TABLE OF CONTENTS (HIDE)

Introduction to Java Programming
(for Novices & First-Time Programmers)

 

Getting Started - Your First Java Program

You should have already installed Java Development Kit (JDK) and wrote a Hello-world program. Otherwise, Read "How to Install JDK".

Let us revisit the Hello-world program that prints a message "Hello, world!" to the display console.

Step 1: Write the Source Code: Enter the following source codes, which defines a class called "Hello", using a programming text editor (such as TextPad or NotePad++ for Windows; jEdit or gedit for Mac OS X; gedit for Ubuntu). Do not enter the line numbers (on the left panel), which were added to aid in the explanation.

Save the source file as "Hello.java". A Java source file should be saved with a file extension of ".java". The filename shall be the same as the classname - in this case "Hello". Filename and classname are case-sensitive.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
/*
 * First Java program, which says "Hello, world!"
 */
public class Hello {   // Save as "Hello.java"
   public static void main(String[] args) {  // program entry point
      System.out.println("Hello, world!");   // print message
   }
}

Step 2: Compile the Source Code: Compile the source code "Hello.java" into Java bytecode "Hello.class" using the JDK Compiler "javac". Start a CMD Shell (Windows) or Terminal (UNIX/Linux/Mac OS X) and issue these commands:

// Change directory (cd) to the directory containing the source code "Hello.java"
javac Hello.java

Step 3: Run the Program: Run the program using Java Runtime "java", by issuing this command:

java Hello
Hello, world!
Brief Explanation of the Program

/* ...... */
// ... until the end of the line

These are called comments. Comments are NOT executable and are ignored by the compiler. But they provide useful explanation and documentation to your readers (and to yourself three days later). There are two kinds of comments:

  1. Multi-Line Comment: begins with /* and ends with */, and may span more than one lines (as in Lines 1-3).
  2. End-of-Line (Single-Line) Comment: begins with // and lasts until the end of the current line (as in Lines 4, 5, and 6).

public class Hello {
   ......
}

The basic unit of a Java program is a class. A class called "Hello" is defined via the keyword "class" in Lines 4-8. The braces {......} encloses the body of the class.

In Java, the name of the source file must be the same as the name of the class with a mandatory file extension of ".java". Hence, this file MUST be saved as "Hello.java", case-sensitive.

public static void main(String[] args) {
   ......
}

Lines 5-7 defines the so-called main() method, which is the entry point for program execution. Again, the braces {......} encloses the body of the method, which contains programming statements.

System.out.println("Hello, world!");
In Line 6, the programming statement System.out.println("Hello, world!") is used to print the string "Hello, world!" to the display console. A string is surrounded by a pair of double quotes and contain texts. The text will be printed as it is, without the double quotes. A programming statement ends with a semi-colon (;).

Java Terminology and Syntax

Comments: A multi-line comment begins with /* and ends with */, and may span multiple lines. An end-of-line (single-line) comment begins with // and lasts till the end of the current line. Comments are NOT executable statements and are ignored by the compiler. But they provide useful explanation and documentation. I strongly suggest that you write comments liberally to explain your thought and logic.

Statement: A programming statement performs a single piece of programming action. It is terminated by a semi-colon (;), just like an English sentence is ended with a period, as in Lines 6.

Block: A block is a group of programming statements enclosed by a pair of braces {}. This group of statements is treated as one single unit. There are two blocks in the above program. One contains the body of the class Hello. The other contains the body of the main() method. There is no need to put a semi-colon after the closing brace.

Whitespaces: Blank, tab, and newline are collectively called whitespace. Extra whitespaces are ignored, i.e., only one whitespace is needed to separate the tokens. Nonetheless, extra whitespaces improve the readability, and I strongly suggest you use extra spaces and newlines liberally.

Case Sensitivity: Java is case sensitive - a ROSE is NOT a Rose, and is NOT a rose. The filename is also case-sensitive.

Java Program Template

You can use the following template to write your Java programs. Choose a meaningful "Classname" that reflects the purpose of your program, and write your programming statements inside the body of the main() method. Don't worry about the other terms and keywords now. I will explain them in due course. Provide comments in your program!

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
/*
 * Comment to state the purpose of the program
 */
public class Classname {   // Choose a meaningful Classname. Save as "Classname.java"
   public static void main(String[] args) {  // Entry point of the program
      // Your programming statements here!
   }
}

Output via System.out.println() and System.out.print()

You can use System.out.println() (print-line) or System.out.print() to print message to the display console:

  • System.out.println(aString) (print-line) prints the given aString, and advances the cursor to the beginning of the next line.
  • System.out.print(aString) prints aString but places the cursor after the printed string.

Try the following program and explain the output produced:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
/*
 * Test System.out.println() (print-line) and System.out.print()
 */
public class PrintTest {   // Save as "PrintTest.java"
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      System.out.println("Hello, world!"); // Advance the cursor to the beginning of next line after printing
      System.out.println();                // Print a empty line
      System.out.print("Hello, world!");   // Cursor stayed after the printed string
      System.out.println("Hello,");
      System.out.print(" ");               // Print a space
      System.out.print("world!");
      System.out.println("Hello, world!");
   }
}

The expected outputs are:

Hello, world!
 
Hello, world!Hello,
 world!Hello, world!
Exercises
  1. Print each of the following patterns. Use one System.out.println(...) (print-line) statement for each line of outputs.
    * * * * *      * * * * *    * * * * *
     * * * * *     *       *     *     *
    * * * * *      *       *      *   * 
     * * * * *     *       *       * *
    * * * * *      * * * * *        *
       (a)            (b)          (c)

Let's Write a Program to Add a Few Numbers

Let us write a program to add five integers and display their sum, as follows:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
/*
 * Add five integers and display their sum
 */
public class FiveNumberSum {   // Save as "FiveNumberSum.java"
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      int number1 = 11;  // Declare 5 integer variables and assign a value
      int number2 = 22;
      int number3 = 33;
      int number4 = 44;
      int number5 = 55;
      int sum;  // Declare an int variable called sum to hold the sum
      sum = number1 + number2 + number3 + number4 + number5;  // Compute sum
      System.out.print("The sum is ");  // Print a descriptive string
      System.out.println(sum);  // Print the value stored in variable sum
   }
}

The expected output is:

The sum is 165
How It Works?

int number1 = 11;
int number2 = 22;
int number3 = 33;
int number4 = 44;
int number5 = 55;

These five statements declare five int (integer) variables called number1, number2, number3, number4, and number5; and assign values of 11, 22, 33, 44 and 55 to the variables, respectively, via the so-called assignment operator '='. You could also declare many variables in one statement separated by commas, e.g.,

int number1 = 11, number2 = 22, number3 = 33, number4 = 44, number5 = 55;

int sum;
declares an int (integer) variable called sum, without assigning an initial value.

sum = number1 + number2 + number3 + number4 + number5;
computes the sum of number1 to number5 and assign the result to the variable sum. The symbol '+' denotes arithmetic addition, just like Mathematics.

System.out.print("The sum is ");
System.out.println(sum);

Line 13 prints a descriptive string. A String is surrounded by double quotes, and will be printed as it is (without the double quotes). Line 14 prints the value stored in the variable sum (in this case, the sum of the five numbers). You should not surround a variable to be printed by double quotes; otherwise, the text will get printed instead of the value stored in the variable.

Exercise
  1. Modify the above program to print the product of 5 integers. Use a variable called product to hold the product, and * for multiplication.

What is a Program?

sequential flow

A program is a sequence of instructions (called programming statements), executing one after another - usually in a sequential manner, as illustrated in the following flow chart.

Example

The following program prints the area and circumference of a circle, given its radius. Take note that the programming statements are executed sequentially - one after another in the order that they were written.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
/*
 * Print the area and circumference of a circle, given its radius.
 */
public class CircleComputation {  // Saved as "CircleComputation.java"
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      // Declare double (real-number) variables to hold radius, area and circumference
      double radius, area, circumference;
      // Declare a constant for PI
      final double PI = 3.14159265;
      
      // Assign a value to radius
      radius = 1.2;
      // Compute area and circumference
      area = radius * radius * PI;
      circumference = 2.0 * radius * PI;
      
      // Print results
      System.out.print("The radius is ");  // Print description
      System.out.println(radius);          // Print the value stored in the variable
      System.out.print("The area is ");
      System.out.println(area);
      System.out.print("The circumference is ");
      System.out.println(circumference);
   }
}

The expected outputs are:

The radius is 1.2
The area is 4.523893416
The circumference is 7.5398223600000005
How It Works?

double radius, area, circumference;
declare three double variables radius, area and circumference. A double variable can hold a real number (or floating-point number, with an optional fractional part).

final double PI = 3.14159265;
declare a double variables called PI and assign a value. PI is declared final, i.e., its value cannot be changed.

radius = 1.2;
assigns a value (real number) to the double variable radius.

area = radius * radius * PI;
circumference = 2.0 * radius * PI;
compute the area and circumference, based on the value of radius and PI.

System.out.print("The radius is ");
System.out.println(radius);
System.out.print("The area is ");
System.out.println(area);
System.out.print("The circumference is ");
System.out.println(circumference);
print the results with proper descriptions.


Take note that the programming statements inside the main() method are executed one after another, in a sequential manner.

Exercises
  1. Follow the above example, write a program (called RectangleComputation) to print the area and perimeter of a rectangle, given its length and width (in doubles).
  2. Follow the above example, write a program (called CylinderComputation) to print the surface area and volume of a cylinder, given its radius and height (in doubles).

What is a Variable?

Computer programs manipulate (or process) data. A variable is a storage location (like a house, a pigeon hole, a letter box) that stores a piece of data for processing. It is called variable because you can change the value stored inside.

More precisely, a variable is a named storage location, that stores a value of a particular data type. In other words, a variable has a name, a type and stores a value of that type.

  • A variable has a name (aka identifier), e.g., radius, area, age, height. The name is needed to uniquely identify each variable, so as to assign a value to the variable (e.g., radius = 1.2), as well as to retrieve the value stored (e.g., radius * radius * 3.14159265).
  • A variable has a type. Examples of type are:
    • int: meant for integers (or whole numbers or fixed-point numbers), such as 123 and -456;
    • double: meant for floating-point numbers or real numbers, such as 3.1416, -55.66, having an optional decimal point and fractional part.
    • String: meant for texts such as "Hello", "Good Morning!". Strings shall be enclosed with a pair of double quotes.
  • A variable can store a value of the declared type. It is important to take note that a variable in most programming languages is associated with a type, and can only store value of that particular type. For example, a int variable can store an integer value such as 123, but NOT a real number such as 12.34, nor texts such as "Hello". The concept of type was introduced into the early programming languages to simplify interpretation of data.

The following diagram illustrates three types of variables: int, double and String. An int variable stores an integer (whole number); a double variable stores a real number (which includes integer as a special form of real number); a String variable stores texts.

variable
Declaring and Using Variables

To use a variable, you need to first declare its name and type, in one of the following syntaxes:

type varName;                 // Declare a variable of a type
type varName1, varName2,...;  // Declare multiple variables of the same type
type varName = initialValue;  // Declare a variable of a type, and assign an initial value
type varName1 = initialValue1, varName2 = initialValue2,... ;  // Declare variables with initial values

For examples,

int sum;              // Declare a variable named "sum" of the type "int" for storing an integer.
                      // Terminate the statement with a semi-colon.
double average;       // Declare a variable named "average" of the type "double" for storing a real number.
int number1, number2; // Declare 2 "int" variables named "number1" and "number2", separated by a comma.
int height = 20;      // Declare an "int" variable, and assign an initial value.
String msg = "Hello"; // Declare a "String" variable, and assign an initial value.

Take note that:

  • Each variable declaration statement begins with a type name, and works for only that type. That is, you cannot mix 2 types in one variable declaration statement.
  • Each statement is terminated with a semi-colon (;).
  • In multiple-variable declaration, the names are separated by commas (,).
  • The symbol '=', known as the assignment operator, can be used to assign an initial value to a variable.

More examples,

int number;           // Declare a variable named "number" of the type "int" (integer).
number = 99;          // Assign an integer value of 99 to the variable "number".
number = 88;          // Re-assign a value of 88 to "number".
number = number + 1;  // Evaluate "number + 1", and assign the result back to "number".
int sum = 0;          // Declare an int variable named "sum" and assign an initial value of 0.
sum = sum + number;   // Evaluate "sum + number", and assign the result back to "sum", i.e. add number into sum.
int num1 = 5, num2 = 6;  // Declare and initialize 2 int variables in one statement, separated by a comma.
double radius = 1.5;  // Declare a variable named "radius", and initialize to 1.5.
String msg;           // Declare a variable named msg of the type "String"
msg = "Hello";        // Assign a double-quoted text string to the String variable.
int number;           // ERROR: A variable named "number" has already been declared.
sum = 55.66;          // ERROR: The variable "sum" is an int. It cannot be assigned a double.
sum = "Hello";        // ERROR: The variable "sum" is an int. It cannot be assigned a string.

Take note that:

  • Each variable can only be declared once. (You cannot have two houses with the same address.)
  • In Java, you can declare a variable anywhere inside your program, as long as it is declared before it is being used.
  • Once a variable is declared, you can assign and re-assign a value to that variable, via the assignment operator '='.
  • Once the type of a variable is declared, it can only store a value of that particular type. For example, an int variable can hold only integer such as 123, and NOT floating-point number such as -2.17 or text string such as "Hello".
  • Once declared, the type of a variable CANNOT be changed.
x=x+1?

Assignment in programming (denoted as '=') is different from equality in Mathematics (also denoted as '='). E.g., "x=x+1" is invalid in Mathematics. However, in programming, it means compute the value of x plus 1, and assign the result back to variable x.

"x+y=1" is valid in Mathematics, but is invalid in programming. In programming, the RHS (Right-Hand Side) of '=' has to be evaluated to a value; while the LHS (Left-Hand Side) shall be a variable. That is, evaluate the RHS first, then assign the result to LHS.

Some languages uses := as the assignment operator to avoid confusion with equality.

Basic Arithmetic Operations

The basic arithmetic operations are:

Operator Meaning Example
+ Addition x + y
- Subtraction x - y
* Multiplication x * y
/ Division x / y
% Modulus (Remainder) x % y
++ Increment by 1 (Unary) ++x or x++
-- Decrement by 1 (Unary) --x or x--

Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and remainder are binary operators that take two operands (e.g., x + y); while negation (e.g., -x), increment and decrement (e.g., ++x, --x) are unary operators that take only one operand.

Example

The following program illustrates these arithmetic operations:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
/*
 * Test Arithmetic Operations
 */
public class ArithmeticTest {     // Save as "ArithmeticTest.java"
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      int number1 = 98; // Declare an int variable number1 and initialize it to 98
      int number2 = 5;  // Declare an int variable number2 and initialize it to 5
      int sum, difference, product, quotient, remainder;  // Declare 5 int variables to hold results
   
      // Perform arithmetic Operations
      sum = number1 + number2;
      difference = number1 - number2;
      product = number1 * number2;
      quotient = number1 / number2;
      remainder = number1 % number2;
  
      // Print results
      System.out.print("The sum, difference, product, quotient and remainder of ");  // Print description
      System.out.print(number1);      // Print the value of the variable
      System.out.print(" and ");
      System.out.print(number2);
      System.out.print(" are ");
      System.out.print(sum);
      System.out.print(", ");
      System.out.print(difference);
      System.out.print(", ");
      System.out.print(product);
      System.out.print(", ");
      System.out.print(quotient);
      System.out.print(", and ");
      System.out.println(remainder);
   
      ++number1;  // Increment the value stored in the variable "number1" by 1
                  // Same as "number1 = number1 + 1"
      --number2;  // Decrement the value stored in the variable "number2" by 1
                  // Same as "number2 = number2 - 1"
      System.out.println("number1 after increment is " + number1);  // Print description and variable
      System.out.println("number2 after decrement is " + number2);
      quotient = number1 / number2; 
      System.out.println("The new quotient of " + number1 + " and " + number2 
            + " is " + quotient);
   }
}

The expected outputs are:

The sum, difference, product, quotient and remainder of 98 and 5 are 103, 93, 490, 19, and 3
number1 after increment is 99
number2 after decrement is 4
The new quotient of 99 and 4 is 24
How It Works?

int number1 = 98;
int number2 = 5;
int sum, difference, product, quotient, remainder;
declare all the variables number1, number2, sum, difference, product, quotient and remainder needed in this program. All variables are of the type int (integer).

sum = number1 + number2;
difference = number1 - number2;
product = number1 * number2;
quotient = number1 / number2;
remainder = number1 % number2;
carry out the arithmetic operations on number1 and number2. Take note that division of two integers produces a truncated integer, e.g., 98/5 → 19, 99/4 → 24, and 1/2 → 0.

System.out.print("The sum, difference, product, quotient and remainder of ");
......
prints the results of the arithmetic operations, with the appropriate string descriptions in between. Take note that text strings are enclosed within double-quotes, and will get printed as they are, including the white spaces but without the double quotes. To print the value stored in a variable, no double quotes should be used. For example,

System.out.println("sum");   // Print text string "sum" - as it is
System.out.println(sum);     // Print the value stored in variable sum, e.g., 98

++number1;
--number2;
illustrate the increment and decrement operations. Unlike '+', '-', '*', '/' and '%', which work on two operands (binary operators), '++' and '--' operate on only one operand (unary operators). ++x is equivalent to x = x + 1, i.e., increment x by 1.

System.out.println("number1 after increment is " + number1);
System.out.println("number2 after decrement is " + number2);
print the new values stored after the increment/decrement operations. Take note that instead of using many print() statements as in Lines 18-31, we could simply place all the items (text strings and variables) into one println(), with the items separated by '+'. In this case, '+' does not perform addition. Instead, it concatenates or joins all the items together.

Exercises
  1. Combining Lines 18-31 into one single println() statement, using '+' to concatenate all the items together.
  2. Introduce one more int variable called number3, and assign it an integer value of 77. Compute and print the sum and product of all the three numbers.
  3. In Mathematics, we could omit the multiplication sign in an arithmetic expression, e.g., x = 5a + 4b. In programming, you need to explicitly provide all the operators, i.e., x = 5*a + 4*b. Try printing the sum of 31 times of number1 and 17 times of number2 and 87 time of number3.

What If Your Need To Add a Thousand Numbers? Use a Loop

Suppose that you want to add all the integers from 1 to 1000. If you follow the previous example, you would require a thousand-line program! Instead, you could use a so-called loop in your program to perform a repetitive task, that is what the computer is good at.

Example

Try the following program, which sums all the integers from a lowerbound (=1) to an upperbound (=1000) using a so-called while-loop.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
/*
 * Sum from a lowerbound to an upperbound using a while-loop
 */
public class RunningNumberSum {  // Save as "RunningNumberSum.java"
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      int lowerbound = 1;      // Store the lowerbound
      int upperbound = 1000;   // Store the upperbound
      int sum = 0;   // Declare an int variable "sum" to accumulate the numbers
                     // Set the initial sum to 0
      // Use a while-loop to repeatedly sum from the lowerbound to the upperbound
      int number = lowerbound;
      while (number <= upperbound) {
         sum = sum + number;  // Accumulate number into sum
         ++number;            // Next number
      }
      // Print the result
      System.out.println("The sum from " + lowerbound + " to " + upperbound + " is " + sum);
   }
}

The expected output is:

The sum from 1 to 1000 is 500500
How It Works?

int lowerbound = 1;
int upperbound = 1000;
declare two int variables to hold the upperbound and lowerbound, respectively.

int sum = 0;
declares an int variable to hold the sum. This variable will be used to accumulate over the steps in the repetitive loop, and thus initialized to 0.

int number = lowerbound;
while (number <= upperbound) {
   sum = sum + number;
   ++number;
}
This is the so-called while-loop. A while-loop takes the following syntax:

for-loop
initialization-statement;
while (test) {
   loop-body;
}
next-statement;

As illustrated in the flow chart, the initialization statement is first executed. The test is then checked. If test is true, the body is executed. The test is checked again and the process repeats until the test is false. When the test is false, the loop completes and program execution continues to the next statement after the loop.

In our program, the initialization statement declares an int variable named number and initializes it to lowerbound. The test checks if number is equal to or less than the upperbound. If it is true, the current value of number is added into the sum, and the statement ++number increases the value of number by 1. The test is then checked again and the process repeats until the test is false (i.e., number increases to upperbound+1), which causes the loop to terminate. Execution then continues to the next statement (in Line 17).

In this example, the loop repeats upperbound-lowerbound+1 times. After the loop is completed, Line 17 prints the result with a proper description.

System.out.println("The sum from " + lowerbound + " to " + upperbound + " is " + sum);
prints the results.

Exercises
  1. Modify the above program to sum all the numbers from 9 to 888. (Ans: 394680.)
  2. Modify the above program to sum all the odd numbers between 1 to 1000. (Hint: Change the post-processing statement to "number = number + 2". Ans: 250000)
  3. Modify the above program to sum all the numbers between 1 to 1000 that are divisible by 7. (Hint: Modify the initialization and post-processing statements. Ans: 71071.)
  4. Modify the above program to find the sum of the square of all the numbers from 1 to 100, i.e. 1*1 + 2*2 + 3*3 +... (Ans: 338350.)
  5. Modify the above program (called RunningNumberProduct) to compute the product of all the numbers from 1 to 10. (Hint: Use a variable called product instead of sum and initialize product to 1. Ans: 3628800.)

Conditional (or Decision)

What if you want to sum all the odd numbers and also all the even numbers between 1 and 1000? There are many ways to do this. You could declare two variables: sumOdd and sumEven. You can then use a conditional statement to check whether the number is odd or even, and accumulate the number into the respective sums. The program is as follows:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
23
24
/*
 * Sum the odd numbers and the even numbers from a lowerbound to an upperbound
 */
public class OddEvenSum {  // Save as "OddEvenSum.java"
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      int lowerbound = 1, upperbound = 1000;  // lowerbound and upperbound
      int sumOdd  = 0;    // For accumulating odd numbers, init to 0
      int sumEven = 0;    // For accumulating even numbers, init to 0
      int number = lowerbound;
      while (number <= upperbound) {
         if (number % 2 == 0) {  // Even
            sumEven += number;   // Same as sumEven = sumEven + number
         } else {                // Odd
            sumOdd += number;    // Same as sumOdd = sumOdd + number
         }
         ++number;  // Next number
      } 
      // Print the result
      System.out.println("The sum of odd numbers from " + lowerbound + " to " + upperbound + " is " + sumOdd);
      System.out.println("The sum of even numbers from " + lowerbound + " to " + upperbound + "  is " + sumEven);
      System.out.println("The difference between the two sums is " + (sumOdd - sumEven));
   }
}

The expected outputs are:

The sum of odd numbers from 1 to 1000 is 250000
The sum of even numbers from 1 to 1000  is 250500
The difference between the two sums is -500
How It Works?

int lowerbound = 1, upperbound = 1000;
declares and initializes the upperbound and lowerbound.

int sumOdd = 0;
int sumEven = 0;
declare two int variables named sumOdd and sumEven and initialize them to 0, for accumulating the odd and even numbers, respectively.

if (number % 2 == 0) {
   sumEven += number;
} else {
   sumOdd += number;
}
This is a conditional statement. The conditional statement can take one these forms: if-then or if-then-else.

if-then-else if-then
// if-then
if ( test ) {
   true-body;
}
// if-then-else
if ( test ) {
   true-body;
} else {
   false-body;
}

For a if-then statement, the true-body is executed if the test is true. Otherwise, nothing is done and the execution continues to the next statement. For a if-then-else statement, the true-body is executed if the test is true; otherwise, the false-body is executed. Execution is then continued to the next statement.

In our program, we use the remainder or modulus operator (%) to compute the remainder of number divides by 2. We then compare the remainder with 0 to test for even number.

Furthermore, sumEven += number is a shorthand for sumEven = sumEven + number.

Comparison Operators

There are six comparison (or relational) operators:

Operator Meaning Example
== Equal to x == y
!= Not equal to x != y
> Greater than x > y
>= Greater than or equal to x >= y
< Less than x < y
<= Less than or equal to x <= y

Take note that the comparison operator for equality is a double-equal sign (==); whereas a single-equal sign (=) is the assignment operator.

Combining Simple Conditions

Suppose that you want to check whether a number x is between 1 and 100 (inclusive), i.e., 1 <= x <= 100. There are two simple conditions here, (x >= 1) AND (x <= 100). In Java, you cannot write 1 <= x <= 100, but need to write (x >= 1) && (x <= 100), where "&&" denotes the "AND" operator. Similarly, suppose that you want to check whether a number x is divisible by 2 OR by 3, you have to write (x % 2 == 0) || (x % 3 == 0) where "||" denotes the "OR" operator.

There are three so-called logical operators that operate on the boolean conditions:

Operator Meaning Example
&& Logical AND (x >= 1) && (x <= 100)
|| Logical OR (x < 1) || (x > 100)
! Logical NOT !(x == 8)

For examples:

// Return true if x is between 0 and 100 (inclusive)
(x >= 0) && (x <= 100)  // AND (&&)
// Incorrect to use 0 <= x <= 100
  
// Return true if x is outside 0 and 100 (inclusive)
(x < 0) || (x > 100)       // OR (||)
!((x >= 0) && (x <= 100))  // NOT (!), AND (&&)
 
// Return true if "year" is a leap year
// A year is a leap year if it is divisible by 4 but not by 100, or it is divisible by 400.
((year % 4 == 0) && (year % 100 != 0)) || (year % 400 == 0)
Exercises
  1. Write a program to sum all the integers between 1 and 1000, that are divisible by 13, 15 or 17, but not by 30.
  2. Write a program to print all the leap years between AD1 and AD2010, and also print the number of leap years. (Hints: use a variable called count, which is initialized to zero. Increment the count whenever a leap year is found.)

More on Type double and Floating-Point Numbers

Recall that a variable in Java has a name and a type, and can hold a value of only that particular type. We have so far used a type called int. A int variable holds an integer, such as 123 and -456; it cannot hold a real number, such as 12.34.

In programming, real numbers such as 3.1416 and -55.66 are called floating-point numbers, and belong to a type called double. You can express floating-point numbers in fixed notation (e.g., 1.23, -4.5) or scientific notation (e.g., 1.2e3, -4E-5) where e or E denote the exponent of base 10.

Example
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
/*
 * Convert temperature between Celsius and Fahrenheit
 */
public class ConvertTemperature {  // Save as "ConvertTemperature.java"
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      double celsius, fahrenheit;
 
      celsius = 37.5;
      fahrenheit = celsius * 9.0 / 5.0 + 32.0;
      System.out.println(celsius + " degree C is " + fahrenheit + " degree F.");
 
      fahrenheit = 100.0;
      celsius =  (fahrenheit - 32.0) * 5.0 / 9.0;
      System.out.println(fahrenheit + " degree F is " + celsius + " degree C.");
 
   }
}

The expected outputs are:

37.5 degree C is 99.5 degree F.
100.0 degree F is 37.77777777777778 degree C.

Mixing int and double, and Type Casting

Although you can use a double to keep an integer value (e.g., double count = 5.0, as floating-point numbers includes integers as special case), you should use an int for integer, as int is far more efficient than double, in terms of running time, accuracy and storage requirement.

At times, you may need both int and double in your program. For example, keeping the sum from 1 to 1000 as int, and their average as double. You need to be extremely careful when different types are mixed.

It is important to note that:

  • Arithmetic operations ('+', '-', '*', '/') of two int's produce an int; while arithmetic operations of two double's produce a double. Hence, 1/2 → 0 (take that this is truncated to 0, not 0.5) and 1.0/2.0 → 0.5.
  • Arithmetic operations of an int and a double produce a double. Hence, 1.0/2 → 0.5 and 1/2.0 → 0.5.

You can assign an integer value to a double variable. The integer value will be converted to a double value automatically, e.g., 3 → 3.0. For examples,

int i = 3;
double d;
d = i;    // 3 → 3.0, d = 3.0
d = 88;   // 88 → 88.0, d = 88.0
double nought = 0;  // 0 → 0.0; there is a subtle difference between int 0 and double 0.0

However, you CANNOT assign a double value directly to an int variable. This is because the fractional part could be lost, and the Java compiler signals an error in case that you were not aware. For example,

double d = 5.5;
int i;
i = d;     // error: possible loss of precision
i = 6.6;   // error: possible loss of precision
Type Casting Operators

To assign an double value to an int variable, you need to explicitly invoke a type-casting operation to truncate the fractional part, as follows:

(new-type)expression;

For example,

double d = 5.5;
int i;
i = (int) d;        // Type-cast the value of double d, which returns an int value,
                    // assign the resultant int value to int i.
                    // The value stored in d is not affected.
i = (int) 3.1416;   // i = 3

Take note that type-casting operator, in the form of (int) or (double), applies to one operand immediately after the operator (i.e., unary operator).

Type-casting is an operation, like increment or addition, which operates on a operand and return a value (in the specified type), e.g., (int)3.1416 takes a double value of 3.1416 and returns 3 (of type int); (double)5 takes an int value of 5 and returns 5.0 (of type double).

Example

Try the following program and explain the outputs produced:

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
/*
 * Find the sum and average from a lowerbound to an upperbound
 */
public class TypeCastingTest {   // Save as "TypeCastingTest.java"
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      int lowerbound = 1, upperbound = 1000;
      int sum = 0;      // sum is "int"
      double average;   // average is "double"
 
      // Compute the sum (in "int")
      int number = lowerbound;
      while (number <= upperbound) {
         sum = sum + number;
         ++number;
      }
      System.out.println("The sum from " + lowerbound + " to " + upperbound + " is " + sum);
 
      // Compute the average (in "double")
      average = sum / (upperbound - lowerbound + 1);
      System.out.println("Average 1 is " + average);
      average = (double)sum / (upperbound - lowerbound + 1);
      System.out.println("Average 2 is " + average);
      average = sum / 1000;
      System.out.println("Average 3 is " + average);
      average = sum / 1000.0;
      System.out.println("Average 4 is " + average);
      average = (double)(sum / 1000);
      System.out.println("Average 5 is " + average);
   }
}

The expected output are:

The sum from 1 to 1000 is 500500
Average 1 is 500.0  <== incorrect
Average 2 is 500.5
Average 3 is 500.0  <== incorrect
Average 4 is 500.5
Average 5 is 500.0  <== incorrect

The first average is incorrect, as int/int produces an int (of 500), which is converted to double (of 500.0) to be stored in average (of double).

For the second average, the value of sum (of int) is first converted to double. Subsequently, double/int produces a double.

For the fifth average, int/int produces an int (of 500), which is casted to double (of 500.0) and assigned to average (of double).

Exercises
  1. Write a program called HarmonicSeriesSum to compute the sum of a harmonic series 1 + 1/2 + 1/3 + 1/4 + .... + 1/n, where n = 1000. Keep the sum in a double variable. Take note that 1/2 gives 0, but 1.0/2 gives 0.5.
    Try computing the sum for n=1000, 5000, 10000, 50000, 100000.
    Hints:
    public class HarmonicSeriesSum {   // Saved as "HarmonicSeriesSum.java"
       public static void main (String[] args) {
          int numTerms = 1000;
          double sum = 0.0;      // For accumulating sum in double
          int denominator = 1;
          while (denominator <= numTerms) {
              // Beware that int/int gives int
              ......
              ++denominator;  // next
          }
          // Print the sum
          ......
       }
    }
  2. Modify the above program (called GeometricSeriesSum) to compute the sum of this series: 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 + .... (for 1000 terms).
    Hints: Use post-processing statement of denominator *= 2, which is a shorthand for denominator = denominator * 2.

Summary

I have presented the basics for you to get start in programming. To learn programming, you need to understand the syntaxes and features involved in the programming language that you chosen, and you have to practice, practice and practice, on as many problems as you could.


Link TO "Java References & Resources"