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default constructor must inside the Parent class. why?

Joe Man
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 17, 2002
Posts: 71
Why do we need a default constructor inside the Parent class when we create an instance of the Parent class?
public class Parent{
public Parent(String test){

class Child extends Parent{
public Child(String x){

public static void main(String [] args){
Child theChild = new Child("calling Child class");

If i don't add the default constructor "public Parent(){}" inside the parent class, the compiler complains:
Child.java:2: cannot resolve symbol
symbol : constructor Parent ()
location: class Parent
public Child(String x){
1 error

Why is that?

Sun Certified Web Component Developer for the J2EE Platform<br />Sun Certified Programmer for the Java 2 Platform
Jamal Hasanov
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 08, 2002
Posts: 411
Hi, Joe
When you construct a class, all its parents will be constructed at first. For example.
class A{}
class B extends A{}
class C extends C{}
When you constrict class C(C c1=new C()), the following happens
C c1 = A().B().C(). (it calls empty(default) constructors for each parent class...)
And, for example if class B has not default
public B(){} constructor, then you'll get error. In this situation you had to call ecplicitly this parent constructor. Example:
class A{}
class B extends A{
public B(String) {}
class C extends C{
public C() {

And in your example you had to call super(""); in your Child() constructor. That's all.
Rajinder Yadav
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 18, 2002
Posts: 178
Joe, when you create a class and don't define any ctor like,
class foo {}
java defines and inserts a default ctor for you in your code during the compile phase, so your class with the default ctor look like this when java get's throught with it,

note that a call to super() is added as a call within the added default ctor.
When you define your own ctor, java will not define a default ctor for you, take a look at the following code,

but once again java will insert a call to super() within your custom defined ctor, unless you make a call to another ctor using the this or super operator. The previous class gets a call to super added inside the "foo(int i)" ctor during the compile phase.

As you know, all classes require a ctor so that a object from in can be created, also all classes you define implicitly subclass class Object!
If another class were now to extend class foo, the compiler would complain about a default ctor not being define in the super class. The following code will not compile (as you've noted),

class bar fails to compile because java will create a default ctor with a call to super() inside it, the super class foo has no default ctor defined so you get a compile error.
class bar2 will compile since it correctly makes a call for the superclass's defined ctor.

<a href="http://www.rajindery.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Rajinder Yadav</a><p>Each problem that I solved became a rule which served afterwards to solve other problems. --Rene Descartes
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