More about Objects and Classes

5. Instantiating the Point Objects


Say that the program has just been loaded and is just about to start running.

How many reference variables are there?    3

How many objects are there?    Zero

Instantiating the Point Objects


Here is a picture of the variables just as the program starts running. No objects have been instantiated yet, so the reference variables ab, and c do not refer to any objects. To emphasize this, a slash has been put through the box for each variable.

import java.awt.*;
class PointEg1

  public static void main ( String arg[] )
    Point a, b, c;              // reference variables

    a = new Point();            // create a Point at (0, 0); 
                                // save the reference in "a"
    b = new Point( 12, 45 );    // create a Point at (12, 45); 
                                // save the reference in "b"
    c = new Point( b );         // create a Point containing data equivalent
                                // to the data referenced by "b"

The program:

  1. Declares three reference variables ab, and c, which can hold references to objects of type Point.
  2. Instantiates a Point object with x=0 and y=0.
    (The documentation tells us that a constructor without parameters initializes x and y to zero.)
  3. Saves the reference to the object in the variable a.
  4. Instantiates a Point object with x=12 and y=45.
  5. Saves the reference to the object in the variable b.
  6. Instantiates a third Point object that is similar to the second.
  7. Saves the reference in the variable c.

Once each Point object is instantiated, it is the same as any other (except for the particular values in the data). It does not matter which constructor was used to instantiate it.

Question 5:

What are the values of x and y in the third point?