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Big applications have a tendency to accumulate enormous classpaths. Looking at such a classpath, you might be hard put to know whether any given jar is really needed. Perhaps it was needed at the time it was added, but that need has long since evaporated. How can you tell? Having jars you don't need means your application will be slower starting up, and perhaps also while running. It also...
on Feb 21, 2008
I was using this Java idiom today, not for the first time, and thought I'd blog it for people not aware of it. You probably know that if you compare two objects x and y using x.equals(y), the result will be false if they are distinct arrays, even if their contents are the same. There is an easy way to get the right result for arrays. It is Arrays.deepEquals(new Object[] {x}, new Object[] {y...
on Jul 20, 2007
Sometimes you need to clone objects, and sometimes you can't use their clone method, and sometimes serialization provides an alternative. Here's an explanation of when you might need this exotic and expensive technique, and how you can use it. When do you need to clone? The commonest time that you need to clone an object is when it is a parameter or return value of one of your public methods. If...
on Apr 4, 2007
If you've ever made a serious effort to get rid of "unchecked" warnings from the Java compiler (the ones it gives you with -Xlint:unchecked) then you'll probably have found some cases where you know a cast is correct but you can't convince the compiler of it. Is there anything better than adding @SuppressWarnings("unchecked") around the whole method? The problem with the @SuppressWarnings...
on Mar 30, 2007
Sometimes static code isn't enough and you need to build code dynamically, at run time. That's usually a hefty proposition, but if the code you need to build is just an interface, it's actually relatively simple. Here are some of the reasons you might want to build interfaces at run time and how you might go about it. Static and dynamic code The first thing to remember before launching into...
on Oct 18, 2006
There are tons of books and articles about how to design and write good Java code, but surprisingly little about the specific topic of API design. On my blog I wrote a summary of what I've learnt on the subject from various sources and my own experience. This has been the single most comment-provoking blog entry I've ever written, which is either because it's a subject that people...
on Dec 30, 2005