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Thread: Return Value Cannot Be Found

  1. #1
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    Default Return Value Cannot Be Found

    I need to make a code testing if an inputted name is a palindrome. I wrote a method that is supposed to return a String (ex. "[name] is a palindrome.") to the main method. However, the compiler "cannot find symbol" of my final return value ("return palindrome;"). Could anyone please help? Thanks!
    This is only the method I'm having trouble with; I can paste the main method, too, if someone wants me too, but it's not much.
        public static String palindrome (String name) {
            int length = name.length();
            int i = 0;
            while (i < length) {
                char first = name.charAt(i);
                String firstStr = first + "";
                char last = name.charAt(length-1-i);
                String lastStr = last + "";
                if (firstStr.equals (lastStr)) {
                    i++;
                    if (i == length - 1) {
                        String palindrome = name + " is a palindrome.";
                    }
                } else {
                    String palindrome = name + " is not a palindrome.";
                }
            }
            return palindrome;
        }

    Also- I'm new and don't know if this is the right forum. If it's not, please tell me which one is the correct forum to post this to. Thanks!


  2. #2
    Super Moderator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Return Value Cannot Be Found

    You have defined the String palindrome locally inside of a pair of {}s. Its definition is NOT known outside of the enclosing {}s. It is out of scope there.
    You need to define it at the same level of {}s where you want to use it, at the method level.
    When you define it you will have to assign it a null value because it is in a method where variables do not get default values.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Norm For This Useful Post:

    misscoollike (March 12th, 2012)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Return Value Cannot Be Found

    Thank you, this worked and your explanation was clear! New problem: when I actually run the program, I think it's getting stuck in a loop. You don't have to, but is there any glaringly obvious problem with this method?

  5. #4
    Super Moderator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Return Value Cannot Be Found

    To help figure out what is happening, add some printlns to the code to print out the values of the variables that are used to control the loop as the loop executes. The print out should show you why the execution is getting stuck in the loop.

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