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Tip of the Day
Language: Java
Expertise: Intermediate
Nov 9, 1998

Finalization and Cleanup

Although Java does not provide a destructor as in C++, you can use an overridden finalize() method for similar purposes. The overridden finalize() method is invoked on an object before the garbage collector reclaims the memory occupied by the object. If the method named runFinalizersOnExit(true) is invoked, an overridden finalize() method will be invoked on every object of that type that still exists when the main method terminates. Although an overridden finalize() method is not as definitive as a C++ destructor, at least it assures cleanup of objects before the garbage collector reclaims the memory occupied by the object. Cleanup may involve closing sockets or other tasks not related to the reuse of memory. This code was tested using JDK1.1.6 under Win95:
   
import java.util.*;
import java.io.*;

class Cleanup02 {
	int myData;
  
	public static void main(String[] args){ //main method
		System.runFinalizersOnExit(true);
		Cleanup02 obj1 = new Cleanup02(1);
		Cleanup02 obj2 = new Cleanup02(2);
		System.out.println("Terminating program");
	}//end main
	//-----------------------------------------------------//
	Cleanup02(int myData){//constructor
		this.myData = myData;
	}//end constructor
	//-----------------------------------------------------//
  
	protected void finalize(){//override finalize method
		System.out.println("Do cleanup for obj" + myData + 
				" here");
	}//end finalize()
}//End Cleanup02 class.
This program produces the following output:
 
Terminating program
Do cleanup for obj1 here
Do cleanup for obj2 here
Richard G.
 
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