var Keyword
This page was last reviewed on Jan 23, 2024.
Dot Net Perls
Var. Programs written in the Java language often have a significant amount of excess and repeated syntax. A class name may be repeated many times, for example.
With var, a keyword, we can minimize this—we can use var to refer to the class name of a variable. The Java compiler infers the class name on its own. No runtime cost is incurred.
Example. This Java program uses the "var" keyword in many different ways. At the bottom of the program, we have a couple extra types—another class and a record.
Part 1 We create an ExampleClass instance, and instead of specifying "ExampleClass" as the type, we use the var-keyword.
Part 2 We create a record (ExampleRecord) and refer to as a var. The var keyword is a different syntax for the same type.
Part 3 We can use var for other types like int, but this may be less useful as no code source size reduction is achieved.
Part 4 The var-keyword can be used as the argument type to a lambda expression. The compiler infers that the type here should be int.
Part 5 Using the var keyword in for-loop enumerations often leads to easier-to-read, clearer code.
import java.util.function.*; public class Program { public static void main(String[] args) { // Part 1: create class instance and refer to it with var. var c = new ExampleClass(); c.value = 10; System.out.println(c.value); // Part 2: create record and refer to it with var. var r = new ExampleRecord(10); System.out.println(r); // Part 3: use var for an int, and compare to another int. var number = 10; int number2 = 10; if (number == number2) { System.out.println("2 ints are the same"); } // Part 4: use var as a lambda expression argument. Function<Integer, Integer> lambda = (var x) -> (x + 50); int result = lambda.apply(10); System.out.println(result); // Part 5: use var in a for-loop. var names = new String[] { "cat", "frog", "bird" }; for (var name : names) { System.out.println(name); } } } // For the class and record examples. class ExampleClass { public int value; } record ExampleRecord(int value) {}
10 ExampleRecord[value=10] 2 ints are the same 60 cat frog bird
Some considerations. When we need to repeat a long type name for some reason, replacing those uses with "var" probably improves code quality.
But For short types like int, or a type only used once, using var would not be as beneficial to the code.
So It is important to use your best judgement when deciding when to apply the var keyword, not just use it everywhere possible.
Summary. The var-keyword can make some difficult-to-read and cumbersome code much more elegant to review. It tells the compiler to figure out (and use) the type on its own.
Dot Net Perls is a collection of tested code examples. Pages are continually updated to stay current, with code correctness a top priority.
Sam Allen is passionate about computer languages. In the past, his work has been recommended by Apple and Microsoft and he has studied computers at a selective university in the United States.
This page was last updated on Jan 23, 2024 (new).
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