Follow Techotopia on Twitter

On-line Guides
All Guides
eBook Store
iOS / Android
Linux for Beginners
Office Productivity
Linux Installation
Linux Security
Linux Utilities
Linux Virtualization
Linux Kernel
System/Network Admin
Scripting Languages
Development Tools
Web Development
GUI Toolkits/Desktop
Mail Systems
Eclipse Documentation

How To Guides
General System Admin
Linux Security
Linux Filesystems
Web Servers
Graphics & Desktop
PC Hardware
Problem Solutions
Privacy Policy




Thinking in Java
Prev Contents / Index Next

Overloading on return values

It is common to wonder “Why only class names and method argument lists? Why not distinguish between methods based on their return values?” For example, these two methods, which have the same name and arguments, are easily distinguished from each other:

void f() {}
int f() {}

This works fine when the compiler can unequivocally determine the meaning from the context, as in int x = f( ). However, you can also call a method and ignore the return value. This is often referred to as calling a method for its side effect, since you don’t care about the return value, but instead want the other effects of the method call. So if you call the method this way:


how can Java determine which f( ) should be called? And how could someone reading the code see it? Because of this sort of problem, you cannot use return value types to distinguish overloaded methods.
Thinking in Java
Prev Contents / Index Next

   Reproduced courtesy of Bruce Eckel, MindView, Inc. Design by Interspire