Observer Pattern

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Observer pattern is used when there is one to many relationship between objects such as if one object is modified, its depenedent objects are to be notified automatically. Observer pattern falls under behavioral pattern category.

Implementation

Observer pattern uses three actor classes. Subject, Observer and Client. Subject, an object having methods to attach and de-attach observers to a client object. We've created classes Subject, Observer abstract class and concrete classes extending the abstract class the Observer.

ObserverPatternDemo, our demo class will use Subject and concrete class objects to show observer pattern in action.

Observer Pattern UML Diagram

Step 1

Create Subject class.

Subject.java

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.List;

public class Subject {
	
   private List<Observer> observers 
      = new ArrayList<Observer>();
   private int state;

   public int getState() {
      return state;
   }

   public void setState(int state) {
      this.state = state;
      notifyAllObservers();
   }

   public void attach(Observer observer){
      observers.add(observer);		
   }

   public void notifyAllObservers(){
      for (Observer observer : observers) {
         observer.update();
      }
   } 	
}

Step 2

Create Observer class.

Observer.java

public abstract class Observer {
   protected Subject subject;
   public abstract void update();
}

Step 3

Create concrete observer classes

BinaryObserver.java

public class BinaryObserver extends Observer{

   public BinaryObserver(Subject subject){
      this.subject = subject;
      this.subject.attach(this);
   }

   @Override
   public void update() {
      System.out.println( "Binary String: " 
      + Integer.toBinaryString( subject.getState() ) ); 
   }
}

OctalObserver.java

public class OctalObserver extends Observer{

   public OctalObserver(Subject subject){
      this.subject = subject;
      this.subject.attach(this);
   }

   @Override
   public void update() {
     System.out.println( "Octal String: " 
     + Integer.toOctalString( subject.getState() ) ); 
   }
}

HexaObserver.java

public class HexaObserver extends Observer{

   public HexaObserver(Subject subject){
      this.subject = subject;
      this.subject.attach(this);
   }

   @Override
   public void update() {
      System.out.println( "Hex String: " 
      + Integer.toHexString( subject.getState() ).toUpperCase() ); 
   }
}

Step 4

Use Subject and concrete observer objects.

ObserverPatternDemo.java

public class ObserverPatternDemo {
   public static void main(String[] args) {
      Subject subject = new Subject();

      new HexaObserver(subject);
      new OctalObserver(subject);
      new BinaryObserver(subject);

      System.out.println("First state change: 15");	
      subject.setState(15);
      System.out.println("Second state change: 10");	
      subject.setState(10);
   }
}

Step 5

Verify the output.

First state change: 15
Hex String: F
Octal String: 17
Binary String: 1111
Second state change: 10
Hex String: A
Octal String: 12
Binary String: 1010


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