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Thread: Can an object change it's own reference?

  1. #1
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    Default Can an object change it's own reference?

    Hi,

    I was wondering if you could do something like this in java:

    public Class Actor {

    ...
    Object Object 1 = new Object(...);
    ...

    public void function() {

    this.Object1 = this.Object1.loop();

    }

    }

    where

    public Class Object {

    ...

    public Object loop() {

    Object Object2 = new Object(...);
    ...
    return Object2;

    }

    }



    Could this cause reference problems? Is there any "cleaner" way to make an object spawn its own successor?

    Thank you in advance


  2. #2
    Super Moderator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can an object change it's own reference?

    The assignment statement:
    this.object1 = this.object1.loop();
    would change the value in the reference variable. There should be no problem assigning the variable a new value.
    If you don't understand my answer, don't ignore it, ask a question.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jps's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can an object change it's own reference?

    Object1 = Object1.methodCall();

    In other generic terms:

    VariableName = VariableName.returnValueFromMethodCall();

    Essentially this says set the value of the variable to the value returned by the method call. As long as the types match there should be no problem. It does not matter which object the method call belongs to, even the same object.
    Think about what happens to the object previously stored in the variable Object1 when the line of code executes. Where does it go?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Can an object change it's own reference?

    When this.object1.loop(); is called new object gets created.
    When above object is assigned to this.object1 the reference to old object is lost and will garbage collected.

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