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Use of Wrapper classes in java

This tutorial contains the details about what is wrapper classes and their use. It contains many different examples and source code for wrapper classes purpose and application.
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  • Java uses primitive types (also called simple types), such as int or double, to hold the basic data types supported by the language.
  • But many time when you will need an object representation of primitive types, For example, you can’t pass a primitive type by reference to a method.
  • Also, many of the standard data structures implemented by Java operate on objects, which means that you can’t use primitive data structures to store primitive types, To handle these kind of situations, Java provides type wrappers or wrapper classes.

What is wrapper class in java

  • In Java, There is a wrapper class for every primitive datatype.
  • Basically the Wrapper classes encapsulate a primitive type within an object.
  • For example, the wrapper class for int is Integer, the class for float is Float, class for char is Character and so on.
  • The type wrappers are Double, Float, Long, Integer, Short, Byte, Character, and Boolean.
  • These classes offer a wide array of methods that allow you to fully integrate the primitive types into Java’s object hierarchy.

Use of wrapper classes in java - Purpose of wrapper class

  • Wrapper classes provides a mechanism to "wrap" primitive values in an object so that the primitives can be included in activities reserved for objects, like being added to Collections, or returned from a method with an object return value.
  • Note that autoboxing feature of Java 5 automatically does the wrapping operations.
  • Wrapper classes provides an many utility functions for primitives, Most of these functions are related to various conversions: converting primitives to and from String objects, and converting primitives and String objects to and from different bases (or radix), such as binary, octal and hexadecimal.

Examples of wrapper classes in java

Character - Wrapper class

  • Character is a wrapper around a char. The constructor for Character is Character(char ch) Here, ch specifies the character that will be wrapped by the Character object being created.
  • To obtain the char value contained in a Character object, call charValue( ), shown here:
char charValue( ) // It returns the encapsulated character.

Boolean - Wrapper class

  • Boolean is a wrapper around boolean values. It defines these constructors:
    1. Boolean(boolean boolValue)
    2. Boolean(String boolString)
  • In the first version, boolValue must be either true or false. In the second version, if boolString contains the string “true” (in uppercase or lowercase), then the new Boolean object will be true. Otherwise, it will be false.
  • To obtain a boolean value from a Boolean object, use booleanValue( ), shown here:
boolean booleanValue( ) // It returns the boolean equivalent of the invoking object.???

The Numeric Type Wrappers

  • The most commonly used type wrappers are those that represent numeric values.
  • These are Byte, Short, Integer, Long, Float, and Double. All of the numeric type wrappers inherit the abstract class Number.
  • Number declares methods that return the value of an object in each of the different number formats. These methods are shown here:
byte byteValue( )
double doubleValue( )
float floatValue( )
int intValue( )
long longValue( )
short shortValue( )
  • For example, doubleValue( ) returns the value of an object as a double, floatValue( ) returns the value as a float, and so on.
  • These methods are implemented by each of the numeric type wrappers.
  • All of the numeric type wrappers define constructors that allow an object to be constructed from a given value, or a string representation of that value.
  • For example, here are the constructors defined for Integer:
 Integer(int num)
 Integer(String str)
  • If str does not contain a valid numeric value, then a NumberFormatException is thrown.
  • All of the type wrappers override toString( ). It returns the human-readable form of the value contained within the wrapper.
// Demonstrate a type wrapper.
class Wrap {
   public static void main(String args[]) {
      Integer iOb = new Integer(100);
      int i = iOb.intValue();
      System.out.println(i + " " + iOb); // displays 100 100
   }
}

The valueOf() Methods

  • The two (well, usually two) static valueOf() methods provided in most of the wrapper classes give you another approach to creating wrapper objects.
  • Both methods take a String representation of the appropriate type of primitive as their first argument, the second method (when provided) takes an additional argument, int radix, which indicates in what base (for example binary, octal, or hexadecimal) the first argument is represented.
  • For example, 
 Integer i2 = Integer.valueOf("101011", 2); // converts 101011
 // to 43 and assigns the value 43 to the Integer object i2  or 
 Float f2 = Float.valueOf("3.14f");
 // assigns 3.14 to the Float object f2


Keypoint - Wrapper class

  • Wrapper objects are immutable, means that once they have been given a value, that value cannot be changed.
  • Autoboxing feature which introduced from Java 5 automatically does the wrapping operations.
  • Wrapper classes provides many utility functions for various conversions: converting primitives to and from String objects, and converting primitives and String objects to and from different bases (or radix), such as binary, octal and hexadecimal.

FAQ about wrapper classes

How to convert binary number to decimal number and vice-versa?


What is the primary purpose of wrapper classes?


How to convert String to Integer and Integer to String?


 

You would also like to read:

What is autoboxing in java

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