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Tip of the Day
Language: Java Language
Expertise: Beginner
Jun 30, 1998

Dynamic class casting

Question:
Does java have dynamic_cast? If so, how is it used?

Answer:
All class casts of nonprimitive types in Java are dynamic and performed at runtime. In C++ the dynamic_cast operator will produce a null pointer if a type conversion cannot be performed. In Java, the cast operation will throw a ClassCastException. Where in C++ you would compare the result of a cast operation to null to determine success, in Java you would catch a ClassCastException. For example:

// C++
if(String *a = dynamic_cast(b)) {
// success
} else {
// failure
}

// Java
try {
    String a = (String)b;
    // success
} catch(ClassCastException e) {
    // failure
}
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