This code is obviously more complicated than simply calling
Code section 10.2: main() method calling.
1 Distance.main(new String[]{"0", "0", "3", "4"});
However, the main Java runtime does not know about the Distance class. The name of the class to execute is a runtime value. Reflection allows a Java program to work with classes even
though the classes are not known when the program was written. Let's explore what the invokeMain method is doing. The first statement at line 9 is an example of dynamic class loading.
The forName() method will load a Java class and return an instance of java.lang.Class that results from loading the class. In this case, we are loading the class "Distance" from the
default package. We store the class object in the local variable distanceClass; its type is Class<?>. The second statement at line 10 simply creates a String array with the four command
line arguments we wish to pass to the main method of the Distance class. The third statement at line 11 performs a reflection operation on the Distance class. The getMethod() method is
defined for the Class class. It takes a variable number of parameters: the method name is the first parameter and the remaining parameters are the types of each of main's parameters. The
method name is trivial: we want to invoke the main method, so we pass in the name "main". We then add a Class variable for each of the method parameters. main accepts one parameter
(String[] args) so we add a single Class element representing the String[]. The getMethod method has a return type of java.lang.reflect.Method; we store the result in a local
variable named mainMethod. Finally, we invoke the method by calling the invoke() method of the Method instance. This method's first parameter is the instance to invoke on, and the
remaining parameters are for the invokee's parameters. Since we are invoking a static method and not an instance method, we pass null as the instance argument. Since we only have a
single parameter we pass it as the second argument. However, we must cast the parameter to Object to indicate that the array is the parameter, and not that the parameters are in the array.
See varargs for more details on this.
Code section 10.3: invoke() call.
1 Object result = mainMethod.invoke(null, arguments);
The invoke() method returns an Object that will contain the result that the reflected method returns. In this case, our main method is a void method, so we ignore the return type. Most of
the methods in this short invokeMain method may throw various exceptions. The method declares all of them in its signatures. Here is a brief rundown of what might throw an exception:
Class.forName(String)
Class.forName(String)
will throw ClassNotFoundException, if the named class cannot be located.
will throw ExceptionInInitializerError, if the class could not be loaded due the static initializer throwing an exception or a static field's initialization
throwing an exception.
Class.getMethod(String name, Class parameterTypes[])
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NoSuchMethodException,
SecurityException, if
if a matching method is not found, or is not public (use getDeclaredMethod to get a non-public method).
a security manager is installed and calling the method would result in an access violation (for example, the method is in the sun.* package designed for
internal use only).
may throw:
if this method is invoked in a manner that violates its access modifiers.
IllegalArgumentException for various reasons, including
passing an instance that does not implement this method.
the actual arguments do not match the method's arguments
InvocationTargetException, if the underlying method (main in this case) throws an exception.
Method.invoke(Object instance, Object... arguments)
IllegalAccessException,
In addition to these exceptions, there are also errors and runtime exceptions that these methods may throw.
Reflection/Dynamic Class Loading
Dynamic Class Loading allows the loading of java code that is not known about before a program starts. Many classes rely on other classes and resources such as icons which make loading
a single class unfeasible. For this reason the ClassLoader (java.lang.ClassLoader) is used to manage all the inner dependencies of a collection of classes. The Java model loads classes
as needed and need not know the name of all classes in a collection before any one of its classes can be loaded and run.
Simple Dynamic Class Loading
An easy way to dynamically load a Class is via the java.net.URLClassLoader class. This class can be used to load a Class or a collection of classes that are accessible via a URL. This is
very similar to the -classpath parameter in the java executable. To create a URLClassLoader, use the factory method (as using the constructor requires a security privilege):
Code section 10.4: Class loader.
1 URLClassLoader classLoader = URLClassLoader.newInstance(
2
new URL[]{"http://example.com/javaClasses.jar"});
Unlike other dynamic class loading techniques, this can be used even without security permission provided the classes come from the same Web domain as the caller. Once a ClassLoader
instance is obtained, a class can be loaded via the loadClass method. For example, to load the class com.example.MyClass, one would:
Code section 10.5: Class loading.
1 Class<?> clazz = classLoader.load("com.example.MyClass");
Executing code from a Class instance is explained in the Dynamic Invocation chapter.
Reflection/Dynamic Invocation
We start with basic transfer object:
Code listing 10.1: DummyTo.java
1 package com.test;
2
3 public class DummyTo {
4
private String name;
5
6
private String address;
7
public String getName() {
8
9
}
10
11
return name;
public void setName(String name) {
12
13
14
this.name = name;
}
15
16
public String getAddress() {
return address;
17
}
18
19
public void setAddress(String address) {
20
21
}
this.address = address;
22
23
24
public DummyTo(String name, String address) {
this.name = name;
25
this.address = address;
26
27
}
28
29
public DummyTo() {
this.name = new String();
30
this.address = new String();
31
32
}
33
34
public String toString(String appendBefore) {
return appendBefore + " " + name + ", " + address;
35
}
36 }
Following is the example for invoking method from the above mentioned to dynamically. Code is self explanatory.
Code listing 10.2: ReflectTest.java
1 package com.test;
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Console for Code listing 10.2
I am Java Programmer, India
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2
3 import java.lang.reflect.Constructor;
4 import java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException;
5 import java.lang.reflect.Method;
6
7 public class ReflectTest {
8
public static void main(String[] args) {
9
try {
10
Class<?> dummyClass = Class.forName("com.test.DummyTo");
11
12
// parameter types for methods
13
Class<?>[] partypes = new Class[]{String.class};
14
15
// Create method object. methodname and parameter types
16
Method meth = dummyClass.getMethod("toString", partypes);
17
18
// parameter types for constructor
19
20
Class<?>[] constrpartypes = new Class[]{String.class, String.class};
21
//Create constructor object. parameter types
22
23
Constructor<?> constr = dummyClass.getConstructor(constrpartypes);
24
// create instance
25
Object dummyto = constr.newInstance(new Object[]{"Java Programmer", "India"});
26
// Arguments to be passed into method
Object[] arglist = new Object[]{"I am"};
27
28
29
30
// invoke method!!
31
String output = (String) meth.invoke(dummyto, arglist);
32
System.out.println(output);
33
34
35
} catch (ClassNotFoundException e) {
e.printStackTrace();
36
} catch (SecurityException e) {
e.printStackTrace();
37
38
} catch (NoSuchMethodException e) {
39
40
e.printStackTrace();
} catch (IllegalArgumentException e) {
e.printStackTrace();
41
} catch (IllegalAccessException e) {
42
e.printStackTrace();
43
44
} catch (InvocationTargetException e) {
45
46
e.printStackTrace();
} catch (InstantiationException e) {
47
48
}
e.printStackTrace();
49
}
50 }
Conclusion: Above examples demonstrate the invocation of method dynamically using reflection.
Reflection/Accessing Private Features with Reflection
All features of a class can be obtained via reflection, including access to private methods & variables. But not always see [6] (http://www.onjava.com/pub/a/onjava/2003/11
/12/reflection.html). Let us look at the following example:
Code listing 10.3: Secret.java
1 public class Secret {
2
3
private String secretCode = "It's a secret";
4
private String getSecretCode() {
5
6
}
return secretCode;
7 }
Although the field and method are marked private, the following class shows that it is possible to access the private features of a class:
Code listing 10.4: Hacker.java
Console for Code listing 10.4
1 import java.lang.reflect.Field;
2 import java.lang.reflect.InvocationTargetException;
Access all the methods
Method Name: getSecretCode
3 import java.lang.reflect.Method;
4
Return type: class java.lang.String
It's a secret
5 public class Hacker {
Access all the fields
6
7
Field Name: secretCode
It's a secret
private static final Object[] EMPTY = {};
8
9
public void reflect() throws IllegalAccessException, IllegalArgumentException, InvocationTargetException {
10
Secret instance = new Secret();
11
12
Class<?> secretClass = instance.getClass();
13
14
// Print all the method names & execution result
15
System.out.println("Access all the methods");
16
17
for (Method method : methods) {
System.out.println("Method Name: " + method.getName());
Method methods[] = secretClass.getDeclaredMethods();
System.out.println("Return type: " + method.getReturnType());
method.setAccessible(true);
18
19
System.out.println(method.invoke(instance, EMPTY) + "\n");
20
21
}
22
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23
24
// Print all the field names & values
Field fields[] = secretClass.getDeclaredFields();
25
System.out.println("Access all the fields");
26
for (Field field : fields) {
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System.out.println("Field Name: " + field.getName());
28
field.setAccessible(true);
29
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System.out.println(field.get(instance) + "\n");
30
}
31
32
}
33
public static void main(String[] args) {
34
Hacker newHacker = new Hacker();
35
36
37
try {
newHacker.reflect();
38
} catch (Exception e) {
39
e.printStackTrace();
40
41
}
}
42 }
JUnit - Test Private methods
JUnit's are unit test cases, used to test the Java programs. Now you know how to test a private method using Reflection in JUnit. There's a long-standing debate on whether testing private
members is a good habit[1];There are cases where you want to make sure a class exhibited the right behavior while not making the fields that need checking to assert that public (as it's
generally considered bad practice to create accessors to a class just for the sake of a unit test). There are also cases when you can greatly simplify a test case by using reflection to test all
smaller private methods (and their various branches), then test the main function. With dp4j (http://dp4j.com) it is possible to test private members without directly using the Reflection API
but simply accessing them as if they were accessible from the testing method; dp4j injects the needed Reflection code at compile-time[2].
1. What's the best way of unit testing private methods? (http://stackoverflow.com/questions/34571/whats-the-best-way-of-unit-testing-private-methods), March 7, 2011
2. Reflection API injected at compile-time (http://dp4j/faq)
Advanced topics
Networking
Prior to modern networking solutions there existed workstations that were connected to a massive Mainframe computer that was solely responsible for memory management, processes and
almost everything. The workstations would just render the information sent in from the Mainframe console.
But in the mid 90's, with the prices of Unix servers dropping, the trend was moving away from Mainframe computing toward Client-Server computing. This would enable rich clients to be
developed on workstations while they would communicate with a centralized server, serving computers connected to it, to either communicate with other workstations also connected to it
or it would request for database access or business logic stored on the server itself. The workstations were called clients.
This form of computing gave rise to the notion of the Front-end and Back-end programming. In it's hey-day, Java came up with different ways of making networking between computers
possible. In this chapter, we would be looking at some of these ways. Listed below are two of the frameworks that Java uses to enable network programming. We would be exploring both of
these in this chapter.
Client-Server programming
Remote Method Invocation (RMI)
1. Networking basics
2. Creating a simple server
3. Listening for clients
4. Creating a client to interact with the server
5. Sending information over a network
6. Building complex carriage routines
1. Basics of Remote Method Invocation
2. Of stubs and proxies
Database Programming
Regular Expressions
The regular expressions (regex) are provided by the package java.util.regex.
Researches
The Pattern class offers the function matches which returns true if an expression is found into a string.
For example, this script returns the unknown word preceding a known word:
import java.util.regex.Pattern;
public class Regex {
public static void main(String[] args) {
String s = "Test Java regex for Wikibooks.";
System.out.println(Pattern.matches("[a-z]* Wikibooks",s));
}
}
// Displays: "for Wikibooks"
The Matcher class allows to get all matches for a given expression, with different methods:
1. find(): find the next result.
2. group(): displays the result.
For example, this script displays the HTML b tags contents:
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import java.util.regex.Pattern;
import java.util.regex.Matcher;
public class Regex {
public static void main(String[] args) {
String s = "Test <i>Java</i> <b>regex</b> for <b>Wikibooks</b>.";
Pattern p = Pattern.compile("<b>([^<]+)</b>");
Matcher m = p.matcher(s);
while(m.find()) {
System.out.println(m.group());
System.out.println(m.group(1));
}
}
}
/* Displays:
<b>regex</b>
regex
<b>Wikibooks</b>
Wikibooks
*/
Replacements
Libraries
Libraries, Extensions, and Frameworks
Math and Geometry
Regular Expressions
Security
Input and Output
Logging
Database Connectivity
Zip and Other Archives
XML
Graphical User Interfaces
Open Source
Struts
Spring framework
3D Programming
Although Java comes with the Java 3D library other libraries have been developed over time with similar functionality. Thus, unlike many other areas of Java development explored in this
book, a Java programmer has a choice to make as to which 3D library to use.
3D graphics Java libraries
Java 3D
JOGL
JPCT
Light Weight Java Game Library
Java Native Interface
The Java Native Interface (JNI) enables Java code running in a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to call and to be called by native applications (programs specific to a hardware and operating
system platform) and libraries written in other languages, such as C, C++ and assembly.
JNI can be used:
To implement or use features that are platform-specific.
To implement or use features that the standard Java class library does not support.
To enable an existing application—written in another programming language—to be accessible to Java applications.
To let a native method use Java objects in the same way that Java code uses these objects (a native method can create Java objects and then inspect and use these objects to perform
its tasks).
To let a native method inspect and use objects created by Java application code.
For time-critical calculations or operations like solving complicated mathematical equations (native code may be faster than JVM code).
On the other hand, an application that relies on JNI loses the platform portability Java offers. So you will have to write a separate implementation of JNI code for each platform and have
Java detect the operating system and load the correct one at runtime. Many of the standard library classes depend on JNI to provide functionality to the developer and the user (file I/O,
sound capabilities...). Including performance- and platform-sensitive API implementations in the standard library allows all Java applications to access this functionality in a safe and
platform-independent manner. Only applications and signed applets can invoke JNI. JNI should be used with caution. Subtle errors in the use of JNI can destabilize the entire JVM in ways
that are very difficult to reproduce and debug. Error checking is a must or it has the potential to crash the JNI side and the JVM.
This page will only explain how to call native code from JVM, not how to call JVM from native code.
Calling native code from JVM
In the JNI framework, native functions are implemented in separate .c or .cpp files. C++ provides a slightly simpler interface with JNI. When the JVM invokes the function, it passes a
JNIEnv pointer, a jobject pointer, and any Java arguments declared by the Java method. A JNI function may look like this:
JNIEXPORT void JNICALL Java_ClassName_MethodName
(JNIEnv *env, jobject obj)
{
/*Implement Native Method Here*/
}
The env pointer is a structure that contains the interface to the JVM. It includes all of the functions necessary to interact with the JVM and to work with Java objects. Example JNI functions
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are converting native arrays to/from Java arrays, converting native strings to/from Java strings, instantiating objects, throwing exceptions, etc. Basically, anything that Java code can do can
be done using JNIEnv, albeit with considerably less ease.
On Linux and Solaris platforms, if the native code registers itself as a signal handler, it could intercept signals intended for the JVM. Signal chaining should be used to allow native code to
better interoperate with JVM. On Windows platforms, Structured Exception Handling (SEH) may be employed to wrap native code in SEH try/catch blocks so as to capture machine
(CPU/FPU) generated software interrupts (such as NULL pointer access violations and divide-by-zero operations), and to handle these situations before the interrupt is propagated back up
into the JVM (i.e. Java side code), in all likelihood resulting in an unhandled exception.
C++ code
For example, the following converts a Java string to a native string:
extern "C"
JNIEXPORT void JNICALL Java_ClassName_MethodName
(JNIEnv *env, jobject obj, jstring javaString)
{
//Get the native string from javaString
const char *nativeString = env->GetStringUTFChars(javaString, 0);
//Do something with the nativeString
//DON'T FORGET THIS LINE!!!
env->ReleaseStringUTFChars(javaString, nativeString);
}
The JNI framework does not provide any automatic garbage collection for non-JVM memory resources allocated by code executing on the native side. Consequently, native side code (such
as C, C++, or assembly language) must assume the responsibility for explicitly releasing any such memory resources that it itself acquires.
C code
JNIEXPORT void JNICALL Java_ClassName_MethodName
(JNIEnv *env, jobject obj, jstring javaString)
{
/*Get the native string from javaString*/
const char *nativeString = (*env)->GetStringUTFChars(env, javaString, 0);
/*Do something with the nativeString*/
/*DON'T FORGET THIS LINE!!!*/
(*env)->ReleaseStringUTFChars(env, javaString, nativeString);
}
Note that C++ JNI code is syntactically slightly cleaner than C JNI code because like Java, C++ uses object method invocation semantics. That means that in C, the env parameter is
dereferenced using (*env)-> and env has to be explicitly passed to JNIEnv methods. In C++, the env parameter is dereferenced using env-> and the env parameter is implicitly passed as
part of the object method invocation semantics.
Objective-C code
JNIEXPORT void JNICALL Java_ClassName_MethodName(JNIEnv *env, jobject obj, jstring javaString)
{
/*DON'T FORGET THIS LINE!!!*/
JNF_COCOA_ENTER(env);
/*Get the native string from javaString*/
NSString* nativeString = JNFJavaToNSString(env, javaString);
/*Do something with the nativeString*/
/*DON'T FORGET THIS LINE!!!*/
JNF_COCOA_EXIT(env);
}
JNI also allows direct access to assembly code, without even going through a C bridge.
Mapping types
Native data types can be mapped to/from Java data types. For compound types such as objects, arrays and strings the native code must explicitly convert the data by calling methods in the
JNIEnv. The following table shows the mapping of types between Java (JNI) and native code.
Native Type JNI Type
Description
Type signature
unsigned char jboolean unsigned 8 bits Z
signed char
jbyte
signed 8 bits
B
unsigned short jchar
unsigned 16 bits C
short
jshort
signed 16 bits
S
long
jint
signed 32 bits
I
long long
__int64
jlong
signed 64 bits
J
float
jfloat
32 bits
F
double
jdouble
64 bits
D
In addition, the signature "L fully-qualified-class ;" would mean the class uniquely specified by that name; e.g., the signature "Ljava/lang/String;" refers to the class
Also, prefixing [ to the signature makes the array of that type; for example, [I means the int array type. Finally, a void signature uses the V code. Here, these types are
interchangeable. You can use jint where you normally use an int, and vice-versa, without any typecasting required.
java.lang.String.
However, mapping between Java Strings and arrays to native strings and arrays is different. If you use a jstring in where a char * would be, your code could crash the JVM.
JNIEXPORT void JNICALL Java_ClassName_MethodName
(JNIEnv *env, jobject obj, jstring javaString) {
// printf("%s", javaString);
// INCORRECT: Could crash VM!
// Correct way: Create and release native string from Java string
const char *nativeString = (*env)->GetStringUTFChars(env, javaString, 0);
printf("%s", nativeString);
(*env)->ReleaseStringUTFChars(env, javaString, nativeString);
}
The encoding used for the NewStringUTF, GetStringUTFLength, GetStringUTFChars, ReleaseStringUTFChars, GetStringUTFRegion functions is not standard UTF-8, but modified
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UTF-8. The null character (U+0000) and codepoints greater than or equal to U+10000 are encoded differently in modified UTF-8. Many programs actually use these functions incorrectly
and treat the UTF-8 strings returned or passed into the functions as standard UTF-8 strings instead of modified UTF-8 strings. Programs should use the NewString, GetStringLength,
GetStringChars, ReleaseStringChars, GetStringRegion, GetStringCritical, and ReleaseStringCritical functions, which use UTF-16LE encoding on little-endian architectures
and UTF-16BE on big-endian architectures, and then use a UTF-16 to standard UTF-8 conversion routine.
The code is similar with Java arrays, as illustrated in the example below that takes the sum of all the elements in an array.
JNIEXPORT jint JNICALL Java_IntArray_sumArray
(JNIEnv *env, jobject obj, jintArray arr) {
jint buf[10];
jint i, sum = 0;
// This line is necessary, since Java arrays are not guaranteed
// to have a continuous memory layout like C arrays.
env->GetIntArrayRegion(arr, 0, 10, buf);
for (i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
sum += buf[i];
}
return sum;
}
Of course, there is much more to it than this.
JNIEnv*
A JNI environment pointer (JNIEnv*) is passed as an argument for each native function mapped to a Java method, allowing for interaction with the JNI environment within the native
method. This JNI interface pointer can be stored, but remains valid only in the current thread. Other threads must first call AttachCurrentThread() to attach themselves to the VM and
obtain a JNI interface pointer. Once attached, a native thread works like a regular Java thread running within a native method. The native thread remains attached to the VM until it calls
DetachCurrentThread() to detach itself.
To attach to the current thread and get a JNI interface pointer:
JNIEnv *env;
(*g_vm)->AttachCurrentThread (g_vm, (void **) &env, NULL);
To detach from the current thread:
(*g_vm)->DetachCurrentThread (g_vm);
HelloWorld
Code listing 10.1: HelloWorld.java
1 public class HelloWorld {
2
private native void print();
3
4
public static void main(String[] args) {
5
6
}
new HelloWorld().print();
7
8
static {
9
10
System.loadLibrary("HelloWorld");
}
11 }
HelloWorld.h
/* DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE - it is machine generated */
#include <jni.h>
/* Header for class HelloWorld */
#ifndef _Included_HelloWorld
#define _Included_HelloWorld
#ifdef __cplusplus
extern "C" {
#endif
/*
* Class:
HelloWorld
* Method:
print
* Signature: ()V
*/
JNIEXPORT void JNICALL Java_HelloWorld_print
(JNIEnv *, jobject);
#ifdef __cplusplus
}
#endif
#endif
libHelloWorld.c
#include <stdio.h>
#include "HelloWorld.h"
JNIEXPORT void JNICALL
Java_HelloWorld_print(JNIEnv *env, jobject obj)
{
printf("Hello World!\n");
return;
}
make.sh
#!/bin/sh
# openbsd 4.9
# gcc 4.2.1
# openjdk 1.7.0
JAVA_HOME=$(readlink -f /usr/bin/javac | sed "s:bin/javac::")
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:.
javac HelloWorld.java
javah HelloWorld
gcc -I${JAVA_HOME}/include -shared libHelloWorld.c -o libHelloWorld.so
java HelloWorld
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Commands to execute on POSIX
chmod +x make.sh
./make.sh
Advanced uses
Not only can native code interface with Java, it can also draw on a
Java API: java.awt.Canvas (http://docs.oracle.com/javase/7/docs/api/java/awt/Canvas.html), which is possible
with the Java AWT Native Interface. The process is almost the same, with just a few changes. The Java AWT Native Interface is only available since J2SE 1.3.
Invoking C
You can use Runtime.exec() method to invoke a program from within a running Java application. Runtime.exec() also allows you to perform operations related to the program, such as
control the program's standard input and output, wait until it completes execution, and get its exit status.
Here's a simple C application that illustrates these features. This C program will be called from Java:
#include <stdio.h>
int main() {
printf("testing\n");
return 0;
}
This application writes a string "testing" to standard output, and then terminates with an exit status of 0. To execute this simple program within a Java application, compile the C application:
Compilation
$ cc test.c -o test
Then invoke the C program using this Java code:
Code listing 10.2: Invoking C programs.
1 import java.io.InputStream;
2 import java.io.BufferedReader;
3 import java.io.InputStreamReader;
4 import java.io.IOException;
5 import java.io.InterruptedException;
6 import java.io.Process;
7 import java.io.Runtime;
8
9 import java.util.ArrayList;
10
11 public class ExecDemo {
12
public static String[] runCommand(String cmd) throws IOException {
13
14
// --- set up list to capture command output lines --ArrayList list = new ArrayList();
15
16
17
// --- start command running
Process proc = Runtime.getRuntime().exec(cmd);
18
19
// --- get command's output stream and
20
// put a buffered reader input stream on it ---
21
22
InputStream istr = proc.getInputStream();
BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(istr));
23
24
25
// --- read output lines from command
26
27
while ((str = br.readLine()) != null) {
list.add(str);
28
}
29
30
// wait for command to terminate
String str;
31
try {
proc.waitFor();
32
33
}
34
35
catch (InterruptedException e) {
36
37
}
38
// check its exit value
39
40
if (proc.exitValue() != 0) {
System.err.println("exit value was non-zero");
41
42
}
43
// close stream
44
45
br.close();
System.err.println("process was interrupted");
46
47
// return list of strings to caller
return (String[])list.toArray(new String[0]);
48
}
49
50
public static void main(String args[]) throws IOException {
51
try {
52
53
// run a command
54
55
String outlist[] = runCommand("test");
56
// display its output
for (int i = 0; i < outlist.length; i++)
System.out.println(outlist[i]);
57
58
59
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catch (IOException e) {
System.err.println(e);
62
}
}
63
64 }
The demo calls a method runCommand to actually run the program.
Code section 10.1: Running a command.
1 String outlist[] = runCommand("test");
This method hooks an input stream to the program's output stream, so that it can read the program's output, and save it into a list of strings.
Code section 10.2: Reading the program's output.
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
InputStream istr = proc.getInputStream();
BufferedReader br = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(istr));
String str;
while ((str = br.readLine()) != null) {
list.add(str);
}
Migrating C to Java
Tools exist to aid the migration of existing projects from C to Java. In general, automated translator tools fall into one of two distinct kinds:
One kind converts C code to Java byte code. It is basically a compiler that creates byte code. It has the same steps as any other C compiler. See also C to Java JVM compilers.
The other kind translates C code to Java source code. This type is more complicated and uses various syntax rules to create readable Java source code. This option is best for those
who want to move their C code to Java and stay in Java.
Byte Code
Java Byte Code is the language to which Java source is compiled and the Java Virtual Machine understands. Unlike compiled languages that have to be
specifically compiled for each different type of computers, a Java program only needs to be converted to byte code once, after which it can run on any
platform for which a Java Virtual Machine exists.
Bytecode is the compiled format for Java programs. Once a Java program has been converted to bytecode, it can be transferred across a network and
executed by Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Bytecode files generally have a .class extension. It is not normally necessary for a Java programmer to know
byte code, but it can be useful.
Other Languages
There are a number of exciting new languages being created that also compile to Java byte code, such as Groovy.
GNAT
The GNU Ada-Compiler, is capable of compiling Ada into Java-style bytecode.
ftp://cs.nyu.edu/pub/gnat
Topics:
Preface
Getting started
Language fundamentals
Classes and objects
Aggregate
Exceptions
Concurrent Programming
Javadoc & Annotations
Designing user interfaces
Advanced topics
JPython
Compiles Python to Java-style bytecode.
http://www.jpython.org/
Kawa
Compiles Scheme to Java-style bytecode.
http://www.gnu.org/software/kawa/
Example
Consider the following Java code.
outer:
for (int i = 2; i < 1000; i++) {
for (int j = 2; j < i; j++) {
if (i % j == 0)
continue outer;
}
System.out.println (i);
}
A Java compiler might translate the Java code above into byte code as follows, assuming the above was put in a method:
Code:
0:
1:
2:
3:
6:
9:
10:
11:
12:
13:
16:
17:
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iconst_2
istore_1
iload_1
sipush 1000
if_icmpge
iconst_2
istore_2
iload_2
iload_1
if_icmpge
iload_1
iload_2
44
31
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18:
19:
22:
25:
28:
31:
34:
35:
38:
41:
44:
irem
ifne
25
goto
38
iinc
2, 1
goto
11
getstatic
iload_1
invokevirtual
iinc
1, 1
goto
2
return
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# remainder
#84; //Field java/lang/System.out:Ljava/io/PrintStream;
#85; //Method java/io/PrintStream.println:(I)V
Example 2
As an example we can write a simple Foo.java source:
public class Foo {
public static void main(final String[] args) {
System.out.println("This is a simple example of decompilation using javap");
a();
b();
}
public static void a() {
System.out.println("Now we are calling a function...");
}
public static void b() {
System.out.println("...and now we are calling b");
}
}
Compile it and then move Foo.java to another directory or delete it if you wish. What can we do with javap and Foo.class ?
$javap Foo
produces this result:
Compiled from "Foo.java"
public class Foo extends java.lang.Object {
public Foo();
public static void main(java.lang.String[]);
public static void a();
public static void b();
}
As you can see the javac compiler doesn't strip any (public) variable name from the .class file. As a result the names of the functions, their parameters and types of return are exposed. (This
is necessary in order for other classes to access them.)
Let's do a bit more, try:
$javap -c Foo
Compiled from "Foo.java"
public class Foo extends java.lang.Object{
public Foo();
Code:
0:
aload_0
1:
invokespecial
#1; //Method java/lang/Object."<init>":()V
4:
return
public static void main(java.lang.String[]);
Code:
0:
getstatic
#2; //Field java/lang/System.out:Ljava/io/PrintStream;
3:
ldc
#3; //String This is a simple example of decompilation using javap
5:
invokevirtual
#4; //Method java/io/PrintStream.println:(Ljava/lang/String;)V
8:
invokestatic
#5; //Method a:()V
11: invokestatic
#6; //Method b:()V
14: return
public static void a();
Code:
0:
getstatic
#2; //Field java/lang/System.out:Ljava/io/PrintStream;
3:
ldc
#7; //String Now we are calling a function...
5:
invokevirtual
#4; //Method java/io/PrintStream.println:(Ljava/lang/String;)V
8:
return
public static void b();
Code:
0:
getstatic
#2; //Field java/lang/System.out:Ljava/io/PrintStream;
3:
ldc
#8; //String ...and now we are calling b
5:
invokevirtual
#4; //Method java/io/PrintStream.println:(Ljava/lang/String;)V
8:
return
}
The Java bytecodes
See Oracle's Java Virtual Machine Specification[1] for more detailed descriptions
The manipulation of the operand stack is notated as [before]→[after], where [before] is the stack before the instruction is executed and [after] is the stack after the instruction is executed.
A stack with the element 'b' on the top and element 'a' just after the top element is denoted 'a,b'.
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Mnemonic
Opcode
(in hex)
https://en.wikibooks.org/w/index.php?title=Java_Programming/Print_ve...
Stack
[before]→[after]
Other bytes
Description
A
aaload
32
arrayref, index → value
loads onto the stack a reference from an array
aastore
53
arrayref, index, value →
stores a reference into an array
aconst_null
01
→ null
pushes a null reference onto the stack
aload
19
→ objectref
loads a reference onto the stack from a local variable #index
index
aload_0
2a
→ objectref
loads a reference onto the stack from local variable 0
aload_1
2b
→ objectref
loads a reference onto the stack from local variable 1
aload_2
2c
→ objectref
loads a reference onto the stack from local variable 2
aload_3
2d
→ objectref
loads a reference onto the stack from local variable 3
count → arrayref
creates a new array of references of length count and component type
identified by the class reference index (indexbyte1 << 8 + indexbyte2) in the
constant pool
returns a reference from a method
anewarray
bd
indexbyte1, indexbyte2
areturn
b0
objectref → [empty]
arraylength
be
arrayref → length
gets the length of an array
astore
3a
objectref →
stores a reference into a local variable #index
astore_0
4b
objectref →
stores a reference into local variable 0
astore_1
4c
objectref →
stores a reference into local variable 1
astore_2
4d
objectref →
stores a reference into local variable 2
astore_3
4e
objectref →
stores a reference into local variable 3
athrow
bf
objectref → [empty], objectref
throws an error or exception (notice that the rest of the stack is cleared,
leaving only a reference to the Throwable)
baload
33
arrayref, index → value
bastore
54
arrayref, index, value →
stores a byte or Boolean value into an array
bipush
10
→ value
pushes a byte onto the stack as an integer value
caload
34
arrayref, index → value
loads a char from an array
castore
55
arrayref, index, value →
stores a char into an array
checkcast
c0
objectref → objectref
checks whether an objectref is of a certain type, the class reference of which
is in the constant pool at index (indexbyte1 << 8 + indexbyte2)
d2f
90
value → result
converts a double to a float
d2i
8e
value → result
converts a double to an int
d2l
8f
value → result
converts a double to a long
dadd
63
value1, value2 → result
adds two doubles
daload
31
arrayref, index → value
loads a double from an array
dastore
52
arrayref, index, value →
stores a double into an array
dcmpg
98
value1, value2 → result
compares two doubles
dcmpl
97
value1, value2 → result
compares two doubles
dconst_0
0e
→ 0.0
pushes the constant 0.0 onto the stack
dconst_1
0f
→ 1.0
pushes the constant 1.0 onto the stack
ddiv
6f
value1, value2 → result
divides two doubles
index
B
byte
loads a byte or Boolean value from an array
C
indexbyte1, indexbyte2
D
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dload
18
→ value
loads a double value from a local variable #index
dload_0
26
index
→ value
loads a double from local variable 0
dload_1
27
→ value
loads a double from local variable 1
dload_2
28
→ value
loads a double from local variable 2
dload_3
29
→ value
loads a double from local variable 3
dmul
6b
value1, value2 → result
multiplies two doubles
dneg
77
value → result
negates a double
drem
73
value1, value2 → result
gets the remainder from a division between two doubles
dreturn
af
value → [empty]
returns a double from a method
dstore
39
value →
stores a double value into a local variable #index
dstore_0
47
value →
stores a double into local variable 0
dstore_1
48
value →
stores a double into local variable 1
dstore_2
49
value →
stores a double into local variable 2
dstore_3
4a
value →
stores a double into local variable 3
dsub
67
value1, value2 → result
subtracts a double from another
dup
59
value → value, value
duplicates the value on top of the stack
dup_x1
5a
value2, value1 → value1,
value2, value1
inserts a copy of the top value into the stack two values from the top
dup_x2
5b
value3, value2, value1 →
value1, value3, value2, value1
inserts a copy of the top value into the stack two (if value2 is double or long it
takes up the entry of value3, too) or three values (if value2 is neither double
nor long) from the top
dup2
5c
{value2, value1} → {value2,
value1}, {value2, value1}
duplicate top two stack words (two values, if value1 is not double nor long; a
single value, if value1 is double or long)
index
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dup2_x1
5d
value3, {value2, value1} →
{value2, value1}, value3,
{value2, value1}
duplicate two words and insert beneath third word (see explanation above)
dup2_x2
5e
{value4, value3}, {value2,
value1} → {value2, value1},
{value4, value3}, {value2,
value1}
duplicate two words and insert beneath fourth word
f2d
8d
value → result
converts a float to a double
f2i
8b
value → result
converts a float to an int
f2l
8c
value → result
converts a float to a long
fadd
62
value1, value2 → result
adds two floats
faload
30
arrayref, index → value
loads a float from an array
fastore
51
arreyref, index, value →
stores a float in an array
fcmpg
96
value1, value2 → result
compares two floats
fcmpl
95
value1, value2 → result
compares two floats
fconst_0
0b
→ 0.0f
pushes 0.0f on the stack
fconst_1
0c
→ 1.0f
pushes 1.0f on the stack
fconst_2
0d
→ 2.0f
pushes 2.0f on the stack
fdiv
6e
value1, value2 → result
divides two floats
fload
17
→ value
loads a float value from a local variable #index
fload_0
22
→ value
loads a float value from local variable 0
fload_1
23
→ value
loads a float value from local variable 1
fload_2
24
→ value
loads a float value from local variable 2
fload_3
25
→ value
loads a float value from local variable 3
fmul
6a
value1, value2 → result
multiplies two floats
fneg
76
value → result
negates a float
frem
72
value1, value2 → result
gets the remainder from a division between two floats
freturn
ae
value → [empty]
returns a float from method
fstore
38
fstore_0
F
index
index
value →
stores a float value into a local variable #index
43
value →
stores a float value into local variable 0
fstore_1
44
value →
stores a float value into local variable 1
fstore_2
45
value →
stores a float value into local variable 2
fstore_3
46
value →
stores a float value into local variable 3
fsub
66
value1, value2 → result
subtracts two floats
G
getfield
b4
index1, index2
objectref → value
gets a field value of an object objectref, where the field is identified by field
reference in the constant pool index (index1 << 8 + index2)
getstatic
b2
index1, index2
→ value
gets a static field value of a class, where the field is identified by field
reference in the constant pool index (index1 << 8 + index2)
goto
a7
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
[no change]
goes to another instruction at branchoffset (signed short constructed from
unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8 + branchbyte2)
goto_w
c8
branchbyte1, branchbyte2, branchbyte3,
branchbyte4
[no change]
goes to another instruction at branchoffset (signed int constructed from
unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 24 + branchbyte2 << 16 + branchbyte3 << 8
+ branchbyte4)
i2b
91
value → result
converts an int into a byte
i2c
92
value → result
converts an int into a character
i2d
87
value → result
converts an int into a double
i2f
86
value → result
converts an int into a float
i2l
85
value → result
converts an int into a long
i2s
93
value → result
converts an int into a short
iadd
60
value1, value2 → result
adds two ints together
iaload
2e
arrayref, index → value
loads an int from an array
iand
7e
value1, value2 → result
performs a logical and on two integers
iastore
4f
arrayref, index, value →
stores an int into an array
iconst_m1
02
→ -1
loads the int value -1 onto the stack
iconst_0
03
→0
loads the int value 0 onto the stack
iconst_1
04
→1
loads the int value 1 onto the stack
iconst_2
05
→2
loads the int value 2 onto the stack
iconst_3
06
→3
loads the int value 3 onto the stack
iconst_4
07
→4
loads the int value 4 onto the stack
iconst_5
08
→5
loads the int value 5 onto the stack
idiv
6c
value1, value2 → result
divides two integers
if_acmpeq
a5
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
value1, value2 →
if references are equal, branch to instruction at branchoffset (signed short
constructed from unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8 + branchbyte2)
if_acmpne
a6
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
value1, value2 →
if references are not equal, branch to instruction at branchoffset (signed short
constructed from unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8 + branchbyte2)
I
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if_icmpeq
9f
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
value1, value2 →
if ints are equal, branch to instruction at branchoffset (signed short
constructed from unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8 + branchbyte2)
if_icmpne
a0
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
value1, value2 →
if ints are not equal, branch to instruction at branchoffset (signed short
constructed from unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8 + branchbyte2)
if_icmplt
a1
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
value1, value2 →
if value1 is less than value2, branch to instruction at branchoffset (signed
short constructed from unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8 + branchbyte2)
if_icmpge
a2
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
value1, value2 →
if value1 is greater than or equal to value2, branch to instruction at
branchoffset (signed short constructed from unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8
+ branchbyte2)
if_icmpgt
a3
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
value1, value2 →
if value1 is greater than value2, branch to instruction at branchoffset (signed
short constructed from unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8 + branchbyte2)
if_icmple
a4
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
value1, value2 →
if value1 is less than or equal to value2, branch to instruction at branchoffset
(signed short constructed from unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8 +
branchbyte2)
ifeq
99
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
value →
if value is 0, branch to instruction at branchoffset (signed short constructed
from unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8 + branchbyte2)
ifne
9a
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
value →
if value is not 0, branch to instruction at branchoffset (signed short
constructed from unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8 + branchbyte2)
iflt
9b
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
value →
if value is less than 0, branch to instruction at branchoffset (signed short
constructed from unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8 + branchbyte2)
ifge
9c
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
value →
if value is greater than or equal to 0, branch to instruction at branchoffset
(signed short constructed from unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8 +
branchbyte2)
ifgt
9d
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
value →
if value is greater than 0, branch to instruction at branchoffset (signed short
constructed from unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8 + branchbyte2)
ifle
9e
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
value →
if value is less than or equal to 0, branch to instruction at branchoffset (signed
short constructed from unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8 + branchbyte2)
ifnonnull
c7
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
value →
if value is not null, branch to instruction at branchoffset (signed short
constructed from unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8 + branchbyte2)
ifnull
c6
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
value →
if value is null, branch to instruction at branchoffset (signed short constructed
from unsigned bytes branchbyte1 << 8 + branchbyte2)
iinc
84
index, const
[No change]
increment local variable #index by signed byte const
iload
15
index
→ value
loads an int value from a variable #index
iload_0
1a
→ value
loads an int value from variable 0
iload_1
1b
→ value
loads an int value from variable 1
iload_2
1c
→ value
loads an int value from variable 2
iload_3
1d
→ value
loads an int value from variable 3
imul
68
value1, value2 → result
multiply two integers
ineg
74
value → result
negate int
instanceof
c1
objectref → result
determines if an object objectref is of a given type, identified by class
reference index in constant pool (indexbyte1 << 8 + indexbyte2)
indexbyte1, indexbyte2
invokeinterface
b9
indexbyte1, indexbyte2, count, 0
objectref, [arg1, arg2, ...] →
invokes an interface method on object objectref, where the interface method is
identified by method reference index in constant pool (indexbyte1 << 8 +
indexbyte2) and count is the number of arguments to pop from the stack frame
including the object on which the method is being called and must always be
greater than or equal to 1
invokespecial
b7
indexbyte1, indexbyte2
objectref, [arg1, arg2, ...] →
invoke instance method on object objectref requiring special handling
(instance initialization method, a private method, or a superclass method),
where the method is identified by method reference index in constant pool
(indexbyte1 << 8 + indexbyte2)
invokestatic
b8
indexbyte1, indexbyte2
[arg1, arg2, ...] →
invoke a static method, where the method is identified by method reference
index in constant pool (indexbyte1 << 8 + indexbyte2)
invokevirtual
b6
indexbyte1, indexbyte2
objectref, [arg1, arg2, ...] →
invoke virtual method on object objectref, where the method is identified by
method reference index in constant pool (indexbyte1 << 8 + indexbyte2)
ior
80
value1, value2 → result
logical int or
irem
70
value1, value2 → result
logical int remainder
ireturn
ac
value → [empty]
returns an integer from a method
ishl
78
value1, value2 → result
int shift left
value1, value2 → result
int shift right
value →
store int value into variable #index
ishr
7a
istore
36
istore_0
3b
value →
store int value into variable 0
istore_1
3c
value →
store int value into variable 1
istore_2
3d
value →
store int value into variable 2
istore_3
3e
value →
store int value into variable 3
isub
64
value1, value2 → result
int subtract
iushr
7c
value1, value2 → result
int shift right
ixor
82
value1, value2 → result
int xor
index
J
jsr
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a8
branchbyte1, branchbyte2
→ address
jump to subroutine at branchoffset (signed short constructed from unsigned
bytes branchbyte1 << 8 + branchbyte2) and place the return address on the
stack
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branchbyte1, branchbyte2, branchbyte3,
branchbyte4
https://en.wikibooks.org/w/index.php?title=Java_Programming/Print_ve...
jump to subroutine at branchoffset (signed int constructed from unsigned bytes
branchbyte1 << 24 + branchbyte2 << 16 + branchbyte3 << 8 +
branchbyte4) and place the return address on the stack
jsr_w
c9
→ address
l2d
8a
value → result
converts a long to a double
l2f
89
value → result
converts a long to a float
l2i
88
value → result
converts a long to an int
ladd
61
value1, value2 → result
add two longs
laload
2f
arrayref, index → value
load a long from an array
land
7f
value1, value2 → result
bitwise and of two longs
lastore
50
arrayref, index, value →
store a long to an array
lcmp
94
value1, value2 → result
compares two longs values
lconst_0
09
→ 0L
pushes the long 0 onto the stack
lconst_1
0a
→ 1L
pushes the long 1 onto the stack
ldc
12
index
→ value
pushes a constant #index from a constant pool (String, int, float or class type)
onto the stack
ldc_w
13
indexbyte1, indexbyte2
→ value
pushes a constant #index from a constant pool (String, int, float or class type)
onto the stack (wide index is constructed as indexbyte1 << 8 + indexbyte2)
ldc2_w
14
indexbyte1, indexbyte2
→ value
pushes a constant #index from a constant pool (double or long) onto the stack
(wide index is constructed as indexbyte1 << 8 + indexbyte2)
L
ldiv
6d
lload
16
value1, value2 → result
divide two longs
→ value
load a long value from a local variable #index
lload_0
lload_1
1e
→ value
load a long value from a local variable 0
1f
→ value
load a long value from a local variable 1
lload_2
20
→ value
load a long value from a local variable 2
lload_3
21
→ value
load a long value from a local variable 3
lmul
69
value1, value2 → result
multiplies two longs
lneg
75
value → result
negates a long
key →
a target address is looked up from a table using a key and execution continues
from the instruction at that address
lookupswitch
ab
index
<0-3 bytes padding>, defaultbyte1,
defaultbyte2, defaultbyte3, defaultbyte4,
npairs1, npairs2, npairs3, npairs4, matchoffset pairs...
lor
81
value1, value2 → result
bitwise or of two longs
lrem
71
value1, value2 → result
remainder of division of two longs
lreturn
ad
value → [empty]
returns a long value
lshl
79
value1, value2 → result
bitwise shift left of a long value1 by value2 positions
lshr
7b
lstore
37
value1, value2 → result
bitwise shift right of a long value1 by value2 positions
value →
lstore_0
store a long value in a local variable #index
3f
value →
store a long value in a local variable 0
lstore_1
40
value →
store a long value in a local variable 1
lstore_2
41
value →
store a long value in a local variable 2
lstore_3
42
value →
store a long value in a local variable 3
lsub
65
value1, value2 → result
subtract two longs
index
lushr
7d
value1, value2 → result
bitwise shift right of a long value1 by value2 positions, unsigned
lxor
83
value1, value2 → result
bitwise exclusive or of two longs
monitorenter
c2
objectref →
enter monitor for object ("grab the lock" - start of synchronized() section)
monitorexit
c3
objectref →
exit monitor for object ("release the lock" - end of synchronized() section)
multianewarray
c5
count1, [count2,...] → arrayref
create a new array of dimensions dimensions with elements of type identified
by class reference in constant pool index (indexbyte1 << 8 + indexbyte2); the
sizes of each dimension is identified by count1, [count2, etc]
M
indexbyte1, indexbyte2, dimensions
N
new
creates new object of type identified by class reference in constant pool index
(indexbyte1 << 8 + indexbyte2)
bb
indexbyte1, indexbyte2
→ objectref
newarray
bc
atype
count → arrayref
creates new array with count elements of primitive type identified by atype
nop
00
[No change]
performs no operation
pop
57
value →
discards the top value on the stack
pop2
58
{value2, value1} →
discards the top two values on the stack (or one value, if it is a double or long)
putfield
b5
indexbyte1, indexbyte2
objectref, value →
set field to value in an object objectref, where the field is identified by a field
reference index in constant pool (indexbyte1 << 8 + indexbyte2)
putstatic
b3
indexbyte1, indexbyte2
value →
set static field to value in a class, where the field is identified by a field
reference index in constant pool (indexbyte1 << 8 + indexbyte2)
P
R
ret
a9
return
b1
index
continue execution from address taken from a local variable #index (the
asymmetry with jsr is intentional)
[No change]
→ [empty]
return void from method
S
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saload
35
arrayref, index → value
sastore
56
arrayref, index, value →
store short to array
sipush
11
→ value
pushes a signed integer (byte1 << 8 + byte2) onto the stack
swap
5f
value2, value1 → value1,
value2
swaps two top words on the stack (note that value1 and value2 must not be
double or long)
byte1, byte2
load short from array
T
aa
[0-3 bytes padding], defaultbyte1,
defaultbyte2, defaultbyte3, defaultbyte4,
lowbyte1, lowbyte2, lowbyte3, lowbyte4,
highbyte1, highbyte2, highbyte3, highbyte4,
jump offsets...
wide
c4
opcode, indexbyte1, indexbyte2
or
iinc, indexbyte1, indexbyte2, countbyte1,
countbyte2
breakpoint
ca
reserved for breakpoints in Java debuggers; should not appear in any class file
impdep1
fe
reserved for implementation-dependent operations within debuggers; should
not appear in any class file
impdep2
ff
reserved for implementation-dependent operations within debuggers; should
not appear in any class file
cb-fd
these values are currently unassigned for opcodes and are reserved for future
use
tableswitch
index →
continue execution from an address in the table at offset index
W
[same as for corresponding
instructions]
execute opcode, where opcode is either iload, fload, aload, lload, dload, istore,
fstore, astore, lstore, dstore, or ret, but assume the index is 16 bit; or execute
iinc, where the index is 16 bits and the constant to increment by is a signed 16
bit short
Unused
(no name)
xxxunusedxxx
ba
this opcode is reserved "for historical reasons"
References
1. Oracle's Java Virtual Machine Specification (http://docs.oracle.com/javase/specs/jvms/se8/html/index.html)
External Links
Bytecode Visualizer - free Eclipse plugin for visualizing and debugging Java bytecode (http://www.drgarbage.com/bytecode-visualizer.html)
Bytecode Outline plugin for Eclipse by ObjectWeb (http://asm.objectweb.org/eclipse/index.html)
Easy illustration to fill the gap between JVM, its purpose and advantages vs JIT Compiling (http://www.technofranchise.com/java-byte-codes/)
Appendices
Links
External References
Java Certification Preparation Guides
(http://www.epractizelabs.com/)
Java Certification Mock Exams
(http://www.certification4career.com) 500+ questions
with exam simulator (this is the older 1.4 version of the
exam)
Java Language Specification (http://docs.oracle.com
/javase/specs/).
Thinking in Java (http://www.mindview.net/Books
/TIJ/)
Java 8 SDK Documentation (http://docs.oracle.com
/javase/8/docs/index.html)
Java 5 SDK Documentation in CHM Format
(http://www.zeusedit.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10)
Java 8 API Documentation (http://docs.oracle.com
/javase/8/docs/api/)
The Java Tutorial (http://docs.oracle.com/javase
/tutorial/index.html)
Sun Developer Network New to Java Center
(http://java.sun.com/developer/onlineTraining
/new2java/index.html)
A simple Java Tutorial (http://www.alnaja7.net
/Programmer/393/ITCS-393.htm)
Two Semesters of College-Level Java Lectures--Free
(http://curmudgeon99.googlepages.com/)
Java Lessons - Interactive Java programming tutorials
based on examples (http://javalessons.com)
Java Tutorials for Kids and Adults
(http://www.kidwaresoftware.com)
C2: Java Language (http://c2.com
/cgi/wiki?JavaLanguage)
NetBeans IDE (http://www.netbeans.org)
Eclipse IDE (http://www.eclipse.org)
Zeus for Windows IDE (http://www.zeusedit.com
/java.html)
Official Java Home Site (http://java.sun.com)
Original Java Whitepaper (http://java.sun.com
/docs/white/langenv/)
Complete Java Programming Tutorials
(http://www.roseindia.net/java/)
Javapassion, Java course (http://www.javapassion.com
/javaintro/) - The Javapassion Site, Java Course, driven
by Sang Shin from Sun
beanshell (http://www.beanshell.org) Interpreted
version
The Java Language Specification, Third Edition
(http://java.sun.com/docs/books/jls/third_edition
/html/j3TOC.html) "This book attempts a complete
specification of the syntax and semantics of the
language."
The Java Virtual Machine Specification, Second
Edition (http://java.sun.com/docs/books/vmspec
/2nd-edition/html/VMSpecTOC.doc.html) and
amendments (http://java.sun.com/docs/books/vmspec
/2nd-edition/jvms-clarify.html)
A pure java desktop (http://www.jdistro.com/)
Javapedia project (http://wiki.java.net/bin/view
/Javapedia/)
Bruce Eckel Thinking in Java Third edition -- [7]
(http://www.mindview.net/Books/TIJ/) (Bruce has an
C/C++ free book available on-line too)
JavaGameDevelopment
(http://javagamedevelopment.net) Daily news and
articles on Java Game Development
Java Certifications Site(SCJP,SCWCD,SCBCD,Java
5.0,SCEA (http://www.javabeat.net)
Java Programming FAQs and Tutorials
(http://www.apl.jhu.edu/~hall/java/FAQsand-Tutorials.html)
More resources (http://findshell.com)
Java lessons (http://www.landofcode.com/java/)
Online Java Tutorial
(http://computer.freeonlinebookstore.org
External links
Learn Java (http://www.concretepage.com) ad-supported site with tutorials for many languages
Java Certification Mock Exams
(http://www.certification4career.com) 500+ questions
with exam simulator
SwingWiki (http://www.swingwiki.org) - Open
documentation project containing tips, tricks and best
practices for Java Swing development
JavaTips (http://www.akkidi.com) - Blog project
containing best JAVA tips and tricks
Free Java/ Advanced Java Books
(http://www.freebookcentre.net/JavaTech
/javaCategory.html)
Free Java and J2EE eBooks
(http://www.bestebooksworld.com/default.asp?cat=55)
Java books available for free downloads
(http://www.techbooksforfree.com/java.shtml)
Roedy Green's Java & Internet Glossary
(http://www.mindprod.com/jgloss/jgloss.html) A
comprehensive reference that's also an excellent
starting point for beginners
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Full Java Tutorial (http://www.meshplex.org/wiki/Java
/Introduction_to_Java) - A collection of free premium
programming tutorials
Java Certification Practice Tests and Articles
(http://www.ucertify.com/vendors/Sun.html)
Kode Java - Learn Java Programming by Examples
(http://www.kodejava.org/)
Games Programming Wiki (http://gpwiki.org/) - Java
tutorials and lessons based on game programming
WikiJava (http://www.wikijava.org/) - Examples and
https://en.wikibooks.org/w/index.php?title=Java_Programming/Print_ve...
tutorials in Java
Download Free java ebooks from 83 ebooks collection
(http://www.ebookslab.info/download-free-javaebooks) - Free Java Ebooks to download from
ebookslab.info
Download Free Sun Certified Developer for Java Web
Services (http://ebooks.mzwriter.net/e-books
/share_ebook-310-220-sun-certified-developerfor-java-web-services) - Free Java Ebooks to
download from ebooks.mzwriter.net
Code Conventions for the Java Programming
Language (http://java.sun.com/docs/codeconv
/html/CodeConvTOC.doc.html) - At SUN
Java Lessons at LeoLoL (http://www.leolol.com
/drupal/tutorials/java/lessons) - A collection of
introductory lessons to Java
Java Exercises at LeoLoL (http://www.leolol.com
/drupal/tutorials/java/exercises) - A collection of Java
exercises with sample solutions
Java Best Practices
(http://javarevisited.blogspot.com.br) - A collection of
Java tutorials, best practices and programming tips
Newsgroups:
comp.lang.java (news:comp.lang.java) (Google's web interface (http://groups.google.com/groups?group=comp.lang.java))
Glossary
This is a glossary of the book.
Contents: Top - 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
A
annotation
A means of attaching metadata to methods and classes directly in the source code.
B
byte code
Code interpreted by the Java virtual machine; the target code of Java compilation.
G
generics
A means of passing a data type as an argument of another type, such as Vector<JButton>;
P
primitive type
One of the types that do not require allocation on stack, such as int, byte, or long.
R
reflection
A way of treating classes and methods as objects on their own, to be referred to during runtime, for instance by quering a particular class about its methods and their parameters.
Index
This is an alphabetical index to the book.
Contents: Top - 0–9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
A
K
Keywords
abstract
Arrays
ArrayList
assert
L
List
LinkedList
B
long
base class
boolean
break
M
byte
Map
Methods
C
case
N
catch
native
char
new
class
Nested Classes
ClassLoader
Collections
const
P
continue
package
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parent class
Primitive Types
D
private
default
protected
do
public
double
Dynamic Class Loading
Q
E
Queue
else
enum
Exceptions
Throwing and Catching
Examples:
Rounding number example
Singleton example
R
return
S
extends
Set
short
F
Stack
static
final
strictfp
finally
super
float
superclass
for
switch
synchronized
G
T
Generics
this
goto
throw
I
throws
transient
try
if
implements
import
V
int
interface
Variable arity (varargs)
Variable number of arguments
Vector
void
volatile
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Version 1.3, 3 November 2008 Copyright (C) 2000, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008 Free Software Foundation, Inc. <http://fsf.org/>
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