Monday, 19 June 2017

Member Accessibility Modifiers in Java

Member Accessibility Modifiers in Java

By specifying member accessibility modifiers, a class can control what information is accessible to clients (i.e., other classes). These modifiers help a class to define a contract so that clients know exactly what services are offered by the class.
Accessibility of members can be one of the following:
  • public
  • protected
  • default (also called package accessibility)
  • private

A member has package or default accessibility when no accessibility modifier is specified. The member accessibility modifier only has meaning if the class (or one of its sub classes) is accessible to the client. Also, note that only one accessibility modifier can be specified for a member.

public Members: Public accessibility is the least restrictive of all the accessibility modifiers. A public member is accessible from anywhere, both in the package containing its class and in other packages where this class is visible. This is true for both instance and static members.(eg SuperclassA, SubclassB)

protected Members: A protected member is accessible in all classes in the package containing its class, and by all subclasses of its class in any package where this class is visible. In other words, non-subclasses in other packages cannot access protected members from other packages. It is less restrictive than the default accessibility(eg SuperclassA1, SubclassB1).

Default Accessibility for Members: When no member accessibility modifier is specified, the member is only accessible by other classes in its class's package. Even if its class is visible in another (possibly nested) package, the member is not accessible there. Default member accessibility is more restrictive than protected member accessibility.(eg SuperclassA2, SubclassB2)

private Members: This is the most restrictive of all the accessibility modifiers. Private members are not accessible from any other class. This also applies to subclasses, whether they are in the same package or not. Since they are not accessible by simple name in a subclass, they are also not inherited by the subclass. (eg SuperclassA3)

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