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This page contains an archived post to the Design Forum (formerly called the Flexible Java Forum) made prior to February 25, 2002. If you wish to participate in discussions, please visit the new Artima Forums.


When to copy parameters?

Posted by Alex Cachia on May 20, 1999 at 10:15 AM

Since all java parameters are passed by reference, when does one
copy the value into the object instead of just using the

Typically if I have to use the value but not modify it I use the
reference, but if I have to modify the value I'll make a copy.

Is this a good general rule? Also if I provide public get
accessor methods for a class, should I make a copy of the
variable and return the copy or just return the variable?

Cubical programmer #501053


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