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Understanding Parameter Passing. Parameters are Passed by Value zIt is important to understand how parameter passing works. When you make changes to a.

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Presentation on theme: "Understanding Parameter Passing. Parameters are Passed by Value zIt is important to understand how parameter passing works. When you make changes to a."— Presentation transcript:

1 Understanding Parameter Passing

2 Parameters are Passed by Value zIt is important to understand how parameter passing works. When you make changes to a parameter passed to a method, a separate copy of the value is passed. Any changes made to the parameter passed into the method will have no effect on the actual parameter.

3 Parameters are Passed by Value zIt is important to understand how parameter passing works. When you make changes to a parameter passed to a method, a separate copy of the value is passed. Any changes made to the parameter passed into the method will have no effect on the actual parameter. zJava passes all parameters to a method by value.

4 Parameters are Passed by Value zIt is important to understand how parameter passing works. When you make changes to a parameter passed to a method, a separate copy of the value is passed. Any changes made to the parameter passed into the method will have no effect on the actual parameter. zJava passes all parameters to a method by value. zThis means that the current value of the actual parameter is copied into the formal parameter in the method header.

5 An Example Using Primitive Data Types public class PrimitiveParamTest { public void changeValue (int parameter) { parameter = 100; System.out.println("Inside method changeValue, parameter value changed to " + parameter); } public static void main (String args[]) { int parameter = 25; PrimitiveParamTest test = new PrimitiveParamTest(); System.out.println("Initial parameter value is " + parameter); test.changeValue(parameter); System.out.println("After method changeValue call, parameter value is " + parameter); } Using the code at left, we will demonstrate how primitive data types are handled as parameters in method calls.

6 An Example Using Primitive Data Types public class PrimitiveParamTest { public void changeValue (int parameter) { parameter = 100; System.out.println("Inside method changeValue, parameter value changed to " + parameter); } public static void main (String args[]) { int parameter = 25; PrimitiveParamTest test = new PrimitiveParamTest(); System.out.println("Initial parameter value is " + parameter); test.changeValue(parameter); System.out.println("After method changeValue call, parameter value is " + parameter); } The program begins by assigning the value 25 to the integer variable parameter. 25 parameter value Output :

7 An Example Using Primitive Data Types public class PrimitiveParamTest { public void changeValue (int parameter) { parameter = 100; System.out.println("Inside method changeValue, parameter value changed to " + parameter); } public static void main (String args[]) { int parameter = 25; PrimitiveParamTest test = new PrimitiveParamTest(); System.out.println("Initial parameter value is " + parameter); test.changeValue(parameter); System.out.println("After method changeValue call, parameter value is " + parameter); } The test object is created. 25 parameter value Output :

8 An Example Using Primitive Data Types public class PrimitiveParamTest { public void changeValue (int parameter) { parameter = 100; System.out.println("Inside method changeValue, parameter value changed to " + parameter); } public static void main (String args[]) { int parameter = 25; PrimitiveParamTest test = new PrimitiveParamTest(); System.out.println("Initial parameter value is " + parameter); test.changeValue(parameter); System.out.println("After method changeValue call, parameter value is " + parameter); } The value of parameter is displayed. 25 parameter value Output : Initial parameter value is 25

9 An Example Using Primitive Data Types public class PrimitiveParamTest { public void changeValue (int parameter) { parameter = 100; System.out.println("Inside method changeValue, parameter value changed to " + parameter); } public static void main (String args[]) { int parameter = 25; PrimitiveParamTest test = new PrimitiveParamTest(); System.out.println("Initial parameter value is " + parameter); test.changeValue(parameter); System.out.println("After method changeValue call, parameter value is " + parameter); } The PrimitiveParamTest object method changeValue is called. 25 parameter value Output : Initial parameter value is 25

10 An Example Using Primitive Data Types public class PrimitiveParamTest { public void changeValue (int parameter) { parameter = 100; System.out.println("Inside method changeValue, parameter value changed to " + parameter); } public static void main (String args[]) { int parameter = 25; PrimitiveParamTest test = new PrimitiveParamTest(); System.out.println("Initial parameter value is " + parameter); test.changeValue(parameter); System.out.println("After method changeValue call, parameter value is " + parameter); } As a result of the method call, a copy of parameter is made. This copy is called the formal parameter. The formal parameter is sent to the method. 25 parameter value Output : Initial parameter value is formal parameter

11 An Example Using Primitive Data Types public class PrimitiveParamTest { public void changeValue (int parameter) { parameter = 100; System.out.println("Inside method changeValue, parameter value changed to " + parameter); } public static void main (String args[]) { int parameter = 25; PrimitiveParamTest test = new PrimitiveParamTest(); System.out.println("Initial parameter value is " + parameter); test.changeValue(parameter); System.out.println("After method changeValue call, parameter value is " + parameter); } When the method refers to parameter, it uses the formal parameter. The formal parameter is changed to parameter value Output : Initial parameter value is formal parameter

12 An Example Using Primitive Data Types public class PrimitiveParamTest { public void changeValue (int parameter) { parameter = 100; System.out.println("Inside method changeValue, parameter value changed to " + parameter); } public static void main (String args[]) { int parameter = 25; PrimitiveParamTest test = new PrimitiveParamTest(); System.out.println("Initial parameter value is " + parameter); test.changeValue(parameter); System.out.println("After method changeValue call, parameter value is " + parameter); } The value of the formal parameter is displayed. 25 parameter value Output : Initial parameter value is 25 Inside method changeValue, parameter value changed to formal parameter

13 An Example Using Primitive Data Types public class PrimitiveParamTest { public void changeValue (int parameter) { parameter = 100; System.out.println("Inside method changeValue, parameter value changed to " + parameter); } public static void main (String args[]) { int parameter = 25; PrimitiveParamTest test = new PrimitiveParamTest(); System.out.println("Initial parameter value is " + parameter); test.changeValue(parameter); System.out.println("After method changeValue call, parameter value is " + parameter); } As the method is left, the formal parameter is destroyed. 25 parameter value Output : Initial parameter value is 25 Inside method changeValue, parameter value changed to formal parameter

14 An Example Using Primitive Data Types public class PrimitiveParamTest { public void changeValue (int parameter) { parameter = 100; System.out.println("Inside method changeValue, parameter value changed to " + parameter); } public static void main (String args[]) { int parameter = 25; PrimitiveParamTest test = new PrimitiveParamTest(); System.out.println("Initial parameter value is " + parameter); test.changeValue(parameter); System.out.println("After method changeValue call, parameter value is " + parameter); } Control is returned to the calling method. The formal parameter no longer exists. 25 parameter value Output : Initial parameter value is 25 Inside method changeValue, parameter value changed to 100

15 An Example Using Primitive Data Types public class PrimitiveParamTest { public void changeValue (int parameter) { parameter = 100; System.out.println("Inside method changeValue, parameter value changed to " + parameter); } public static void main (String args[]) { int parameter = 25; PrimitiveParamTest test = new PrimitiveParamTest(); System.out.println("Initial parameter value is " + parameter); test.changeValue(parameter); System.out.println("After method changeValue call, parameter value is " + parameter); } The value of parameter is displayed. 25 parameter value Output : Initial parameter value is 25 Inside method changeValue, parameter value changed to 100 After method changeValue call, parameter value is 25

16 Passing Objects as Parameters zHow does Java pass objects by value?

17 Passing Objects as Parameters zHow does Java pass objects by value? zWhen an object is passed to a method, we are actually passing a reference to that object.

18 Passing Objects as Parameters zHow does Java pass objects by value? zWhen an object is passed to a method, we are actually passing a reference to that object. zThe value that is copied is the address of the object.

19 Referencing Objects Since a reference to an object actually contains the address of the object, the name of the object can been viewed as a “pointer” to the actual object. Remember that an object doesn’t “exist” until it is instantiated. Shape myObject; myObjec t null

20 Instantiating Objects The object comes into “existence” when it is instantiated. For example the following code will create the object below: myObject = new Shape(); myObject

21 Copying Objects When an object is assigned to another object, a copy of the reference to the object is made, not a copy of the actual object. Shape myCopy = myObject; myCopymyObject

22 Copying Objects In this example, myCopy is an alias for myObject. Both myObject and myCopy refer to the same object. myCopymyObject

23 Passing Objects as Parameters In the example involving primitive data types, when an int type is passed as a parameter, a copy, known as the formal parameter is used by the called method. When an object is passed to a method, the formal parameter used is an alias, which is a copy of the reference to an object. myObject

24 Passing Objects as Parameters If the following method is called : foo.someMethod(myObject); A copy or alias of myObject is created and used as the formal parameter. myObject

25 Passing Objects as Parameters If the following method is called : foo.someMethod(myObject); A copy or alias of myObject is created and used as the formal parameter. myObject The formal parameter

26 Passing Objects as Parameters If the following method is called : foo.someMethod(myObject); A copy or alias of myObject is created and used as the formal parameter. myObject The formal parameter Inside a method, if the formal parameter calls class methods that modify the state of the object, the object will remain in that state when the program flow returns to the instruction following the method call.

27 Passing Objects as Parameters myObject Given the following code fragments: public class Foo { public void changeObject(Shape myObject) { myObject.changeShape(); }... }... Foo changer = new Foo(); myObject = new Shape(); changer.changeObject(myObject);

28 Passing Objects as Parameters myObject Given the following code fragments: public class Foo { public void changeObject(Shape myObject) { myObject.changeShape(); }... }... Foo changer = new Foo(); myObject = new Shape(); changer.changeObject(myObject); When the changeShape method is called, a formal parameter is created.

29 Passing Objects as Parameters myObject The formal parameter Given the following code fragments: public class Foo { public void changeObject(Shape passedObject) { passedObject.changeShape(); }... }... Foo changer = new Foo(); myObject = new Shape(); changer.changeObject(myObject); When the changeShape method is called, a formal parameter is created. This formal parameter is referred to as passedObject in the changeObject method.

30 Passing Objects as Parameters myObject The formal parameter Given the following code fragments: public class Foo { public void changeObject(Shape passedObject) { passedObject.changeShape(); }... }... Foo changer = new Foo(); myObject = new Shape(); changer.changeObject(myObject); When passedObject.changeShape() is called, the formal parameter, passedObject, calls the object’s method changeShape().

31 Passing Objects as Parameters myObject The formal parameter Given the following code fragments: public class Foo { public void changeObject(Shape passedObject) { passedObject.changeShape(); }... }... Foo changer = new Foo(); myObject = new Shape(); changer.changeObject(myObject); This causes the object to change its state (in this case, its shape).

32 Passing Objects as Parameters myObject The formal parameter Given the following code fragments: public class Foo { public void changeObject(Shape passedObject) { passedObject.changeShape(); }... }... Foo changer = new Foo(); myObject = new Shape(); changer.changeObject(myObject); When the changeObject method ends, the formal parameter ceases to exist.

33 Passing Objects as Parameters myObject Given the following code fragments: public class Foo { public void changeObject(Shape passedObject) { passedObject.changeShape(); }... }... Foo changer = new Foo(); myObject = new Shape(); changer.changeObject(myObject); When the changeObject method ends, the formal parameter ceases to exist. BUT, the object still exists in its changed state.

34 Changing object formal parameters If an object formal parameter can change an object’s state by calling the object’s methods, what happens when the value of the formal parameter is changed?

35 Changing object formal parameters public class Foo { public void changeObject(Shape passedObject) { Shape newObject = new Shape(); passedObject = newObject; passedObject.changeShape(); }... } The code from the previous example is changed slightly.

36 Changing object formal parameters public class Foo { public void changeObject(Shape passedObject) { Shape newObject = new Shape(); passedObject = newObject; passedObject.changeShape(); }... } If myObject is passed to the changeObject method, myObject

37 Changing object formal parameters public class Foo { public void changeObject(Shape passedObject) { Shape newObject = new Shape(); passedObject = newObject; passedObject.changeShape(); }... } If myObject is passed to the changeObject method, a formal parameter passedObject is created. myObject passedObject

38 Changing object formal parameters public class Foo { public void changeObject(Shape passedObject) { Shape newObject = new Shape(); passedObject = newObject; passedObject.changeShape(); }... } Another object, newObject is created. myObject passedObjectnewObject

39 Changing object formal parameters public class Foo { public void changeObject(Shape passedObject) { Shape newObject = new Shape(); passedObject = newObject; passedObject.changeShape(); }... } Another object, newObject is created. The value of passedObject is changed to newObject. myObject passedObjectnewObject

40 Changing object formal parameters public class Foo { public void changeObject(Shape passedObject) { Shape newObject = new Shape(); passedObject = newObject; passedObject.changeShape(); }... } The formal parameter passedObject, calls the method changeShape(). myObject passedObjectnewObject

41 Changing object formal parameters public class Foo { public void changeObject(Shape passedObject) { Shape newObject = new Shape(); passedObject = newObject; passedObject.changeShape(); }... } This causes the object to change its state (in this case, its shape). myObject passedObjectnewObject

42 Changing object formal parameters public class Foo { public void changeObject(Shape passedObject) { Shape newObject = new Shape(); passedObject = newObject; passedObject.changeShape(); }... } When the changeObject method ends, the formal parameter passedObject ceases to exist. myObject passedObjectnewObject

43 Changing object formal parameters public class Foo { public void changeObject(Shape passedObject) { Shape newObject = new Shape(); passedObject = newObject; passedObject.changeShape(); }... } When the changeObject method ends, the formal parameter passedObject ceases to exist. myObject remains unchanged. myObject newObject

44 Summary zJava passes all parameters to a method by value. zThis means that the current value of the actual parameter is copied into the formal parameter in the method header. zSince a reference to an object actually contains the address of the object, the name of the object can been viewed as a “pointer” to the actual object.

45 Summary zWhen an object is passed to a method, the formal parameter used is an alias, which is a copy of the reference to an object. zAn object’s formal parameter can change an object’s state by calling the class’ methods, but, yIf the value of the formal parameter is changed, the actual object remains unchanged.


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