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Showing posts from January, 2015

Consider static factory methods instead of constructors

The normal way for a class to allow a client to obtain an instance of itself is to provide a public constructor. There is another technique that should be a part of every programmer’s toolkit. A class can provide a public static factory method, which is simply a static method that returns an instance of the class. Here’s a simple example from Boolean (the boxed primitive class for the primitive type boolean). This method translates a boolean primitive value into a Boolean object reference:

public static Boolean valueOf(boolean b) {
return b ? Boolean.TRUE : Boolean.FALSE;
}

          Note that a static factory method is not the same as the Factory Method pattern from Design Patterns . The static factory method described in this item has no direct equivalent in Design Patterns. A class can provide its clients with static factory methods instead of, or in addition to, constructors. Providing a static factory method instead of a public constructor has both advantages and disadvant…