Java Nested Class or Java Inner Classes

Java Nested Class or Java Inner Classes
Java Nested Class or Java Inner Classes

Objects that are instances of an inner class exist within an instance of the outer class. Consider the following classes:

class OuterClass {
    ...
    class InnerClass {
        ...
    }
}

An instance of InnerClass can exist only within an instance of OuterClass and has direct access to the methods and fields of its enclosing instance.

To instantiate an inner class, you must first instantiate the outer class. Then, create the inner object within the outer object with this syntax:

OuterClass.InnerClass innerObject = outerObject.new InnerClass();

There are two special kinds of inner classes: local classes and anonymous classes.

Shadowing

If a declaration of a type (such as a member variable or a parameter name) in a particular scope (such as an inner class or a method definition) has the same name as another declaration in the enclosing scope, then the declaration shadows the declaration of the enclosing scope. You cannot refer to a shadowed declaration by its name alone. The following example, ShadowTest, demonstrates this:

 
public class ShadowTest {

    public int x = 0;

    class FirstLevel {

        public int x = 1;

        void methodInFirstLevel(int x) {
            System.out.println("x = " + x);
            System.out.println("this.x = " + this.x);
            System.out.println("ShadowTest.this.x = " + ShadowTest.this.x);
        }
    }

    public static void main(String... args) {
        ShadowTest st = new ShadowTest();
        ShadowTest.FirstLevel fl = st.new FirstLevel();
        fl.methodInFirstLevel(23);
    }
}

The following is the output of this example:

x = 23
this.x = 1
ShadowTest.this.x = 0

This example defines three variables named x: the member variable of the class ShadowTest, the member variable of the inner class FirstLevel, and the parameter in the method methodInFirstLevel. The variable x defined as a parameter of the method methodInFirstLevel shadows the variable of the inner class FirstLevel. Consequently, when you use the variable x in the method methodInFirstLevel, it refers to the method parameter. To refer to the member variable of the inner class FirstLevel, use the keyword this to represent the enclosing scope:

System.out.println("this.x = " + this.x);

Refer to member variables that enclose larger scopes by the class name to which they belong. For example, the following statement accesses the member variable of the class ShadowTest from the method methodInFirstLevel:

System.out.println("ShadowTest.this.x = " + ShadowTest.this.x);
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