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Tip: Dereferencing in Java

Dereferencing pursues the memory address placed in a reference, to the place in memory where the actual object exists. See how dereferencing works in Java.


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Dereferencing happens using the . operator:

Object object = new Object();

String text = object.toString(); // 'object' is dereferenced.

Dereferencing pursues the memory address placed in a reference, to the place in memory where the actual object is. When an object has been found, the requested method is called; if the reference has the value null, dereferencing results in a NullPointerException:



Object obj = null;

obj.toString(); // Throws a NullpointerException when this statement is executed.

Null indicates the absence of a value, so there is no object on which the requested method can be called.



   
Octavia Andreea Anghel is a senior PHP developer currently working as a primary trainer for programming teams that participate at national and international software-development contests. She consults on developing educational projects at a national level. She is a coauthor of the book "XML Technologies--XML in Java" (Albastra, ISBN 978-973-650-210-1), for which she wrote the XML portions. In addition to PHP and XML, she's interested in software architecture, web services, UML, and high-performance unit tests.
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