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Java Generics

Java Generics

shape Description

Java Generics, While developing a collection , if one wants to store homogeneous element where the element type should be same as the element that are added to the collection then generics is used. Type casting is not required in generics. Developer can hold a single type of objects in generics. Before generics, developer used to type cast as follows. [java]List list = new ArrayList(); list.add("hello"); String s = (String) list.get(0);//typecasting [/java] After Generics, don't need to typecast the object. [java]List list = new ArrayList(); list.add("hello"); String s = list.get(0); [/java]

shape Example

Java Generics, by using the ArrayList class following is an example, but one can use any collection class such as ArrayList, LinkedList, HashSet. [java] import java.util.ArrayList; import java.util.Iterator; public class generic { public static void main(String args[]){ ArrayList list=new ArrayList(); list.add("SPlesson"); list.add("Sam"); //list.add(32);//compile time error String s=list.get(1);//type casting is not required System.out.println("An element is: "+s); Iterator itr=list.iterator(); while(itr.hasNext()){ System.out.println(; } } } [/java] Output: When compile the code result will be as follows. [c] An element is: Sam SPlesson Sam [/c] To know more about arrays click here .

shape Generic class

The commonly type parameters are as follows: T - Type E - Element K - Key N - Number V - Value A class that can refer to any type is known as generic class. Following is an example using T type parameter to create the generic class of specific type. [java]class MyGen{ T obj; void add(T obj){this.obj=obj;} T get(){return obj;} } [/java] Where T type indicates that it can refer to any type like String, int. [java] public class generatorclass { public static void main(String args[]){ MyGen m=new MyGen(); m.add(4); //m.add("splesson");//Compile time error System.out.println(m.get()); } } [/java] Output When compile the code following is the result will be displayed. [java]4 [/java]

Generic Method

shape Description

The developer can create generic method that can accept any type of argument. Following is an example to print array of elements. [java] public class GenericMethod { public static void printArray(E[] elements) { for ( E element : elements){ System.out.println(element ); } System.out.println(); } public static void main( String args[] ) { Integer[] intArray = { 100, 200, 300 }; Character[] charArray = { 'S', 'P', 'L', 'E', 'S','S','O','O','N','S' }; System.out.println( "Printing Integer Array" ); printArray( intArray ); System.out.println( "Printing Character Array" ); printArray( charArray ); } } [/java] Here the developer used E to denote the element. [java]public static void printArray(E[] elements) { for ( E element : elements)}[/java] Output When compile the code following is the result will be displayed. Where first integer array, second character array will be displayed. [java]Printing Integer Array 100 200 300 Printing Character Array S P L E S S O O N S [/java]

Difference between generics and collections

1)Its not a class or interface,so its unfair to compare it with interfaces,comparisons are done between two things that share some common properties. 2)is actually a concept with which you can restrict the type of element you want to add into collection. There is not compile time check for the type of elements being added into collection. 3)While accessing the elements you need to write many typecasting code with if-else condition to process the data.This is a very big problem with java2 collections. 4)To resolve this problem Java vendor has added the concept of Generics in Java 5. click here .


shape Key Points

  • Java Generics are utilized to create generic classes and generic methods.
  • No need to use type casting while working with Java Generics classes.