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Posts Tagged ‘Variables’

“val” versus “var” Declarations in Scala

Scala allows one to decide whether a variable is immutable or mutable. Immutable is Read only where as mutable is read-write. Immutable variables are declared with the keyword “val“.

scala> val age:Int=22

Here age has been initialized to a value during its declaration. As it has been declared as a val, age cannot be reassigned to a new value. Any attempt to do will result in al reassignment to val error. Let us consider an Array being declared as val.

scala> val names:Array[String]=new Array(6)

Here names reference cannot be changed to point to a different Array, but the array itself can be modified. In other words the contents/elements of the array can be modified.

scala> names= new Array(5) //This will give a reassignment to val error. 

scala> names(0)="Scala" //This does not give an error.

Also it is to be noted that val variables must be initialized when they are declared.

Mutable variables are delcared with the keyword “var“. Unlike val, “var” can be reassigned to different values or point to different objects. But they have to be initialised at the time of declaration.

scala> var age:Int=22
age: Int=22

scala> age=35
age: Int=35

There’s an exception to the rule that one must initialize the val’s and var’s. When they are used as constructor parameters, the val’s and var’s will be initialised when the object is instantiated. Also, derived classes can override val’s declared inside the parent classes.

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Categories: Scala Tags: , , , ,

Shadowing Variables in Java Demystified

One of the meanings of the word “Shadow” in the Oxford Dictionary is “a weak or less good version”. Shadowing in Java is also something similar. One can shadow a variable in several ways. I would try to describe the one most comman ways which would trip most of us i.e. “Hiding an instance variable by shadowing it with a local Variable”. What exactly is Shadowing in Java? Shadowing is nothing but redeclaring a variable that’s already been declared somewhere else. The effect of Shadowing is to hide the previously declared variable in such a way that it may look as though you’re using the hidden variable, but you’re actually using the shadowing variable (The Code Snippet below will make it more clear). This most of the times happens by accident and causes hard-to-find bugs.

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Categories: Java Basics Tags: , , ,