File APIs for Java Developers
Manipulate DOC, XLS, PPT, PDF and many others from your application.
The moose likes Java in General and the fly likes What is meant by .class ? Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login

Win a copy of Java Interview Guide this week in the Jobs Discussion forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Java » Java in General
Bookmark "What is meant by .class ?" Watch "What is meant by .class ?" New topic

What is meant by .class ?

Mike Curwen
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 20, 2001
Posts: 3695

In methods that require a parameter of type java.lang.class, I've seen the following syntax...
So is saying:
kind of like a shortcut for saying:

Jim Yingst

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
Yes. It's called a class literal. Looks like a static field or something but isn't (as you can determine via reflection if so inclined). The compiler interprets it as a direct reference to a particular Class object, the same way "foo" is a direct reference to a String object with contents f-o-o, without any visible constructor or method call. Interestingly, you even have Class objects for
These are useful for things like specifying the return type of a method when using reflection (which wants to use Class objects for everything, even things that aren't anything.)
I'm mildly disappointed to see there's no null.class, even though I can't (yet) imagine what we could possibly use it for. I'll think of something...
[ May 20, 2003: Message edited by: Jim Yingst ]

"I'm not back." - Bill Harding, Twister
Jasper Vader
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 10, 2002
Posts: 57
what is reflection?

giddee up
John Lee
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 05, 2001
Posts: 2545
Trail: The Reflection API
Using Java Reflection
Take an in-depth look at the Java Reflection API
I agree. Here's the link:
subject: What is meant by .class ?
It's not a secret anymore!