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Fundamentally object oriented

Category: Object Oriented Concepts (page 1 of 2)

Annotations

Annotations, a form of metadata, provide data about a program that is not part of the program itself. Annotations have no direct effect on the operation of the code they annotate.

Annotations have a number of uses, among them:

  • Information for the compiler — Annotations can be used by the compiler to detect errors or suppress warnings.
  • Compile-time and deployment-time processing — Software tools can process annotation information to generate code, XML files, and so forth.
  • Runtime processing — Some annotations are available to be examined at runtime.

Annotations Basics

In its simplest form, an annotation looks like the following:

@Entity

The at sign character (@) indicates to the compiler that what follows is an annotation. In the following example, the annotation’s name is Override:

@Override
void mySuperMethod() { ... }

The annotation can include elements, which can be named or unnamed, and there are values for those elements:

@Author(
   name = "Benjamin Franklin",
   date = "3/27/2003"
)
class MyClass() { ... }

or

@SuppressWarnings(value = "unchecked")
void myMethod() { ... }

If there is just one element named value, then the name can be omitted, as in:

@SuppressWarnings("unchecked")
void myMethod() { ... }

If the annotation has no elements, then the parentheses can be omitted, as shown in the previous @Override example.

It is also possible to use multiple annotations on the same declaration:

@Author(name = "Jane Doe")
@EBook
class MyClass { ... }

If the annotations have the same type, then this is called a repeating annotation:

@Author(name = "Jane Doe")
@Author(name = "John Smith")
class MyClass { ... }

Enum Types

An enum type is a special data type that enables for a variable to be a set of predefined constants. The variable must be equal to one of the values that have been predefined for it. Common examples include compass directions (values of NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, and WEST) and the days of the week.

Because they are constants, the names of an enum type’s fields are in uppercase letters.

In the Java programming language, you define an enum type by using the enum keyword. For example, you would specify a days-of-the-week enum type as:

public enum Day {
    SUNDAY, MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY,
    THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY 
}

You should use enum types any time you need to represent a fixed set of constants. That includes natural enum types such as the planets in our solar system and data sets where you know all possible values at compile time—for example, the choices on a menu, command line flags, and so on.

Java programming language enum types are much more powerful than their counterparts in other languages. The enum declaration defines a class (called an enum type). The enum class body can include methods and other fields. The compiler automatically adds some special methods when it creates an enum. For example, they have a static values method that returns an array containing all of the values of the enum in the order they are declared. This method is commonly used in combination with the for-each construct to iterate over the values of an enum type.

Lambda Expressions

One issue with anonymous classes is that if the implementation of your anonymous class is very simple, such as an interface that contains only one method, then the syntax of anonymous classes may seem unwieldy and unclear. In these cases, you’re usually trying to pass functionality as an argument to another method, such as what action should be taken when someone clicks a button. Lambda expressions enable you to do this, to treat functionality as method argument, or code as data.

The previous section, Anonymous Classes, shows you how to implement a base class without giving it a name. Although this is often more concise than a named class, for classes with only one method, even an anonymous class seems a bit excessive and cumbersome. Lambda expressions let you express instances of single-method classes more compactly.

Ideal Use Case for Lambda Expressions

Suppose that you are creating a social networking application. You want to create a feature that enables an administrator to perform any kind of action, such as sending a message, on members of the social networking application that satisfy certain criteria. The following table describes this use case in detail:

Field Description
Name           Perform action on selected members
Primary Actor           Administrator
Preconditions          Administrator is logged in to the system.
Postconditions          Action is performed only on members that fit the specified criteria.
Main Success Scenario
  1. Administrator specifies criteria of members on which to perform a certain action.
  2. Administrator specifies an action to perform on those selected members.
  3. Administrator selects the Submit button.
  4. The system finds all members that match the specified criteria.
  5. The system performs the specified action on all matching members.
Extensions         1a. Administrator has an option to preview those members who match the specified criteria before he or she specifies the action to be performed or before selecting the Submit button.
Frequency of Occurrence         Many times during the day.

Inner, Local and Anonymous Classes

To see an inner class in use, first consider an array. In the following example, you create an array, fill it with integer values, and then output only values of even indices of the array in ascending order.

The DataStructure.java example that follows consists of:

  • The DataStructure outer class, which includes a constructor to create an instance of DataStructure containing an array filled with consecutive integer values (0, 1, 2, 3, and so on) and a method that prints elements of the array that have an even index value.
  • The EvenIterator inner class, which implements the DataStructureIterator interface, which extends the Iterator< Integer> interface. Iterators are used to step through a data structure and typically have methods to test for the last element, retrieve the current element, and move to the next element.
  • main method that instantiates a DataStructure object (ds), then invokes the printEven method to print elements of the array arrayOfInts that have an even index value.
 
public class DataStructure {
    
    // Create an array
    private final static int SIZE = 15;
    private int[] arrayOfInts = new int[SIZE];
    
    public DataStructure() {
        // fill the array with ascending integer values
        for (int i = 0; i < SIZE; i++) {
            arrayOfInts[i] = i;
        }
    }
    
    public void printEven() {
        
        // Print out values of even indices of the array
        DataStructureIterator iterator = this.new EvenIterator();
        while (iterator.hasNext()) {
            System.out.print(iterator.next() + " ");
        }
        System.out.println();
    }
    
    interface DataStructureIterator extends java.util.Iterator<Integer> { } 

    // Inner class implements the DataStructureIterator interface,
    // which extends the Iterator<Integer> interface
    
    private class EvenIterator implements DataStructureIterator {
        
        // Start stepping through the array from the beginning
        private int nextIndex = 0;
        
        public boolean hasNext() {
            
            // Check if the current element is the last in the array
            return (nextIndex <= SIZE - 1);
        }        
        
        public Integer next() {
            
            // Record a value of an even index of the array
            Integer retValue = Integer.valueOf(arrayOfInts[nextIndex]);
            
            // Get the next even element
            nextIndex += 2;
            return retValue;
        }
    }
    
    public static void main(String s[]) {
        
        // Fill the array with integer values and print out only
        // values of even indices
        DataStructure ds = new DataStructure();
        ds.printEven();
    }
}

The output is:

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 

Note that the EvenIterator class refers directly to the arrayOfInts instance variable of the DataStructure object.

You can use inner classes to implement helper classes such as the one shown in the this example. To handle user interface events, you must know how to use inner classes, because the event-handling mechanism makes extensive use of them.

Local Classes

Local classes are classes that are defined in a block, which is a group of zero or more statements between balanced braces. You typically find local classes defined in the body of a method.

Anonymous Classes

Anonymous classes enable you to make your code more concise. They enable you to declare and instantiate a class at the same time. They are like local classes except that they do not have a name. Use them if you need to use a local class only once.

Nested Classes

The Java programming language allows you to define a class within another class. Such a class is called a nested class and is illustrated here:

class OuterClass {
    ...
    class NestedClass {
        ...
    }
}

A nested class is a member of its enclosing class. Non-static nested classes (inner classes) have access to other members of the enclosing class, even if they are declared private. Static nested classes do not have access to other members of the enclosing class. As a member of the OuterClass, a nested class can be declared privatepublicprotected, or package private.

Why Use Nested Classes?

Compelling reasons for using nested classes include the following:

  • It is a way of logically grouping classes that are only used in one place: If a class is useful to only one other class, then it is logical to embed it in that class and keep the two together. Nesting such “helper classes” makes their package more streamlined.
  • It increases encapsulation: Consider two top-level classes, A and B, where B needs access to members of A that would otherwise be declared private. By hiding class B within class A, A’s members can be declared private and B can access them. In addition, B itself can be hidden from the outside world.
  • It can lead to more readable and maintainable code: Nesting small classes within top-level classes places the code closer to where it is used.

Static Nested Classes

As with class methods and variables, a static nested class is associated with its outer class. And like static class methods, a static nested class cannot refer directly to instance variables or methods defined in its enclosing class: it can use them only through an object reference.

Static nested classes are accessed using the enclosing class name:

OuterClass.StaticNestedClass

For example, to create an object for the static nested class, use this syntax:

OuterClass.StaticNestedClass nestedObject =
     new OuterClass.StaticNestedClass();

Inner Classes

As with instance methods and variables, an inner class is associated with an instance of its enclosing class and has direct access to that object’s methods and fields. Also, because an inner class is associated with an instance, it cannot define any static members itself.

Objects that are instances of an inner class exist within an instance of the outer class. Consider the following classes:

class OuterClass {
    ...
    class InnerClass {
        ...
    }
}

An instance of InnerClass can exist only within an instance of OuterClass and has direct access to the methods and fields of its enclosing instance.

To instantiate an inner class, you must first instantiate the outer class. Then, create the inner object within the outer object with this syntax:

OuterClass.InnerClass innerObject = outerObject.new InnerClass();

knowledge of Classes and Objects

With the knowledge you now have of the basics of the Java programming language, you can learn to write your own classes. In this article, you will find information about defining your own classes, including declaring member variables, methods, and constructors.

You will learn to use your classes to create objects, and how to use the objects you create.

Classes

The introduction to object-oriented concepts in the lesson titled Object-oriented Programming Concepts used a bicycle class as an example, with racing bikes, mountain bikes, and tandem bikes as subclasses. Here is sample code for a possible implementation of a Bicycle class, to give you an overview of a class declaration.

public class Bicycle {
        
    // the Bicycle class has
    // three fields
    public int cadence;
    public int gear;
    public int speed;
        
    // the Bicycle class has
    // one constructor
    public Bicycle(int startCadence, int startSpeed, int startGear) {
        gear = startGear;
        cadence = startCadence;
        speed = startSpeed;
    }        
    // the Bicycle class has
    // four methods
    public void setCadence(int newValue) {
        cadence = newValue;
    }        
    public void setGear(int newValue) {
        gear = newValue;
    }        
    public void applyBrake(int decrement) {
        speed -= decrement;
    }        
    public void speedUp(int increment) {
        speed += increment;
    }        
}

Objects

A typical Java program creates many objects, which as you know, interact by invoking methods. Through these object interactions, a program can carry out various tasks, such as implementing a GUI, running an animation, or sending and receiving information over a network. Once an object has completed the work for which it was created, its resources are recycled for use by other objects.

Here’s a small program, called CreateObjectDemo, that creates three objects: one Point object and two Rectangle objects.

public class CreateObjectDemo {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
		
        // Declare and create a point object and two rectangle objects.
        Point originOne = new Point(23, 94);
        Rectangle rectOne = new Rectangle(originOne, 100, 200);
        Rectangle rectTwo = new Rectangle(50, 100);
		
        // display rectOne's width, height, and area
        System.out.println("Width of rectOne: " + rectOne.width);
        System.out.println("Height of rectOne: " + rectOne.height);
        System.out.println("Area of rectOne: " + rectOne.getArea());
		
        // set rectTwo's position
        rectTwo.origin = originOne;
		
        // display rectTwo's position
        System.out.println("X Position of rectTwo: " + rectTwo.origin.x);
        System.out.println("Y Position of rectTwo: " + rectTwo.origin.y);
		
        // move rectTwo and display its new position
        rectTwo.move(40, 72);
        System.out.println("X Position of rectTwo: " + rectTwo.origin.x);
        System.out.println("Y Position of rectTwo: " + rectTwo.origin.y);
    }
}

This program creates, manipulates, and displays information about various objects. Here’s the output:

Width of rectOne: 100
Height of rectOne: 200
Area of rectOne: 20000
X Position of rectTwo: 23
Y Position of rectTwo: 94
X Position of rectTwo: 40
Y Position of rectTwo: 72

The following three sections use the above example to describe the life cycle of an object within a program. From them, you will learn how to write code that creates and uses objects in your own programs. You will also learn how the system cleans up after an object when its life has ended.

Control Flow Statements

The statements inside your source files are generally executed from top to bottom, in the order that they appear. Control flow statements, however, break up the flow of execution by employing decision making, looping, and branching, enabling your program to conditionally execute particular blocks of code. This section describes the decision-making statements (if-thenif-then-elseswitch), the looping statements (forwhiledo-while), and the branching statements (breakcontinuereturn) supported by the Java programming language.

The if-then Statement

The if-then statement is the most basic of all the control flow statements. It tells your program to execute a certain section of code only if a particular test evaluates to true. For example, the Bicycle class could allow the brakes to decrease the bicycle’s speed only if the bicycle is already in motion. One possible implementation of the applyBrakes method could be as follows:

void applyBrakes() {
    // the "if" clause: bicycle must be moving
    if (isMoving){ 
        // the "then" clause: decrease current speed
        currentSpeed--;
    }
}

If this test evaluates to false (meaning that the bicycle is not in motion), control jumps to the end of the if-then statement.

The if-then-else Statement

The if-then-else statement provides a secondary path of execution when an “if” clause evaluates to false. You could use an if-then-else statement in the applyBrakes method to take some action if the brakes are applied when the bicycle is not in motion. In this case, the action is to simply print an error message stating that the bicycle has already stopped.

void applyBrakes() {
    if (isMoving) {
        currentSpeed--;
    } else {
        System.err.println("The bicycle has already stopped!");
    } 
}

Expressions, Statements, and Blocks

Now that you understand variables and operators, it’s time to learn about expressions, statements, and blocks. Operators may be used in building expressions, which compute values; expressions are the core components of statements; statements may be grouped into blocks.

Expressions

An expression is a construct made up of variables, operators, and method invocations, which are constructed according to the syntax of the language, that evaluates to a single value. You’ve already seen examples of expressions, illustrated in bold below:

int cadence = 0; anArray[0] = 100; System.out.println("Element 1 at index 0: " + anArray[0]); int result = 1 + 2; // result is now 3 if (value1 == value2) 
    System.out.println("value1 == value2");

The data type of the value returned by an expression depends on the elements used in the expression. The expression cadence = 0 returns an int because the assignment operator returns a value of the same data type as its left-hand operand; in this case, cadence is an int. As you can see from the other expressions, an expression can return other types of values as well, such as boolean or String.

The Java programming language allows you to construct compound expressions from various smaller expressions as long as the data type required by one part of the expression matches the data type of the other. Here’s an example of a compound expression:

1 * 2 * 3

In this particular example, the order in which the expression is evaluated is unimportant because the result of multiplication is independent of order; the outcome is always the same, no matter in which order you apply the multiplications. However, this is not true of all expressions. For example, the following expression gives different results, depending on whether you perform the addition or the division operation first:

x + y / 100    // ambiguous

You can specify exactly how an expression will be evaluated using balanced parenthesis: ( and ). For example, to make the previous expression unambiguous, you could write the following:

(x + y) / 100  // unambiguous, recommended

If you don’t explicitly indicate the order for the operations to be performed, the order is determined by the precedence assigned to the operators in use within the expression. Operators that have a higher precedence get evaluated first. For example, the division operator has a higher precedence than does the addition operator. Therefore, the following two statements are equivalent:

x + y / 100 

x + (y / 100) // unambiguous, recommended

When writing compound expressions, be explicit and indicate with parentheses which operators should be evaluated first. This practice makes code easier to read and to maintain.

Statements

Statements are roughly equivalent to sentences in natural languages. A statement forms a complete unit of execution. The following types of expressions can be made into a statement by terminating the expression with a semicolon (;).

  • Assignment expressions
  • Any use of ++ or --
  • Method invocations
  • Object creation expressions

Such statements are called expression statements. Here are some examples of expression statements.

// assignment statement
aValue = 8933.234;
// increment statement
aValue++;
// method invocation statement
System.out.println("Hello World!");
// object creation statement
Bicycle myBike = new Bicycle();

In addition to expression statements, there are two other kinds of statements: declaration statements and control flow statements. A declaration statement declares a variable. You’ve seen many examples of declaration statements already:

// declaration statement
double aValue = 8933.234;

Finally, control flow statements regulate the order in which statements get executed.

Blocks

block is a group of zero or more statements between balanced braces and can be used anywhere a single statement is allowed. The following example, BlockDemo, illustrates the use of blocks:

class BlockDemo {
     public static void main(String[] args) {
          boolean condition = true;
          if (condition) { // begin block 1
               System.out.println("Condition is true.");
          } // end block one
          else { // begin block 2
               System.out.println("Condition is false.");
          } // end block 2
     }
}

Arithmetic and Unary Operators

Arithmetic Operators

The Java programming language provides operators that perform addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. There’s a good chance you’ll recognize them by their counterparts in basic mathematics. The only symbol that might look new to you is “%”, which divides one operand by another and returns the remainder as its result.

Operator Description
+ Additive operator (also used for String concatenation)
- Subtraction operator
* Multiplication operator
/ Division operator
% Remainder operator

The Unary Operators

The unary operators require only one operand; they perform various operations such as incrementing/decrementing a value by one, negating an expression, or inverting the value of a boolean.

Operator Description
+ Unary plus operator; indicates positive value (numbers are positive without this, however)
- Unary minus operator; negates an expression
++ Increment operator; increments a value by 1
-- Decrement operator; decrements a value by 1
! Logical complement operator; inverts the value of a boolean

Operators

Now that you’ve learned how to declare and initialize variables, you probably want to know how to do something with them. Learning the operators of the Java programming language is a good place to start. Operators are special symbols that perform specific operations on one, two, or three operands, and then return a result.

As we explore the operators of the Java programming language, it may be helpful for you to know ahead of time which operators have the highest precedence. The operators in the following table are listed according to precedence order. The closer to the top of the table an operator appears, the higher its precedence. Operators with higher precedence are evaluated before operators with relatively lower precedence. Operators on the same line have equal precedence. When operators of equal precedence appear in the same expression, a rule must govern which is evaluated first. All binary operators except for the assignment operators are evaluated from left to right; assignment operators are evaluated right to left.

Operator Precedence
Operators Precedence
postfix expr++ expr--
unary ++expr --expr +expr -expr ~ !
multiplicative * / %
additive + -
shift << >> >>>
relational < > <= >= instanceof
equality == !=
bitwise AND &
bitwise exclusive OR ^
bitwise inclusive OR |
logical AND &&
logical OR ||
ternary ? :
assignment = += -= *= /= %= &= ^= |= <<= >>= >>>=

In general-purpose programming, certain operators tend to appear more frequently than others; for example, the assignment operator “=” is far more common than the unsigned right shift operator “>>>”. With that in mind, the following discussion focuses first on the operators that you’re most likely to use on a regular basis, and ends focusing on those that are less common. Each discussion is accompanied by sample code that you can compile and run. Studying its output will help reinforce what you’ve just learned.

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