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April 2000



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Inner and Nested Top Level Classes

Posted by Bill Venners on April 20, 2000 at 4:34 AM

> Hai,
> I want to know what is static and non-static classes along with clear examples.

What you are calling "static classes" are most likely "nested
top-level classes," which are declared with the static keyword.
These contrast with plain old top level classes, which aren't
declared inside any other class (are members of a package),
and inner classes, which are declared inside other classes,
but without the static keyword.

Nested top-level classes act basically the same as regular old
top-level classes, except that they have longer fully qualified
names and they can have any of the four access levels assignable
to class members: private, public, protected, or package. The
fully qualified name of a nested top-level class includes
the names of each of its enclosing classes.

Inner classes are compiled specially in that they receive a
reference to an enclosing class instance. This is hard to
describe in a brief paragraph. I'd suggest you study a
chapter, article, or tutorial on the subject. I have a
seminar handout with examples which may help you visualize
what a "reference to an enclosing class instance" is, though
the handout has little supporting text:



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