Intro2 Study Guide
Author: Josh Hug, Kartik Kapur, Zephyr Omaly

Lecture Code #

Code from this lecture available at

Historical Live QA #

Linked here

Overview #

Command line compilation and execution. javac is used to compile programs. java is used to execute programs. We must always compile before execution.

Client Programs and Main Methods. A Java program without a main method cannot be run directly using the java command. However, its methods can still be invoked using the main method of another class.

Class Declaration. Java classes can contain methods and/or variables. We say that such methods and variables are “members” of the class. Members can be instance members or static members. Static members are declared with the static keyword. Instance members are any members without the static keyword.

Class Instantiation. Instantiating a class is almost always done using the new keyword, e.g. Dog d = new Dog(). An instance of a class in Java is also called an “Object”.

Dot Notation. We access members of a class using dot notation, e.g. d.bark(). Class members can be accessed from within the same class or from other classes.

Constructors. Constructors tell Java what to do when a program tries to create an instance of a class, e.g. what it should do when it executes Dog d = new Dog().

Array Instantiation. Arrays are also instantiated using the new keyword. For example int[] arr = new int[10] If we have an array of Objects, e.g. Dog[] dogarray, then each element of the array must also be instantiated separately.

Static vs. Instance methods. The distinction between static and instance methods is incredibly important. Instance methods are actions that can only be taken by an instance of the class (i.e. a specific object), whereas static methods are taken by the class itself. An instance method is invoked using a reference to a specific instance, e.g. d.bark(), whereas static methods should be invoked using the class name, e.g. Math.sqrt(). Know when to use each.

Static variables. Variables can also be static. Static variables should be accessed using the class name, e.g. Dog.binomen as opposed to d.binomen. Technically Java allows you to access using a specific instance, but we strongly encourage you not to do this to avoid confusion.

void methods. A method which does not return anything should be given a void return type.

The this keyword. Inside a method, we can use the this keyword to refer to the current instance. This is equivalent to self in Python.

public static void main(String[] args). We now know what each of these things means:

  • public: So far, all of our methods start with this keyword.
  • static: It is a static method, not associated with any particular instance.
  • void: It has no return type.
  • main: This is the name of the method.
  • String[] args: This is a parameter that is passed to the main method.

Command Line Arguments. Arguments can be provided by the operating system to your program as “command line arguments,” and can be accessed using the args parameter in main. For example if we call our program from the command line like this java ArgsDemo these are command line arguments, then the main method of ArgsDemo will have an array containing the Strings “these”, “are”, “command”, “line”, and “arguments”.

Using Libraries. There’s no need in the year 2017 to build everything yourself from scratch. In our course, you are allowed to and highly encouraged to use Java’s built-in libraries, as well as libraries that we provide, e.g. the Princeton standard library. You should not use libraries other than those provided or built into Java because it may render some of the assignments moot, and also our autograder won’t have access to these libraries and your code won’t work.

Getting Help from the Internet. You’re welcome to seek help online. However, you should always cite your sources, and you should not seek help on specific homework problems or projects. For example, googling “how convert String Java” or “how read file Java” are fine, but you should not be searching “project 2 61b java berkeley”.

Exercises #

Factual #

  1. Complete the exercises from the online textbook.

    As noted in the lecture 1 study guide, we strongly encourage you to complete the optional HW0, which covers a bunch of basic Java syntax.

  2. In the below code what would the blank variable name have to be in order for the code to compile

     public class Human{
       int __________;
       public Human(int ________){
         eyes = ___________;
  3. Complete the check-in exercises, linked here

Conceptual #

Below is the Dog class.

    public class Dog{
      public void bark(){
      public static void runFast(){
        System.out.println("Ruff Run");
  1. Which of the following lines, if any, would cause an error.

     Dog poppa = new Dog();
  2. What modifications could we make to ensure our code compiles and executes correctly?

Procedural #

Let’s imagine I wanted to be able to create a special kind of Dog which displayed a unique String defined by the user when its bark() method is invoked. What additions would you have to make to your Dog class? What changes would you have to make? Try implementing it!

Metacognitive #

What is the purpose of static variables? When designing code, what are cases in which the use of static variables leads to much cleaner code?

Last built: 2023-10-26 18:40 UTC