Can we have generic constructors in Java?


Generics is a concept in Java where you can enable a class, interface and, method, accept all (reference) types as parameters. In other words it is the concept which enables the users to choose the reference type that a method, constructor of a class accepts, dynamically. By defining a class as generic you are making it type-safe i.e. it can act up on any datatype.

To define a generic class you need to specify the type parameter you are using in the angle brackets “<>” after the class name and you can treat this as datatype of the instance variable an proceed with the code.

Example − Generic class

class Student<T>{
   T age;
   Student(T age){
      this.age = age;
   }
   public void display() {
      System.out.println("Value of age: "+this.age);
   }
}

Usage − While instantiating the generic class you need to specify the object name after the class within the angular brackets. Thus, choose the type of the type parameter dynamically and pass the required object as a parameter.

public class GenericsExample {
   public static void main(String args[]) {
      Student<Float> std1 = new Student<Float>(25.5f);
      std1.display();
      Student<String> std2 = new Student<String>("25");
      std2.display();
      Student<Integer> std3 = new Student<Integer>(25);
      std3.display();
   }
}

Example generic methods

Similar to generic classes you can also define generic methods in Java. These methods use their own type parameters. Just like local variables, the scope of the type parameters of the methods lies within the method.

While defining generic methods you need to specify the type parameter in the angular brackets and use it as a local variable.

 Live Demo

public class GenericMethod {
   <T>void sampleMethod(T[] array) {
      for(int i=0; i<array.length; i++) {
         System.out.println(array[i]);
      }
   }
   public static void main(String args[]) {
      GenericMethod obj = new GenericMethod();
      Integer intArray[] = {45, 26, 89, 96};
      obj.sampleMethod(intArray);
      String stringArray[] = {"Krishna", "Raju", "Seema", "Geeta"};
      obj.sampleMethod(stringArray);
   }
}

Output

45
26
89
96
Krishna
Raju
Seema
Geeta

Generic constructors

Constructors are similar to methods and just like generic methods we can also have generic constructors in Java though the class is non-generic.

Since the method does not have return type for generic constructors the type parameter should be placed after the public keyword and before its (class) name.

Once you define a generic constructor you can invoke (instantiate the class using that particular constructor) it by passing any type (object) as parameter.

Example

Following Java program demonstrates the usage of generic constructors in Java.

 Live Demo

class Employee{
   String data;
   public <T> Employee(T data){
      this.data = data.toString();
   }
   public void dsplay() {
      System.out.println("value: "+this.data);
   }
}
public class GenericConstructor {
   public static void main(String args[]) {
      Employee emp1 = new Employee("Raju");
      emp1.dsplay();
      Employee emp2 = new Employee(12548);
      emp2.dsplay();
   }
}

Output

value: Raju
value: 12548
raja
Published on 09-Sep-2019 12:13:58
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