A method is a collection of statements that perform some specific task and return result to the caller. A method can perform some specific task without returning anything. Methods allow us to reuse the code without retyping the code. In Java, every method must be part of some class which is different from languages like C, C++ and Python.
Methods are time savers and help us to reuse the code without retyping the code.
In general, method declarations has six components :
- Modifier-: Defines access type of the method i.e. from where it can be accessed in your application. In Java, there 4 type of the access specifiers.
- public: accessible in all class in your application.
- protected: accessible within the class in which it is defined and in its subclass(es)
- private: accessible only within the class in which it is defined.
- default (declared/defined without using any modifier) : accessible within same class and package within which its class is defined.
- The return type : The data type of the value returned by the the method or void if does not return a value.
- Method Name : the rules for field names apply to method names as well, but the convention is a little different.
- Parameter list : Comma separated list of the input parameters are defined, preceded with their data type, within the enclosed parenthesis. If there are no parameters, you must use empty parentheses ().
- Exception list : The exceptions you expect by the method can throw, you can specify these exception(s).
- Method body : it is enclosed between braces. The code you need to be executed to perform your intended operations.
Method signature: It consists of method name and parameter list (number of parameters, type of the parameters and order of the parameters). Return type and exceptions are not considered as part of it.
Method Signature of above function:
max(int x, int y)
How to name a Method?: A method name is typically a single word that should be a verb in lowercase or multi-word, that begins with a verb in lowercase followed by adjective, noun….. After the first word, first letter of each word should be capitalized. For example, findSum,
computeMax, setX and getX
Generally, A method has a unique name within the class in which it is defined but sometime a method might have same name as other method name within the same class as method overloading is allowed in Java.
Calling a method
The method needs to be called for using its functionality. There can be three situations when a method is called:
A method returns to the code that invoked it when:
- It completes all the statements in the method
- It reaches a return statement
- Throws an exception
Sum of two integer values :3
See the below example to understand method call in detail :
Inside the method m1 by object of GFG class In method m2 came from method m1 Control returned after method m1 :1 No of instances created till now : 1
Control flow of above program:
Memory allocation for methods calls
Methods calls are implemented through stack. Whenever a method is called a stack frame is created within the stack area and after that the arguments passed to and the local variables and value to be returned by this called method are stored in this stack frame and when execution of the called method is finished, the allocated stack frame would be deleted. There is a stack pointer register that tracks the top of the stack which is adjusted accordingly.
- Java is strictly pass by value
- Method overloading and Null error in Java
- Can we overload or override static methods in Java?
- Java Quizzes
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