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Tutorial 5 - Class Libraries

Java includes several predefined class packages (aka Java class libraries) to aid in programmer productivity. The packages/libraries discussed in my tutorials are: language extensions java.lang, utilities java.util, formatters java.text, file streams, GUIs java.awt and javax.swing, network services, memory mapped io java.nio, remote method invocation java.rmi and applets java.applet. Libraries not covered in my tutorials include beans java.beans, communication ports java.comm, precision math java.math, security and database management java.sql. import is used to access classes from libraries other than java.lang. Refer to library packages for info on creating reuseable class packages or using 3rd-party libraries.

java.lang java.utiljava.text

System Class

The System class provides access to the native operating system's environment through the use of static methods. For example System.currentTimeMillis() retrieves the system clock setting (as a long, in milliseconds starting Jan 1, 1970). Methods include: arraycopy(src[], srcpos, dest[], destpos, len), clearProperty(sName), currentTimeMillis(), exit(exitCode), gc(), getenv(String var), getCWD(), getOSName(), getProperties().

The System.getProperty("property_name") method allows access to the following system properties:

  • file.separator
  • line.separator
  • path.separator
  • os.arch
  • os.version
  • user.dir
  • user.home
  • java.class.path
  • java.class.version
  • java.home
  • java.vendor
  • java.vendor.url
  • java.version
  • java.vm.vendor
  • java.vm.version

The System class provides redirectable standard io streams for console read, write and error operations.

Note: Many System class methods can throw a SecurityException exception error for safety reasons.

Runtime Class

The Runtime class encapsulates the run-time environment. Some of the available methods are:

exec(String cmd)
load(String fileName)
loadLibrary(String libName)
exit(int status)
halt(int status)

Math Class

The Math class provides the constants E and PI which are of type double as well as many useful methods:

Transcendental acos(x), asin(x), atan(x), atan2(x,y), cos(x), sin(x), tan(x)
Exponential exp(x), log(x), pow(x,y), sqrt(x)
Rounding abs(x), ceil(x), floor(x), max(x,y), min(x,y), rint(x), round(x)
Miscellaneous IEEEremainder(x,y), random(), toDegrees(x), toRadians(x)

Note: random() generates double in range of 0 to < 1.

intRnd=(int) (Math.random()*x)+1; // from 1 to x
intRnd=(int) (Math.random()*10); // random digit

Locale Class [java.util library]

The Locale class produces objects that represent a geographical, political or cultural region. Dates, times and numbers are displayed differently through the world. Calendar, GregorianCalendar, DateFormat, SimpleDateFormat and SimpleTimeZone are all locale-sensitive. By default the locale is determined by the operating system.

Some of the more commonly used locale methods are: getAvailableLocales(), getDefault(), getDisplayCountry(), getDisplayLanguage(), getDisplayName() and setDefault(loc_obj). Use seeLocale to find out what is available on the running computer before setting a new locale.

Locale objects are created using locale(strLanguage[,strCountry]. where strLanguage and strCountry are ISO codes. Default Locale language constants include: CANADA_FRENCH, CHINESE, ENGLISH, FRENCH, GERMAN, ITALIAN, JAPANESE, KOREAN, SIMPLIFIED_CHINESE and TRADITIONAL_CHINESE. Default locale country constants include: CANADA, CHINA, FRANCE, GERMANY, ITALY, JAPAN, KOREA, PRC, TAIWAN, UK and US.

Calendar & Date Classes [java.util library]

The abstract class Calendar provides methods for formatting and comparing dates. getInstance() returns the current date/time in Calendar object format. get(fld) returns the specific field as a string object. fld can be YEAR, MONTH, DAY_OF_MONTH, etc. getTime() returns the time in DATE format. GregorianCalendar is a concrete subclass which adds a boolean isLeapYear() test.

Constructor getInstance()
Accessor get(fld), getAvailableLocales(), getInstance(), getTime(), getTimeZone()
Mutator add(whichField, intVal), clear(), set(fld,intVal), setTime(), setTimeZone()
Comparison after(), before(), equals(), isSet()

The wrapper class Date is used primarily to convert objects into longs for math operations with the getTime() method.

Note: Calendar.getTime() converts to Date objects, Date.getTime() converts to long primitives.

Example: timeSpan()

A common request is for a timeSpan() method that computes the difference between two Calendar objects. The user will have to provide his own input (either sio or file) and output reporter.

import java.util.*;
public class Timer
  public static void main(String args[])
// create start and end calendar objects
    Calendar sTime=Calendar.getInstance();
    Calendar eTime=Calendar.getInstance();
// now set times -- add routines to get from sio or file
// be sure to verify times are in range !!
// adjust times for early start and late finish
    long span=timeSpan(sTime,eTime);
// adjust time for lunch hour here
    long secs=span/1000;long mins=secs/60;long hours=mins/60;
// timeSpan (calendarObject,calendarObject) returns long milliseconds
  public static long timeSpan(Calendar calStart,Calendar calEnd)
    Date sTime1,eTime1;long interval,sTime2,eTime2;
    sTime1=calStart.getTime();eTime1=calEnd.getTime(); // to Date objects
    sTime2=sTime1.getTime();eTime2=eTime1.getTime(); // to long objects
    interval=eTime2-sTime2;return interval;

DateFormat Class [java.text library]

The abstract class DateFormat and its concrete subclass SimpleDateFormat provides the ability to format and parse dates and times. The constructor normally takes a formatting string made from the following symbols:

aAM or PM
dDay of month
hHour (1-12)
kHour (1-24)
wWeek of year
DDay of year
EDay of week
FDay of week in month
GEra (AD or BC)
HHour in Day (0-23)
KHour in Day (0-11)
WWeek of month
/Escape character

Here is an example of how SimpleDateFormat can be used to convert a String to a Date:

import java.text.*; import java.util.*;
public class test
  public static void main (String args[])
    Date date=new Date(); String rptDate;
    SimpleDateFormat sdf=new SimpleDateFormat("yyyy MMM dd @ hh:mm aa");
    try {rptDate=sdf.format(date); System.out.println(rptDate+"\n");}
    catch (ParseException e)
	      {System.out.println("Exception :"+e);}

NumberFormat Class [java.text library]

The NumberFormat class is used to display numbers in a locale sensitive fashion. The methods getInstance(), getIntegerInstance(), getCurrencyInstance() and getPercentInstance() create objects formatted using local variants. Other useful methods are setDecimalSeparatorAlwaysOn(bool), setMinimunFractionDigits(i), setMaximunFractionDigits(i), setMinimunIntegerDigits(i), setMaximunIntegerDigits(i) and setParseIntegerOnly(bool).

The DecimalFormat Class [java.text library]

The DecimalFormat class provides highly customized number formatting and parsing. Objects are created by passing a suitable pattern to the DecimalFormat() constructor method. The applyPattern() method can be used to change this pattern. A DecimalFormatSymbols object can be optionally specified when creating a DecimalFormat object. If one is not specified, a DecimalFormatSymbols object suitable for the default locale is used. Decimal format patterns consists of a string of characters from the following table. For example: "$#,##0.00;($#,##0.00)"

0A digit // leading zeros show as 0
#A digit // leading zeros show as absent
.The locale-specific decimal separator
,The locale-specific grouping separator (comma)
-The locale-specific negative prefix
%Shows value as a percentage
;Separates a positive number format (on left) from
an optional negative number format (on right)
'Escapes a reserved character so it appears literally in the output

Here is an example of how DecimalFormat can be used:

import java.text.*;
public class test
  public static void main (String args[])
    int numb=3; String rptNumb;
    DecimalFormat df=new DecimalFormat("000");
    rptNumb=df.format(numb); System.out.println(rptNumb+"\n");

The DecimalFormat class methods are as follows:

Constructor DecimalFormat (), DecimalFormat(pattern), DecimalFormat(pattern,symbols)
Accessor getDecimalFormatSymbols (), getGroupingSize(), getMultiplier(), getNegativePrefix(),,getNegativeSuffix(), getPositivePrefix(), getPositiveSuffix()
Mutator setDecimalFormatSymbols(newSymbols), setDecimalSeparatorAlwaysShown(newValue), setGroupingSize(newValue), setMaximumFractionDigits(newValue), setMaximumIntegerDigits(newValue), setMinimumFractionDigits(newValue), setMinimumIntegerDigits(newValue), setMultiplier(newValue), setNegativePrefix(newValue), setNegativeSuffix(newValue), setPositivePrefix(newValue), setPositiveSuffix(newValue)
Boolean equals(obj), isDecimalSeparatorAlwaysShown()
Instance applyLocalizedPattern(pattern), applyPattern(pattern), format(number),
String toLocalizedPattern(), String toPattern(),

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