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Chapter 15 Builder Summary prepared by Kirk Scott 1.

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1 Chapter 15 Builder Summary prepared by Kirk Scott 1

2 Design Patterns in Java Chapter 15 Builder Summary prepared by Kirk Scott 2

3 Hairy Woodpecker From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Redirected from Hairy woodpecker)Hairy woodpecker 3

4 4

5 The Introduction Before the Introduction All patterns occur in some context The book’s example occurs in the context of parsing Parsing overall is not a small topic, so explaining the background takes up some time I also present an example where input comes through a GUI rather than through parsing 5

6 Builder One explanation for the use of the builder class is that at a given time, not all of the information needed (construction parameters) may be available to do construction Construction parameters may have to be parsed from some input string Or they may come in from some kind of user interface Actual construction has to be delayed 6

7 Another explanation for using the Builder design pattern is that construction can be moderately complicated in some cases Instead of cluttering up the class code with these complexities, you want to have the class contain just the normal methods and simple constructors You can offload the more complex versions of construction into a builder class 7

8 Specifically, construction can become complicated when you want to validate input parameters The builder design pattern is more than just an input verification pattern However, a simple way of understanding how it was developed and a case where you would want to apply it is to remember that it is a pattern which supports input verification for construction 8

9 Book Definition of Pattern Book definition: The intent of the Builder pattern is to move the construction logic for an object outside the class to be instantiated. Comment mode on: By definition, construction is being offloaded. Offloading also makes it possible for actual construction to be delayed. 9

10 Ordinary Construction An ordinary constructor expects all of the construction parameters to be available at the time the constructor is called For an ordinary constructor: – The construction parameters have to exist – They should be valid/contain valid values 10

11 Constructing when not all Parameters are Available In the book’s parsing example, the construction parameters have to be extracted from a String Not all parameters will be available up front The builder is an intermediate object that can hold input values until all are available to construct the base object desired 11

12 The Fireworks Reservation Example The book paints the following scenario: Suppose reservations for fireworks shows are submitted as text strings like this example: Date, November 5, Headcount, 250, City, Springfield, DollarsPerHead, 9.95, HasSite, False 12

13 The syntax of the input string is clear Items are separated by commas The order may be important, or the fact that each value is preceded by a label/variable name may mean that there is flexibility in the order 13

14 Why a Builder Might Be Useful Two simple approaches to the construction of a reservation object illustrate the difficulties you can encounter if you don’t use the builder pattern 1. Suppose you used a default constructor to construct an empty reservation Then, as the input string was parsed, set methods could be called to set the instance variable values 14

15 The shortcoming to this approach: Midway through parsing you may encounter an error, an invalid parameter value, or a missing parameter value If this could happen (and it could), the client code which parses and sets the values has to be written to handle such an error condition In other words, you would need to enclose the parsing and setting actions in if statements 15

16 2. Alternatively, you could “save up” construction parameters, but without verifying them Then you could attempt to construct Construction will fail, potentially catastrophically, if input parameters are incorrect 16

17 Under this scheme you could try to write the constructor code to verify input parameters This approach leads to the same unpleasantness already encountered in some of the discussion of the singleton pattern A constructor that doesn’t successfully construct, which conceivably returns null, or more likely, throws an exception, is not highly desirable 17

18 The builder design pattern gets around the potential problems of both of the foregoing scenarios Parsing and verifying are done before trying to construct This means you don’t have to try and verify or handle error conditions in client code and you also don’t have to put the verification code into the class constructor 18

19 Responsibility Aspects of this design pattern can be described in terms of responsibility You don’t want to do ad hoc parsing and verifying in every client program The client shouldn’t be responsible for the base class On the other hand, this pattern is a step away from pure responsibility of the base class for itself 19

20 The builder pattern gives an organized way of putting the verification logic into a single class that can be re-used, without burdening the base class with these details In other words, the responsibility for construction, under these special circumstances where the input parameters need to be verified, one after the other, is put into the builder class 20

21 The Book’s Example The UML diagram on the next overhead shows some of the classes that will be needed for the book’s overall design 21

22 22

23 The example has a Reservation class – This is the base class that is ultimately to be constructed The example has a ReservationParser class – This class has a builder instance variable – Construction of an instance of parser takes an instance of a builder as a parameter – This is how the builder instance variable is initialized 23

24 The example has a ReservationBuilder class, which is abstract – It is abstract because it contains an abstract builder method named build() – This is the method that actually constructs the Reservation object – Before the example is complete, concrete builder classes will be needed that implement this method – The implementations will contain a call to the constructor for the Reservation class 24

25 The ReservationBuilder class, continued – The UML diagram illustrates another fundamental thing about the book’s scenario – Not only has Reservation construction been offloaded into build() in ReservationBuilder – The get and set methods for the Reservation class are mirrored in the ReservationBuilder class – Even though not explicitly shown, the mirroring of the set methods tells you that the instance variables of Reservation have also been mirrored 25

26 Note A student once asked, why pass a builder in to the parser? Why not just construct the builder within the parser? The answer has to do with the fact that eventually there will be multiple concrete builder classes The client code gets to choose which kind of builder object to pass in for the parser to use 26

27 The Plan of Action Making an instance of Reservation involves these steps: 1. First you create a Builder object (empty) 2. Then you create a Parser object passing it the builder object 3. Then you call the parse() method on the parser passing it the String which contains the information about a reservation 27

28 Inside the parse() method, you parse out the individual parameters Parsing can involve if statements, making sure that values parsed from the String are valid, but this isn’t yet the verification step for building a Reservation object As you get the values from the String, you call the set methods for these variables on the builder object 28

29 4. At the end of the parse() method code you call the build() method on the builder The build() method verifies that the builder’s instance variable values are valid as construction parameters for a base class object If they are OK, the base class constructor will be called with these parameters Otherwise, the build() method will throw an exception 29

30 Note that it is the build() method that can throw an exception This is the place where ultimate responsibility for validating input has been offloaded to In other words, the ReservationBuilder class is now responsible for the verification of input parameters for Reservation construction 30

31 Why is the ReservationBuilder Class Abstract? In general, a simple example scenario could have a concrete ReservationBuilder class with a concrete build() method However, you may want to build in different ways in different cases This leads the authors to develop several different builders with different characteristics 31

32 The idea is that building can take on a life of its own Once building takes on a life of its own, the pattern begins to make sense Each of the different building scenarios is implemented in its own builder class 32

33 You’re extracting construction logic from the constructor of the base class and implementing it in a separate class Just as a simple class can have multiple constructors— A class with more complicated construction conditions can have multiple builders 33

34 The alternative is to write constructor code with complex logic for a variety of different cases The base class begins to become responsible for “too much stuff” The builder approach is cleaner 34

35 Building, although closely related to construction, is not construction itself The responsibility for verifying construction parameters is encapsulated in separate classes devoted to that The base class is no longer fully responsible for itself 35

36 What Does the ReservationParser Class Do in the Example? Before considering the concrete subclasses of the ReservationBuilder, it’s necessary to examine the role of the ReservationParser in the example Keep in mind that you need input parameters from somewhere, but that a parser isn’t intrinsically part of the pattern 36

37 Calling the parse() method on a ReservationParser object, passing it a String, s, is the first step towards constructing a reservation The parse() method tries to extract construction parameters for a reservation from the String s The String s is a comma separated list 37

38 The parse() method makes use of a method named split() from the String class A call to split() takes the form of s.split(“,”) The call to split() returns an array of Strings, known as tokens, which are the substrings of s which are separated by commas 38

39 The parse() method also makes use of formatting and parsing characteristics of the Date class Among the things that happens with dates is that a month and day are always pushed into the next year so that reservations are for the future, not the past 39

40 When constructed, the ReservationParser accepts a reference to a builder object The parse() method examines the tokens of the input String one-by-one If they appear to be of the right type, inside the parse() method the set() method for the corresponding Reservation instance variable is called on the builder object 40

41 Passing the reference to builder into the parser as a construction parameter allows calls to set() in the parse method to change the builder Then, after the call to parse(), the call to build() can be made on the changed builder object in the client code The code for the parse() method is shown beginning on the next overhead 41

42 public void parse(String s) throws ParseException { String[] tokens = s.split(","); for(int i = 0; i < tokens.length; i += 2) { String type = tokens[i]; String val = tokens[i + 1]; if("date".compareToIgnoreCase(type) == 0) { Calendar now = Calendar.getInstance(); DateFormat formatter = DateFormat.getDateInstance(); Date d = formatter.parse(val + ", “ + now.get(Calendar.YEAR)); builder.setDate(ReservationBuilder.futurize(d)); } 42

43 else if("headcount".compareToIgnoreCase(type) == 0) builder.setHeadCount(Integer.parseInt(val)); else if("City".compareToIgnoreCase(type) == 0) builder.setCity(val.trim()); else if("DollarsPerHead".compareToIgnoreCase(type) == 0) builder.setDollars(Double.parseDouble(val))); else if("HasSite".compareToIgnoreCase(type) == 0) builder.setHasSite(val.equalsIgnoreCase("true"); /******* Back in the good old days you couldn’t end a sequence of if/else if statements without a final else, but now you can, and that's the way the code is given in the book. *******/ } 43

44 What Could Go Wrong with Parsing? Parsing can go wrong basically if the input String s is flawed The list might not be correctly comma separated or some of the values might not be of the right type The parser doesn’t look beyond these kinds of problems 44

45 What Do the Individual, Concrete Builder Classes Do? In general, the task of the individual builders is to build under constraints Constraints can be things like valid ranges for the values of construction parameters It is the builder classes that are designed to implement those kinds of constraints and be more or less forgiving of faulty input 45

46 In other words, given the construction parameters extracted from the input String by the parser, what can you do with them? Suppose that every reservation had to have a non-null date and city Or suppose, at a more fine-grained level, there have to be at least 25 people in the audience and the total bill has to be at least $

47 In support of these constraints, a builder class might contain these declarations: public abstract class ReservationBuilder { public static final int MINHEAD = 25; public static final Dollars MINTOTAL = new Dollars(495.95); // … } 47

48 Varying checks for validity can then be put into the build() method of the builder classes rather than the base class (or the parser) The UML diagram on the following overhead shows two concrete subclasses of the abstract class ReservationBuilder, one a forgiving builder and one an unforgiving builder 48

49 49

50 In the ReservationBuilder classes the build() method either returns a reference to a newly constructed Reservation object Or it throws an exception, in this case a BuilderException The UnforgivingBuilder and the ForgivingBuilder differ according to the conditions under which they throw a BuilderException 50

51 It may be worth noting the following: We don’t want to have constructors which throw exceptions In essence we’ve wrapped construction in a build() method which can throw an exception in case of inability to construct It is far preferable to have a method like this which throws and exception rather than a constructor which can fail 51

52 Before considering the implementation of one of the builder classes, the book shows some code illustrating how the parser and a builder would be related It is given on the next overhead It will be followed by commentary 52

53 public class ShowUnforgiving { public static void main(String[] args) { String sample = “Date, November 5, Headcount, 250” + “City, Springfield, DollarsPerHead, 9.95” + “HasSite, False”; ReservationBuilder builder = new UnforgivingBuilder(); try { new ReservationParser(builder).parse(sample); Reservation res =; System.out.println(“Unforgiving builder: “ + res); } catch(Exception e) { System.out.println(e.getMessage()); } 53

54 In the client, the builder is created up front The parser is created, passing in the builder parse() is then called on the parser, passing in the string Recall that inside the parse() method the set methods are called on the builder object one- by-one 54

55 After the parsing is done, build() is called on the builder If the parameters weren’t right, the build() method will throw an exception If the parameters were all right, the build() method will construct a reservation object and return a reference to it 55

56 It is apparent that validation/verification is occurring Also, to put this in the same terms as the pattern was initially introduced: The end result of this collection of interrelated classes is that actual construction of the Reservation object is delayed 56

57 These are the critical lines of code: ReservationBuilder builder = new UnforgivingBuilder(); try { new ReservationParser(builder).parse(sample); Reservation res =; System.out.println(“Unforgiving builder: “ + res); Because the sample string is OK, this code will simply print out the message “Unforgiving builder: ” followed by the successfully built reservation 57

58 Challenge 15.2 “The build() method of the UnforgivingBuilder class thows a BuilderException if the date or city is null, if the headcount is too low, or if the total cost of the proposed reservation is too low. Write the code for the build() method according to these specifications.” 58

59 Comment mode on: In essence the build() method will turn out to be a bunch of if statements potentially followed by construction of the desired reservation object. 59

60 Solution 15.2 “The build() method of UnforgivingBuilder throws an exception if any attribute is invalid and otherwise returns a valid Reservation object. Here is one implementation:” [See next overhead.] 60

61 public Reservation build() throws BuilderException { if(date == null) throw new BuilderException(“Valid date not found”); if(city == null) throw new BuilderException(“Valid city not found”); if(headcount < MINHEAD) throw new BuilderException(“Minimum headcount is ” + MINHEAD); if(dollarsPerHead.times(headcount).isLessThan(MINTOTAL)) throw new BuilderException(“Minimum total cost is ” + MINTOTAL); return new Reservation(date, headCount, city, dollarsPerHead, hasSite); } 61

62 Solution 15.2, continued. “The code checks that date and city values are set and checks that headcount and dollars/head values are acceptable. The ReservationBuilder superclass defines the constants MINHEAD and MINTOTAL. If the builder encounters no problems, it returns a valid Reservation object.” 62

63 Comment mode on: In order to understand the build() method, you have to remember how the parser and the builder are related. The parser is passed the builder As the parser runs, it calls the set methods for the parameters of the builder 63

64 After the parser is finished, these instance variables are either set to acceptable values or not In the build() method code, the if statements depend on the state that the parser left the instance variables of the builder object in End of Solution

65 A Forgiving Builder The book completes its example by giving an implementation of the ForgivingBuilder class. In order to save some time, this will not presented. Instead, the rest of the overheads will cover a separate example which doesn’t rely on parsing. 65

66 The Pattern at Its Most Basic It is true that you have to get base class construction parameters from somewhere However, forget the parser for the moment and assume that the parameters are simply available in the client code The client code would consist of the parts shown on the following overhead 66

67 Construct the builder object Call the set methods on the builder object, passing in the base class construction parameters Call the build() method on the builder object, in a try block The build() method verifies the construction parameters before calling the base class constructor 67

68 Another Example An example based on cups will be given next Input values have to come from somewhere This example obtains construction values from a listener in a graphical user interface rather than from parsing a string This example is more complicated (and realistic) than the simple summary given on the previous overhead However, it is simpler than the book example because it doesn’t involve parsing 68

69 Keep in mind what the pattern does It offloads construction of an object of one class to another class That other class manages delayed construction of the object 69

70 The code for these classes is given as the basis of the example: and The example will be completed with implementations of these classes: and 70

71 The basis for this example is that a Cup, the ultimate class of interest, has two instance variables They are String name (of owner) and int seedCount The CupBuilder class has two String instance variables The ForgivingCupBuilder class inherits these The build() method uses these inherited instance variables to construct an instance of the Cup class. 71

72 The name of a Cup’s owner is a String, so the inherited instance variable that the builder works with is of the right type. The seedCount of a Cup is an int, so it's necessary to parse the String instance variable of the ForgivingCupBuilder class and turn it into an int before using it as a construction parameter for a Cup. 72

73 The ForgivingCupBuilder class implements the following logic: A. An instance of the Cup class can't be constructed without an owner. The build() method should throw an exception if the value for the owner is the empty String (""). This part of the building process is "unforgiving". 73

74 B. The build() method should forgive cases where the String value for the seedCount is the empty String (""). In this case, an instance of Cup should be constructed with a seedCount of 0. 74

75 The ForgivingCupBuilder class is not intended to solve all of the problems of faulty input. For example, the code does not deal with the case where a user enters a value for the seedCount field which would not parse as an int. It simply deals with the case where the user doesn't enter anything at all for the seedCount field. 75

76 The application maintains a list of cups that are created The application also includes a JTextArea for output, which records the success or failure of attempts to create cups and add them to the list A screenshot of the application is shown on the next overhead 76

77 77

78 This logic of building closely parallels the book’s example, but with different classes This example is different from the book example because it is graphical in nature Rather than working with an input string, the example works with values that are entered into JTextFields in the application 78

79 For that reason, building is done without a separate parser class Specific Integer/String parsing does occur Also, there have to be steps where the values are acquired from the text fields and stored in the corresponding instance variables But this is done within the BuildListener class, part of the graphical user interface, not in a separate parser class 79

80 A UML diagram for the application is given on the following overhead Note how clicking the button triggers the listener that acquires the values needed for building It is also within the code for the listener that the builder is constructed and the call to the build() method is made on it 80

81 81

82 The code for the example is given on the following overheads. 82

83 /* This is the class you’re actually constructing instances of. */ public class Cup { private String ownersName; private int seedCount; public Cup() { } public Cup(String ownersNameIn, int seedCountIn) { ownersName = ownersNameIn; seedCount = seedCountIn; } public void setOwnersName(String ownersNameIn) { ownersName = ownersName; } 83

84 public String getOwnersName() { return ownersName; } public void setSeedCount(int seedCountIn) { seedCount = seedCountIn; } public int getSeedCount() { return seedCount; } public String toString() { return ("Cup[ownersName=" + ownersName + ", seedCount=" + seedCount + "]"); } 84

85 /* This is the class that contains all of the graphical machinery—as well as the building. */ import java.awt.*; import java.awt.event.*; import javax.swing.*; import java.lang.*; import java.util.*; public class BuildFromTextFields { public static void main(String[] args) { BuildFrame myframe = new BuildFrame(); myframe.setVisible(true); } 85

86 class BuildFrame extends JFrame { private BuildPanel myPanel; private final int FRAMEW = 700; private final int FRAMEH = 700; public BuildFrame() { setTitle("Build Frame"); setSize(FRAMEW, FRAMEH); setDefaultCloseOperation(JFrame.EXIT_ON_CLOSE); myPanel = new BuildPanel(); Container contentPane = getContentPane(); contentPane.add(myPanel, "Center"); } 86

87 class BuildPanel extends JPanel { private JTextField ownersNameField; private JTextField seedCountField; private JButton buildCupButton; private String ownersNameString; private String seedCountString; ArrayList listOfCups; JTextArea myTextArea; 87

88 public BuildPanel() { listOfCups = new ArrayList (); JLabel label1 = new JLabel("Owner's Name:"); ownersNameField = new JTextField("", 12); JLabel label2 = new JLabel("Seed Count:"); seedCountField = new JTextField("", 4); buildCupButton = new JButton("Create Cup"); BuildListener myButtonListener = new BuildListener(); buildCupButton.addActionListener(myButtonListener); myTextArea = new JTextArea(12, 24); JScrollPane myScrollPane = new JScrollPane(myTextArea, JScrollPane.VERTICAL_SCROLLBAR_ALWAYS, JScrollPane.HORIZONTAL_SCROLLBAR_ALWAYS); 88

89 JPanel subPanel1 = new JPanel(); JPanel subPanel2 = new JPanel(); JPanel subPanel3 = new JPanel(); JPanel subPanel4 = new JPanel(); JPanel subPanel5 = new JPanel(); JPanel subPanel6 = new JPanel(); subPanel1.add(label1); subPanel2.add(ownersNameField); subPanel3.add(label2); subPanel4.add(seedCountField); subPanel5.add(buildCupButton); subPanel6.add(myScrollPane); setLayout(new GridLayout(3, 2)); add(subPanel1); add(subPanel2); add(subPanel3); add(subPanel4); add(subPanel5); add(subPanel6); } 89

90 public void paintComponent(Graphics g) { Graphics2D g2 = (Graphics2D) g; super.paintComponent(g2); } 90

91 /* This is the listener attached to the button in the application. Clicking the button is supposed to construct a cup based on the values in the JTextFields. This is where the ForgivingCupBuilder is put into action. */ private class BuildListener implements ActionListener { public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent event) { ForgivingCupBuilder myBuilder; Cup myCup = null; ownersNameString = ownersNameField.getText(); ownersNameField.setText(""); seedCountString = seedCountField.getText(); seedCountField.setText(""); 91

92 myBuilder = new ForgivingCupBuilder(ownersNameString, seedCountString); try { myCup =; } catch(Exception buildException) { myTextArea.append("\nCaught build exception.\n"); } 92

93 if(myCup != null) { listOfCups.add(myCup); } myTextArea.append("\nLatest contents of listOfSeeds.\n"); for(Cup aCup: listOfCups) { myTextArea.append(aCup.toString() + "\n"); } 93

94 /* This is the abstract CupBuilder superclass. It contains the declaration of the abstract build() method. */ public abstract class CupBuilder { private String ownersName; private String seedCountString; public CupBuilder() { } public CupBuilder(String ownersNameIn, String seedCountStringIn) { ownersName = ownersNameIn; seedCountString = seedCountStringIn; } public void setOwnersName(String ownersNameIn) { ownersName = ownersName; } 94

95 public String getOwnersName() { return ownersName; } public void setSeedCount(String seedCountStringIn) { seedCountString = seedCountStringIn; } public String getSeedCountString() { return seedCountString; } public String toString() { return ("CupBuilder[ownersName=" + ownersName + ", seedCount=" + seedCountString + "]"); } public abstract Cup build() throws Exception; } 95

96 /* This is the ForgivingCupBuilder class, which implements a forgiving version of the build() method. */ import java.lang.Exception; public class ForgivingCupBuilder extends CupBuilder { public ForgivingCupBuilder(String ownersNameIn, String seedCountStringIn) { super(ownersNameIn, seedCountStringIn); } 96

97 public Cup build() throws Exception { int seedCount; String ownersNameHere = this.getOwnersName(); String seedCountStringHere = this.getSeedCountString(); if(ownersNameHere.equals("")) { throw new Exception(); } else { if(!seedCountStringHere.equals("")) { seedCount = Integer.parseInt(seedCountStringHere); } else { seedCount = 0; } return new Cup(ownersNameHere, seedCount); } 97

98 UML for the Pattern There is no single, official UML diagram that represents the builder pattern At a minimum the pattern involves some client, the builder class, and the base class of the actual object that is to be created Things like a parser, a graphical user interface, and a hierarchy of abstract and concrete builders are not parts of the fundamental concept. 98

99 A simple static structure diagram and a sequence diagram are given on the following overheads to illustrate the basic design pattern 99

100 100

101 101

102 If you went back to the overall UML diagram for the example you would find that the BuildListener inner class plays the role of the client The ForgivingCupBuilder class plays the role of the builder And the Cup class is the base class in the design The rest of the classes in the example just belong to the application’s graphical user interface 102

103 103 Lasater’s UML diagram is given on the next overhead. Using that author’s terminology, the pattern is recognizable by the use of the construct() method in the director class and the build methods in the builder classes.

104 104

105 (Book) Summary The Builder pattern separates the construction of an object from its other characteristics The builder class contains the construction logic, leaving the base class code simpler This can be useful when you want to make sure the construction parameters are valid before trying to construct an instance of a class The validity checking is offloaded into the builder class 105

106 The Builder pattern supports so-called step-by- step or gradual construction The builder object is constructed Its instance variables are set step-by-step Then if it is complete and correct, it can create an instance of the corresponding base class As illustrated in the book’s example, this can be useful when using a parser to determine construction parameters 106

107 Not only does a builder accomplish the offloading of construction. Although it can be thought of as step-by-step, gradual construction, in reality, it’s delayed construction. The construction parameters can be tested, and only if they are OK does the build() method ultimately construct and return a reference to an object 107

108 The End 108

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