Declaration of variables and members

Access specifiers:

 Private :TBA

Protected: TBA

Public : TBA

Access Modifiers:

  • There are three access modifiers: public, protected and private.
  • There are four access levels: public, protected, default and private.
  • Classes can have public or default accesses.
  • A class with default access can be seen only by classes within the same package.
  • A class with public access can be seen by all classes from all packages.
  • Class visibility revolves around whatever code in one class can

Class Modifiers (Non Access):

  • Classes can also modified with final, abstract or strictfp
  • A class cannot be final and abstract
  • A final class cannot be sub classed
  • An abstract class cannot be instantiated.
  • A single abstract method in a class means the whole class must be abstract.
  • An abstract class can have both abstract and non abstract methods.
  • The first concrete class extends an abstract class must implement all of its abstract class methods.

Interface declaration:

  • Interfaces are constants for what a class can do, but they say nothing about the way in which the class must do it.
  • Interfaces can be implemented by any class from any inheritance tree.
  • An interface is like a 100 percent abstract class and it is implicitly abstract weather you type the abstract modifier in the declaration or not.
  • An interface is can have only methods, no concrete methods allowed.
  • Interface methods are by default public and abstract explicit deliration of these modifiers is optional.
  • Interface can have constants, which are always implicitly public, static and final.
  • Interface constants declarations of public, static and final are optional in any combination.
  • A legal non abstract implementing class has the following properties:
  1. It provides concrete implementations for the interface methods.
  2. It must follow all legal override rules for the methods it implements.
  3. It must not declare any new checked exceptions for implementation methods.
  4. It must not declare any checked exceptions that are broader then the exceptions declared in the interface method.
  5. It may declare runtime exceptions on any interface method implementation regardless of the interface declaration.
  6. If it must maintain the exact signature (allowing for covariant returns) and return type of the methods it implements (but doesn’t nave to declare the exceptions of the interface).
  7. A class implementing the interface can itself be abstract.
  8. An abstract implementing class doesn’t have to implement the interface methods (but the first concrete class must).
  9. A class can extend only one class (no multiple interface), but it can implement many interfaces.
  10. Interface can extend one or more interfaces.
  11. Interface cannot extend a class or implement a class or interface.

Member Access Modifiers:

  • Methods and instance (nonlocal) variables are known as “members”.
  • Members can use all four access levels: public, protected, default and private.
  • Member access comes in two forms
  1. Code in one class can access a member of another class.
  2. A subclass can access a member of another class.
  • If a class cannot be accessed its member cannot be accessed.
  • Determine class visibility before determining the member visibility.
  • Public members can be accessed by all the other classes even in the other packages.
  • Member accessed without dot (.) operator must belong to the same class.
  • this Always refers to the current executing object.
  • aMethod() is same as just invoking aMethod();
  • Private member can only access by the code in the same class.
  • Private members are not visible to the sub classes, so private members cannot be inherited.
  • Default and protected differ only when subclasses are invoked.
  • Default members can ne accessed only by classes in the same package, and sub classes regarding to that package.
  • Protected members can be accessed by other classes in the same package and subclasses regardless of package.
  • Protected = package plus kids (kids means subclasses).
  • For subclasses outside the package, the protected member can be accessed only through inheritance. A subclass outside the package cannot access a protected member by using a reference to a super class instance (in other words, Inheritance is the only mechanism for a subclass outside the package to access a protected member of its super class.
  • A protected member inherited by a subclass from another package is not accessible to any other class in the subclass package except for the subclass’ own package.

Local Variables:

  • Local (method, automatic or stack) variables declarations cannot have access modifiers.
  • Final is the only modifier available for local variables.
  • Local variables don’t get default values so they must be initialized before use.

Other modifiers- Members:

  • Final methods cannot be overridden in the subclasses.
  • Abstract methods are declared, with a signature, a return type, and an optional throws clause but are not implemented.
  • Abstract methods ends with a semicolon not with curly braces.
  • Three ways to spot a non-abstract method
  1. The method is not marked abstract.
  2. The method has curly braces.
  3. The method has code between the curly braces
  • The first non-abstract (concrete) class to extend an abstract class must implement all of the abstract classes’ abstract methods.
  • The synchronized modifier applies only to methods and code blocks.
  • Synchronized methods can have any access control and can also be marked final.
  • Abstract methods must be implemented by a subclass, so they must be inheritable, fro that reason:
  1. Abstract methods cannot be private.
  2. Abstract methods cannot be final.
  3. The native modifier applies to apply only to methods.
  4. Strictfp modifier applies only for class and methods.

Methods with var-args:

  • As on java 5, methods can declare a parameter that accepts from zero to many arguments, a so-called var-args method.
  • A var-arg parameter is declared with the syntax type…. Name; for instance:


  • A var-arg method can have only one var-arg parameter.
  • In methods with normal parameters and a var-arg, the var-arg must come last.

Variable declarations:

  • Instance variables can:
  1. Have any access control.
  2. Be marked final or transient.
  3. Instance variables can’t be abstract, synchronized, native or strictfp.
  • It is legal to declare a local variable with the same name as an instance variable; this is called “shadowing”.
  • Final variables can have the following properties:
  1. Final variables cannot be reinitialized once assigned a value.
  2. Final reference variables cannot be refer to a different object once the object has been assigned to the final variable.
  3. Final reference variables must be initialized before the before the constructor completes.
  4. There is no such thing as final object. An object reference marked final does not mean the object itself is immutable.
  5. The transient modifier applies only to instance variables.
  6. The volatile modifier applies only to instance variables.

Array Declarations:

  • Arrays can hold primitives and objects, but the array itself is always an object.
  • When you declare an array the brackets can be to the left or right of the variable names.
  • It is never legal to include the size of an array in the declaration.
  • An array of objects can hold any object that passes the IS-A (of instance of) test for the declared type of the array. For example, if Horse extends Animal, then a Horse object can go into an Animal array.

Static Variables and Methods:

  • Static variables or methods are not tied to any particular instance or class.
  • No class’s instances are needed in order to use static members of the class.
  • There is only one copy of a static variable / class and all instances share it.
  • Static methods do not have direct access to non-static members.


  • An enum specifies a list of constant variables assigned to at type.
  • An enum is NOT a String or int, an enum constant’s type is the enum type. For example. SUMMER and FALL are of the enum type Season.
  • An enum can be declared outside a class must NOT be marked static, final, abstract, protected or private.
  • Enums can contain constructors, methods, variables and constant class bodies.
  • Enum constant send arguments to the enum constructor, using the syntax BIG (8), where the int literal 8 is passed to the enum constructor.
  • Enum constructors can have arguments, and can be overloaded.
  • Enum constructors can NEVER be invoked directly in code. They are always called automatically when an enum is initialized.
  • The semicolon at the end of an enum declaration is optional. These are legal:

enum foo{ ONE, TWO, Three}

enum foo{ ONE, TWO, Three};

  • values() returns an array if MyEnum’s values.

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