A Generic is a way to declassify the type of variable used, e.g. if there was a function to add up two integer values, but you had two double values, then the int function would not function correctly, so there would be a need to function overload the function to allow for the double increment as well. But just envisage that the same function would be required for characters, floats, personally created ones etc, then there would be more functions per type of variable than the actual work done.

A generic class negates this by allowing any class type passed to the function, as long as the type has the standard increment process defined, it will work with any type.

This will demonstrate the basics of the generics.

// the class for the generics (the T is the object of any type)
class genericsClass<T> 
       T val;              // private object val of type T
       public genericsClass(T t)       // constructor for the class
              val = t;              // set the internal to the passed value
       public T returnValue()       // return the internal value
              return val;
// main runable class
public class generics
       public static void main(String args[])
              // create a Integer class with a default value of 3
              genericsClass<Integer> genInt = new genericsClass<Integer>(3);
              System.out.println("Value= " + genInt.returnValue());
              // create a String class with a default value of "hi there"
              genericsClass<String> genStr = new genericsClass<String>("hi there");
              System.out.println("Value = " + genStr.returnValue());

If you save the code and run with java version 1.5 + (since this was part of java 1.5). The output will be

Value = 3
Value = hi there

As you can see the same class is able to use both integer and strings as the default variable type.

One thought on “Generics”

  1. Hello Sir,

    I read your website it is very useful. please add development activities in java side. for example how to start a small project in java. before what are the technologies we need how to develop how to implement in client place these activities. A to Z please explain step by step.

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