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Overriding static methods in subclass

Nina Binde
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Joined: Sep 24, 2004
Posts: 85
This is the information I got from the sun tutorial regards to overriding static methods: http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/java/javaOO/override.html
Quote from the same site:
"Also, a subclass cannot override methods that are declared static in the superclass. In other words, a subclass cannot override a class method. A subclass can hide a static method in the superclass by declaring a static method in the subclass with the same signature as the static method in the superclass."

From the above quote, the sentences contradict each other.
When they say a subclass can hide a static method in the superclass with the same signature, isn't it the same as overriding, duh? (unless I am missing something here).

Thomas De Vos
stable boy
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Joined: Apr 12, 2003
Posts: 425

Overriding means you are providing a more specialized version in your subclass. The overridden method is still accessible if desired.
You can still access the overridden method by using the keyword super in your subclass.

The declaration of a static method in a subclass will "hide" or make your method in the superclass not accessible any longer through the object reference of the subclass.
You cannot use the keyword super in a static context to access the hidden method.



The output is: B


The output is: A

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John Ip
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Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 45
Hi Nina,

In my opinion, there is no contradiction in the tutorial. For me, hide is the word for static methods/variables. And overrides is the word for others. They are doing the same thing when you are coding.
Vipin Das
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Joined: Jul 05, 2004
Posts: 47
Overriding is used to avail polymorphism. If you override a method in a base class then you can access the sub class version through a base class reference variable which is referencing a subclass object.

If you are hiding (or in other words defining a method with same name as in the super class), u cant access the subclass version through the super class reference.(Or no polymorphism)
Nina Binde
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 24, 2004
Posts: 85
I understand now the difference between the terms overriding and hiding. Thank you Thomas for the cool example, Thank you John and Vipin for the explanations.
Corey McGlone
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Joined: Dec 20, 2001
Posts: 3271
You might also want to take a look at this.

SCJP Tipline, etc.
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