sexta-feira, abril 17, 2015

Effective Java (Remarked) - Classes and Interfaces

Item 13: Minimize the accessibility of classes and members (design, stability)

The single most important factor that distinguishes a well-designed module from a poorly designed one is the degree to which the module hides its internal data and other implementation details from other modules. To summarize, you should always reduce accessibility as much as possible. After carefully designing a minimal public API, you should prevent any stray classes, interfaces, or members from becoming a part of the API. With the exception of public static final fields, public classes should have no public fields. Ensure that objects referenced by public static final fields are immutable.

When use? always, whitout exception.

Item 14: In public classes, use accessor methods, not public fields (design, stability)

Because the data fields of such classes are accessed directly, these classes do not offer the benefits of encapsulation (Item 13). You can’t change the representation without changing the API, you can’t enforce invariants, and you can’t take auxiliary action when a field is accessed. In summary, public classes should never expose mutable fields. It is less harmful, though still questionable, for public classes to expose immutable fields. It is, however, sometimes desirable for package-private or private nested classes to expose fields, whether mutable or immutable.

When use? always.

Item 15: Minimize mutability (design, performance, stability)

An immutable class is simply a class whose instances cannot be modified. All of the information contained in each instance is provided when it is created and is fixed for the lifetime of the object. The Java platform libraries contain many immutable classes, including String, the boxed primitive classes, and BigInteger and BigDecimal. There are many good reasons for this: Immutable classes are easier to design, implement, and use than mutable classes. To summarize, resist the urge to write a set method for every get method. Classes should be immutable unless there’s a very good reason to make them mutable. Immutable classes provide many advantages, and their only disadvantage is the potential for performance problems under certain circumstances. You should always make small value objects, such as PhoneNumber and Complex, immutable.

When use? always, do it judicially with ORM classes.

Item 16: Favor composition over inheritance (design)

To summarize, inheritance is powerful, but it is problematic because it violates encapsulation. It is appropriate only when a genuine subtype relationship exists between the subclass and the superclass. Even then, inheritance may lead to fragility if the subclass is in a different package from the superclass and the superclass is not designed for inheritance. To avoid this fragility, use composition and forwarding instead of inheritance, especially if an appropriate interface to implement a wrapper class exists. Not only are wrapper classes more robust than subclasses, they are also more powerful.

When use? always as possible.

Item 17: Design and document for inheritance or else prohibit it (design)

If a concrete class does not implement a standard interface, then you may inconvenience some programmers by prohibiting inheritance. If you feel that you must allow inheritance from such a class, one reasonable approach is to ensure that the class never invokes any of its overridable methods and to document this fact. In other words, eliminate the class’s self-use of overridable methods entirely. In doing so, you’ll create a class that is reasonably safe to subclass. Overriding a method will never affect the behavior of any other method.

When use? it depends, especially of the context. But try to keep your methods and attributes final, whenever possible.

Item 18: Prefer interfaces to abstract classes (design)

To summarize, an interface is generally the best way to define a type that permits multiple implementations. An exception to this rule is the case where ease of evolution is deemed more important than flexibility and power. Under these circumstances, you should use an abstract class to define the type, but only if you understand and can accept the limitations. If you export a nontrivial interface, you should strongly consider providing a skeletal implementation to go with it. Finally, you should design all of your public interfaces with the utmost care and test them thoroughly by writing multiple implementations.

When use? always, except for factored behaviour.

Item 19: Use interfaces only to define types (design)

In summary, interfaces should be used only to define types. They should not be used to export constants. In summary, tagged classes are seldom appropriate. If you’re tempted to write a class with an explicit tag field, think about whether the tag could be eliminated and the class replaced by a hierarchy. When you encounter an existing class with a tag field, consider refactoring it into a hierarchy.

When use? it depends, but generally speaking, yes, do it.

Item 20: Prefer class hierarchies to tagged classes (design)

Occasionally you may run across a class whose instances come in two or more flavors and contain a tag field indicating the flavor of the instance.In summary, tagged classes are seldom appropriate. If you’re tempted to write a class with an explicit tag field, think about whether the tag could be eliminated and the class replaced by a hierarchy. When you encounter an existing class with a tag field, consider refactoring it into a hierarchy.

When use? always.

Item 21: Use function objects to represent strategies (design)

To summarize, a primary use of function pointers is to implement the Strategy pattern. To implement this pattern in Java, declare an interface to represent the strategy, and a class that implements this interface for each concrete strategy. When a concrete strategy is used only once, it is typically declared and instantiated as an anonymous class. When a concrete strategy is designed for repeated use, it is generally implemented as a private static member class and exported in a public static final field whose type is the strategy interface.

When use? always.

Item 22: Favor static member classes over non static (design, performance)

If you declare a member class that does not require access to an enclosing instance, always put the static modifier in its declaration, making it a static rather than a nonstatic member class.


When use? always. It is a good way to obtain performance.

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