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Java Interfaces, Lambda Expressions, and Inner Classes

Mastering interfaces allows you to have full access to the power of Java's completely object-oriented approach to programming. After covering interfaces, this excerpt moves on to lambda expressions, a concise way for expressing a block of code that can be executed at a later point in time. It then explains a useful technical feature of Java called inner classes.
This chapter is from the book

You have now learned about classes and inheritance, the key concepts of object-oriented programming in Java. This chapter shows you several advanced techniques that are commonly used. Despite their less obvious nature, you will need to master them to complete your Java tool chest.

The first technique, called interfaces, is a way of describing what classes should do, without specifying how they should do it. A class can implement one or more interfaces. You can then use objects of these implementing classes whenever conformance to the interface is required. After discussing interfaces, we move on to lambda expressions, a concise way to create blocks of code that can be executed at a later point in time. Using lambda expressions, you can express code that uses callbacks or variable behavior in an elegant and concise fashion.

We then discuss the mechanism of inner classes. Inner classes are technically somewhat complex—they are defined inside other classes, and their methods can access the fields of the surrounding class. Inner classes are useful when you design collections of cooperating classes.

This chapter concludes with a discussion of proxies, objects that implement arbitrary interfaces. A proxy is a very specialized construct that is useful for building system-level tools. You can safely skip that section on first reading.

6.1 Interfaces

In the following sections, you will learn what Java interfaces are and how to use them. You will also find out how interfaces have been made more powerful in recent versions of Java.

6.1.1 The Interface Concept

In the Java programming language, an interface is not a class but a set of requirements for the classes that want to conform to the interface.

Typically, the supplier of some service states: “If your class conforms to a particular interface, then I’ll perform the service.” Let’s look at a concrete example. The sort method of the Arrays class promises to sort an array of objects, but under one condition: The objects must belong to classes that implement the Comparable interface.

Here is what the Comparable interface looks like:

public interface Comparable
   int compareTo(Object other);

In the interface, the compareTo method is abstract—it has no implementation. A class that implements the Comparable interface needs to have a compareTo method, and the method must take an Object parameter and return an integer. Otherwise, the class is also abstract—that is, you cannot construct any objects.

All methods of an interface are automatically public. For that reason, it is not necessary to supply the keyword public when declaring a method in an interface.

Of course, there is an additional requirement that the interface cannot spell out: When calling x.compareTo(y), the compareTo method must actually be able to compare the two objects and return an indication whether x or y is larger. The method is supposed to return a negative number if x is smaller than y, zero if they are equal, and a positive number otherwise.

This particular interface has a single method. Some interfaces have multiple methods. As you will see later, interfaces can also define constants. What is more important, however, is what interfaces cannot supply. Interfaces never have instance fields. Before Java 8, all methods in an interface were abstract. As you will see in Section 6.1.4, “Static and Private Methods,” on p. 322 and Section 6.1.5, “Default Methods,” on p. 323, it is now possible to have other methods in interfaces. Of course, those methods cannot refer to instance fields—interfaces don’t have any.

Now, suppose we want to use the sort method of the Arrays class to sort an array of Employee objects. Then the Employee class must implement the Comparable interface.

To make a class implement an interface, you carry out two steps:

  1. You declare that your class intends to implement the given interface.

  2. You supply definitions for all methods in the interface.

To declare that a class implements an interface, use the implements keyword:

class Employee implements Comparable

Of course, now the Employee class needs to supply the compareTo method. Let’s suppose that we want to compare employees by their salary. Here is an implementation of the compareTo method:

public int compareTo(Object otherObject)
   Employee other = (Employee) otherObject;
   return Double.compare(salary, other.salary);

Here, we use the static Double.compare method that returns a negative if the first argument is less than the second argument, 0 if they are equal, and a positive value otherwise.

We can do a little better by supplying a type parameter for the generic Comparable


class Employee implements Comparable<Employee>
   public int compareTo(Employee other)
      return Double.compare(salary, other.salary);
   . . .

Note that the unsightly cast of the Object parameter has gone away.

by the employee ID number. Then you can simply return id - other.id. That value will be some negative value if the first ID number is less than the other, 0 if they are the same ID, and some positive value otherwise. However, there is one caveat: The range of the integers must be small enough so that the subtraction does not overflow. If you know that the IDs are not negative or that their absolute value is at most (Integer.MAX_VALUE - 1) / 2, you are safe. Otherwise, call the static Integer.compare method.

Of course, the subtraction trick doesn’t work for floating-point numbers. The difference salary - other.salary can round to 0 if the salaries are close together but not identical. The call Double.compare(x, y) simply returns -1 if x < y or 1 if x > y.

Now you saw what a class must do to avail itself of the sorting service—it must implement a compareTo method. That’s eminently reasonable. There needs to be some way for the sort method to compare objects. But why can’t the Employee class simply provide a compareTo method without implementing the

Comparable interface?

The reason for interfaces is that the Java programming language is strongly typed. When making a method call, the compiler needs to be able to check that the method actually exists. Somewhere in the sort method will be statements like this:

if (a[i].compareTo(a[j]) > 0)
   // rearrange a[i] and a[j]
   . . .

The compiler must know that a[i] actually has a compareTo method. If a is an array of Comparable objects, then the existence of the method is assured because every class that implements the Comparable interface must supply the method.

Listing 6.1 presents the full code for sorting an array of instances of the class Employee (Listing 6.2).

Listing 6.1 interfaces/EmployeeSortTest.java

 1  package interfaces;
 3 import java.util.*;
 5 /**
 6  * This program demonstrates the use of the Comparable interface.
 7  * @version 1.30 2004-02-27
 8  * @author Cay Horstmann
 9  */
10  public class EmployeeSortTest
11  {
12     public static void main(String[] args)
13     {
14        var staff = new Employee[3];
16        staff[0] = new Employee("Harry Hacker", 35000);
17        staff[1] = new Employee("Carl Cracker", 75000);
18        staff[2] = new Employee("Tony Tester", 38000);
20        Arrays.sort(staff);
22        // print out information about all Employee objects
23        for (Employee e : staff)
24           System.out.println("name=" + e.getName() + ",salary=" + e.getSalary());
25     }
26  }

Listing 6.2 interfaces/Employee.java

 1 package interfaces;
 3 public class Employee implements Comparable<Employee>
 4 {
 5    private String name;
 6    private double salary;
 8    public Employee(String name, double salary)
 9    {
10       this.name = name;
11       this.salary = salary;
12    }
14    public String getName()
15    {
16       return name;
17    }
19    public double getSalary()
20    {
21       return salary;
22    }
24    public void raiseSalary(double byPercent)
25    {
26       double raise = salary * byPercent / 100;
27       salary += raise;
28    }
30    /**
31     * Compares employees by salary
32     * @param other another Employee object
33     * @return a negative value if this employee has a lower salary than
34     * otherObject, 0 if the salaries are the same, a positive value otherwise
35     */
36    public int compareTo(Employee other)
37    {
38       return Double.compare(salary, other.salary);
39    }
40 }

6.1.2 Properties of Interfaces

Interfaces are not classes. In particular, you can never use the new operator to instantiate an interface:

x = new Comparable(. . .); // ERROR

However, even though you can’t construct interface objects, you can still declare interface variables.

Comparable x; // OK

An interface variable must refer to an object of a class that implements the interface:

x = new Employee(. . .); // OK provided Employee implements Comparable

Next, just as you use instanceof to check whether an object is of a specific class, you can use instanceof to check whether an object implements an interface:

if (anObject instanceof Comparable) { . . . }

Just as you can build hierarchies of classes, you can extend interfaces. This allows for multiple chains of interfaces that go from a greater degree of

generality to a greater degree of specialization. For example, suppose you had an interface called Moveable.

public interface Moveable
   void move(double x, double y);

Then, you could imagine an interface called Powered that extends it:

public interface Powered extends Moveable
   double milesPerGallon();

Although you cannot put instance fields in an interface, you can supply constants in them. For example:

public interface Powered extends Moveable
   double milesPerGallon();
   double SPEED_LIMIT = 95; // a public static final constant

Just as methods in an interface are automatically public, fields are always public static final.

While each class can have only one superclass, classes can implement multiple interfaces. This gives you the maximum amount of flexibility in defining a class’s behavior. For example, the Java programming language has an important interface built into it, called Cloneable. (This interface is discussed in detail in Section 6.1.9, “Object Cloning,” on p. 330.) If your class implements Cloneable, the clone method in the Object class will make an exact copy of your class’s objects. If you want both cloneability and comparability, simply implement both interfaces. Use commas to separate the interfaces that you want to implement:

class Employee implements Cloneable, Comparable

6.1.3 Interfaces and Abstract Classes

If you read the section about abstract classes in Chapter 5, you may wonder why the designers of the Java programming language bothered with introducing the concept of interfaces. Why can’t Comparable simply be an abstract class:

abstract class Comparable // why not?
   public abstract int compareTo(Object other);

The Employee class would then simply extend this abstract class and supply the

class Employee extends Comparable // why not?
   public int compareTo(Object other) { . . . }

There is, unfortunately, a major problem with using an abstract base class to express a generic property. A class can only extend a single class. Suppose the Employee class already extends a different class, say, Person. Then it can’t extend a second class.

class Employee extends Person, Comparable // ERROR

But each class can implement as many interfaces as it likes:

class Employee extends Person implements Comparable // OK

Other programming languages, in particular C++, allow a class to have more than one superclass. This feature is called multiple inheritance. The designers of Java chose not to support multiple inheritance, because it makes the language either very complex (as in C++) or less efficient (as in Eiffel).

Instead, interfaces afford most of the benefits of multiple inheritance while avoiding the complexities and inefficiencies.

6.1.4 Static and Private Methods

As of Java 8, you are allowed to add static methods to interfaces. There was never a technical reason why this should be outlawed. It simply seemed to be against the spirit of interfaces as abstract specifications.

Up to now, it has been common to place static methods in companion classes. In the standard library, you’ll find pairs of interfaces and utility classes such as Collection/Collections or Path/Paths.

You can construct a path to a file or directory from a URI, or from a sequence of strings, such as Paths.get("jdk-17", "conf", "security"). In Java 11, equivalent methods are provided in the Path interface:

public interface Path
   public static Path of(URI uri) { . . . }
   public static Path of(String first, String... more) { . . . }
   . . .

Then the Paths class is no longer necessary.

Similarly, when you implement your own interfaces, there is no longer a reason to provide a separate companion class for utility methods.

As of Java 9, methods in an interface can be private. A private method can be static or an instance method. Since private methods can only be used in the methods of the interface itself, their use is limited to being helper methods for the other methods of the interface.

6.1.5 Default Methods

You can supply a default implementation for any interface method. You must tag such a method with the default modifier.

public interface Comparable<T>
   default int compareTo(T other) { return 0; }
      // by default, all elements are the same

Of course, that is not very useful since every realistic implementation of Comparable would override this method. But there are other situations where default methods can be useful. For example, in Chapter 9 you will see an Iterator interface for visiting elements in a data structure. It declares a remove method as follows:

public interface Iterator<E>
   boolean hasNext();
   E next();
   default void remove() { throw new UnsupportedOperationException("remove"); }
   . . .

If you implement an iterator, you need to provide the hasNext and next methods. There are no defaults for these methods—they depend on the data structure that you are traversing. But if your iterator is read-only, you don’t have to worry about the remove method.

A default method can call other methods. For example, a Collection interface can define a convenience method

public interface Collection
   int size(); // an abstract method
   default boolean isEmpty() { return size() == 0; }
   . . .

Then a programmer implementing Collection doesn’t have to worry about implementing an isEmpty method.

An important use for default methods is interface evolution. Consider, for example, the Collection interface that has been a part of Java for many years. Suppose that a long time ago, you provided a class

public class Bag implements Collection

Later, in Java 8, a stream method was added to the interface.

Suppose the stream method was not a default method. Then the Bag class would no longer compile since it doesn’t implement the new method. Adding a nondefault method to an interface is not source-compatible.

But suppose you don’t recompile the class and simply use an old JAR file containing it. The class will still load, even with the missing method. Programs can still construct Bag instances, and nothing bad will happen. (Adding a method to an interface is binary compatible.) However, if a program calls the stream method on a Bag instance, an AbstractMethodError occurs.

Making the method a default method solves both problems. The Bag class will again compile. And if the class is loaded without being recompiled and the stream method is invoked on a Bag instance, the Collection.stream method is called.

6.1.6 Resolving Default Method Conflicts

What happens if the exact same method is defined as a default method in one interface and then again as a method of a superclass or another interface? Languages such as Scala and C++ have complex rules for resolving such ambiguities. Fortunately, the rules in Java are much simpler. Here they are:

  1. Superclasses win. If a superclass provides a concrete method, default methods with the same name and parameter types are simply ignored.

  2. Interfaces clash. If an interface provides a default method, and another interface contains a method with the same name and parameter types (default or not), then you must resolve the conflict by overriding that method.

Let’s look at the second rule. Consider two interfaces with a getName method:

interface Person
   default String getName() { return ""; };

interface Named
   default String getName() { return getClass().getName() + "_" + hashCode(); }

What happens if you form a class that implements both of them?

class Student implements Person, Named { . . . }

The class inherits two inconsistent getName methods provided by the Person and Named interfaces. Instead of choosing one over the other, the Java compiler reports an error and leaves it up to the programmer to resolve the ambiguity. Simply provide a getName method in the Student class. In that method, you can choose one of the two conflicting methods, like this:

class Student implements Person, Named
   public String getName() { return Person.super.getName(); }
   . . .

Now assume that the Named interface does not provide a default implementation for getName:

interface Named
   String getName();

Can the Student class inherit the default method from the Person interface? This might be reasonable, but the Java designers decided in favor of uniformity. It doesn’t matter how two interfaces conflict. If at least one interface provides an implementation, the compiler reports an error, and the programmer must resolve the ambiguity.

We just discussed name clashes between two interfaces. Now consider a class that extends a superclass and implements an interface, inheriting the same method from both. For example, suppose that Person is a class and Student is defined as

class Student extends Person implements Named { . . . }

In that case, only the superclass method matters, and any default method from the interface is simply ignored. In our example, Student inherits the getName method from Person, and it doesn’t make any difference whether the Named interface provides a default for getName or not. This is the “class wins” rule.

The “class wins” rule ensures compatibility with Java 7. If you add default methods to an interface, it has no effect on code that worked before there were default methods.

6.1.7 Interfaces and Callbacks

A common pattern in programming is the callback pattern. In this pattern, you specify the action that should occur whenever a particular event happens. For example, you may want a particular action to occur when a button is clicked or a menu item is selected. However, as you have not yet seen how to implement user interfaces, we will consider a similar but simpler situation.

The javax.swing package contains a Timer class that is useful if you want to be notified whenever a time interval has elapsed. For example, if a part of your program contains a clock, you can ask to be notified every second so that you can update the clock face.

When you construct a timer, you set the time interval and tell it what it should do whenever the time interval has elapsed.

How do you tell the timer what it should do? In many programming languages, you supply the name of a function that the timer should call periodically. However, the classes in the Java standard library take an object-oriented approach. You pass an object of some class. The timer then calls one of the methods on that object. Passing an object is more flexible than passing a function because the object can carry additional information.

Of course, the timer needs to know what method to call. The timer requires that you specify an object of a class that implements the ActionListener interface of the java.awt.event package. Here is that interface:

public interface ActionListener
   void actionPerformed(ActionEvent event);

The timer calls the actionPerformed method when the time interval has expired.

Suppose you want to print a message “At the tone, the time is . . .”, followed by a beep, once every second. You would define a class that implements the ActionListener interface. You would then place whatever statements you want to have executed inside the actionPerformed method.

class TimePrinter implements ActionListener
   public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent event)
      System.out.println("At the tone, the time is "
         + Instant.ofEpochMilli(event.getWhen()));

Note the ActionEvent parameter of the actionPerformed method. This parameter gives information about the event, such as the time when the event happened. The call event.getWhen() returns the event time, measured in milliseconds since the “epoch” (January 1, 1970). By passing it to the static Instant.ofEpochMilli method, we get a more readable description.

Next, construct an object of this class and pass it to the Timer constructor.

var listener = new TimePrinter();
Timer t = new Timer(1000, listener);

The first parameter of the Timer constructor is the time interval that must elapse between notifications, measured in milliseconds. We want to be notified every second. The second parameter is the listener object.

Finally, start the timer.


Every second, a message like

At the tone, the time is 2017-12-16T05:01:49.550Z

is displayed, followed by a beep.

Listing 6.3 puts the timer and its action listener to work. After the timer is started, the program puts up a message dialog and waits for the user to click the OK button to stop. While the program waits for the user, the current time is displayed every second. (If you omit the dialog, the program would terminate as soon as the main method exits.)

Listing 6.3 timer/TimerTest.java

 1  package timer;
 3  /**
 4    @version 1.02 2017-12-14
 5    @author Cay Horstmann
 6   */
 8  import java.awt.*;
 9  import java.awt.event.*;
10  import java.time.*;
11  import javax.swing.*;
13  public class TimerTest
14  {
15     public static void main(String[] args)
16     {
17        var listener = new TimePrinter();
19        // construct a timer that calls the listener once every second
20        var timer = new Timer(1000, listener);
21        timer.start();
23        // keep program running until the user selects "OK"
24        JOptionPane.showMessageDialog(null, "Quit program?");
25        System.exit(0);
26     }
27  }
29  class TimePrinter implements ActionListener
30  {
31     public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent event)
32     {
33        System.out.println("At the tone, the time is " + Instant.ofEpochMilli(event.getWhen()));
34        Toolkit.getDefaultToolkit().beep();
35     }
36  }

6.1.8 The Comparator Interface

In Section 6.1.1, “The Interface Concept,” on p. 312, you have seen how you can sort an array of objects, provided they are instances of classes that implement the Comparable interface. For example, you can sort an array of strings since the String class implements Comparable<String>, and the String.compareTo method compares strings in dictionary order.

Now suppose we want to sort strings by increasing length, not in dictionary order. We can’t have the String class implement the compareTo method in two ways—and at any rate, the String class isn’t ours to modify.

To deal with this situation, there is a second version of the Arrays.sort method whose parameters are an array and a comparator—an instance of a class that implements the Comparator interface.

public interface Comparator<T>
   int compare(T first, T second);

To compare strings by length, define a class that implements Comparator<String>:

class LengthComparator implements Comparator<String>
   public int compare(String first, String second)
      return first.length() - second.length();

To actually do the comparison, you need to make an instance:

var comp = new LengthComparator();
if (comp.compare(words[i], words[j]) > 0) . . .

Contrast this call with words[i].compareTo(words[j]). The compare method is called on the comparator object, not the string itself.

To sort an array, pass a LengthComparator object to the Arrays.sort method:

String[] friends = { "Peter", "Paul", "Mary" };
Arrays.sort(friends, new LengthComparator());

Now the array is either ["Paul", "Mary", "Peter"] or ["Mary", "Paul", "Peter"].

You will see in Section 6.2, “Lambda Expressions,” on p. 338 how to use a Comparator much more easily with a lambda expression.

6.1.9 Object Cloning

In this section, we discuss the Cloneable interface that indicates that a class has provided a safe clone method. Since cloning is not all that common, and the details are quite technical, you may just want to glance at this material until you need it.

To understand what cloning means, recall what happens when you make a copy of a variable holding an object reference. The original and the copy are references to the same object (see Figure 6.1). This means a change to either variable also affects the other.

var original = new Employee("John Public", 50000);
Employee copy = original;
copy.raiseSalary(10); // oops--also changed original

Figure 6.1 Copying and cloning

If you would like copy to be a new object that begins its life being identical to original but whose state can diverge over time, use the clone method.

Employee copy = original.clone();
copy.raiseSalary(10); // OK--original unchanged

But it isn’t quite so simple. The clone method is a protected method of Object, which means that your code cannot simply call it. Only the Employee class can clone Employee objects. There is a reason for this restriction. Think about the way in which the Object class can implement clone. It knows nothing about the object at all, so it can make only a field-by-field copy. If all instance fields in the object are numbers or other basic types, copying the fields is just fine. But if the object contains references to subobjects, then copying the field gives you another reference to the same subobject, so the original and the cloned objects still share some information.

To visualize that, consider the Employee class that was introduced in Chapter 4. Figure 6.2 shows what happens when you use the clone method of the Object class to clone such an Employee object. As you can see, the default cloning operation is “shallow”—it doesn’t clone objects that are referenced inside other objects. (The figure shows a shared Date object. For reasons that will become clear shortly, this example uses a version of the Employee class in which the hire day is represented as a Date.)


Figure 6.2 A shallow copy

Does it matter if the copy is shallow? It depends. If the subobject shared between the original and the shallow clone is immutable, then the sharing is safe. This certainly happens if the subobject belongs to an immutable class, such as String. Alternatively, the subobject may simply remain constant throughout the lifetime of the object, with no mutators touching it and no methods yielding a reference to it.

Quite frequently, however, subobjects are mutable, and you must redefine the clone method to make a deep copy that clones the subobjects as well. In our example, the hireDay field is a Date, which is mutable, so it too must be cloned. (For that reason, this example uses a field of type Date, not LocalDate, to demonstrate the cloning process. Had hireDay been an instance of the immutable LocalDate class, no further action would have been required.)

For every class, you need to decide whether

  1. The default clone method is good enough;

  2. The default clone method can be patched up by calling clone on the mutable subobjects; or 3. clone should not be attempted.

The third option is actually the default. To choose either the first or the second option, a class must

  1. Implement the Cloneable interface; and

  2. Redefine the clone method with the public access modifier.

In this case, the appearance of the Cloneable interface has nothing to do with the normal use of interfaces. In particular, it does not specify the clone method—that method is inherited from the Object class. The interface merely serves as a tag, indicating that the class designer understands the cloning process. Objects are so paranoid about cloning that they generate a checked exception if an object requests cloning but does not implement that interface.

Even if the default (shallow copy) implementation of clone is adequate, you still need to implement the Cloneable interface, redefine clone to be public, and call super.clone(). Here is an example:

class Employee implements Cloneable
   // public access, change return type
   public Employee clone() throws CloneNotSupportedException
      return (Employee) super.clone();
   . . .

The clone method that you just saw adds no functionality to the shallow copy provided by Object.clone. It merely makes the method public. To make a deep copy, you have to work harder and clone the mutable instance fields.

Here is an example of a clone method that creates a deep copy:

class Employee implements Cloneable
   . . .
   public Employee clone() throws CloneNotSupportedException
      // call Object.clone()
      Employee cloned = (Employee) super.clone();

      // clone mutable fields
      cloned.hireDay = (Date) hireDay.clone();
      return cloned;

The clone method of the Object class threatens to throw a CloneNotSupportedException—it does that whenever clone is invoked on an object whose class does not implement the Cloneable interface. Of course, the Employee and Date classes implement the Cloneable interface, so the exception won’t be thrown. However, the compiler does not know that. Therefore, we declared the exception:

public Employee clone() throws CloneNotSupportedException

You have to be careful about cloning of subclasses. For example, once you have defined the clone method for the Employee class, anyone can use it to clone Manager objects. Can the Employee clone method do the job? It depends on the fields of the Manager class. In our case, there is no problem because the bonus field has primitive type. But Manager might have acquired fields that require a deep copy or are not cloneable. There is no guarantee that the implementor of the subclass has fixed clone to do the right thing. For that reason, the clone method is declared as protected in the Object class. But you don’t have that luxury if you want the users of your classes to invoke clone.

Should you implement clone in your own classes? If your clients need to make deep copies, then you probably should. Some authors feel that you should avoid clone altogether and instead implement another method for the same purpose. I agree that clone is rather awkward, but you’ll run into the same issues if you shift the responsibility to another method. At any rate, cloning is less common than you may think. Less than five percent of the classes in the standard library implement clone.

The program in Listing 6.4 clones an instance of the class Employee (Listing 6.5), then invokes two mutators. The raiseSalary method changes the value of the salary field, whereas the setHireDay method changes the state of the hireDay field. Neither mutation affects the original object because clone has been defined to make a deep copy.

Listing 6.4 clone/CloneTest.java

 1 package clone;
 3 /**
 4  * This program demonstrates cloning.
 5  * @version 1.11 2018-03-16
 6  * @author Cay Horstmann
 7  */
 8  public class CloneTest
 9  {
10     public static void main(String[] args) throws CloneNotSupportedException
11     {
12        var original = new Employee("John Q. Public", 50000);
13        original.setHireDay(2000, 1, 1);
14        Employee copy = original.clone();
15        copy.raiseSalary(10);
16        copy.setHireDay(2002, 12, 31);
17        System.out.println("original=" + original);
18        System.out.println("copy=" + copy);
19     }
20  }

Listing 6.5 clone/Employee.java

 1 package clone;
 3 import java.util.Date;
 4 import java.util.GregorianCalendar;
 6 public class Employee implements Cloneable
 7 {
 8    private String name;
 9    private double salary;
10    private Date hireDay;
12    public Employee(String name, double salary)
13    {
14       this.name = name;
15       this.salary = salary;
16       hireDay = new Date();
17    }
19    public Employee clone() throws CloneNotSupportedException
20    {
21       // call Object.clone()
22       Employee cloned = (Employee) super.clone();
24       // clone mutable fields
25       cloned.hireDay = (Date) hireDay.clone();
27       return cloned;
28    }
30    /**
31     * Set the hire day to a given date.
32     * @param year the year of the hire day
33     * @param month the month of the hire day
34     * @param day the day of the hire day
35     */
36    public void setHireDay(int year, int month, int day)
37    {
38       Date newHireDay = new GregorianCalendar(year, month - 1, day).getTime();
40       // example of instance field mutation
41       hireDay.setTime(newHireDay.getTime());
42    }
44    public void raiseSalary(double byPercent)
45    {
46       double raise = salary * byPercent / 100;
47       salary += raise;
48    }
50    public String toString()
51    {
52       return "Employee[name=" + name + ",salary=" + salary + ",hireDay=" + hireDay + "]";
53    }
54  }

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Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020