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Char size and usage

Eric Lidell
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 02, 2003
Posts: 20
i am able to use char c=(char)2147483647;
where 2147483647 is the max size of an int.
anything more than that throws an compile time error.
however the size of a char is 2 bytes and its unsigned.so the maximum int value is around 65535.
how is char variables able to hold values from 65535 to 2147483647 which exceeds its size?
the same is not applicable to int which is of size 32 bits and cant hold a value greater than
2147483647 inspite of casting int x=(int)2147483647.

Simon
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24187
    
  34

char can't hold a value greater than 65535. If you cast a value greater than that to a char, the high-order bits are truncated -- i.e.,

c is assigned the value 0 (65536 & 0xFFFF is 0.)
The reason you get a compiler error with numbers larger than Integer.MAX_VALUE is that to write a larger integral literal in Java, it must be a long -- you have to write 2147483648L. But you can write
and as it turns out, c will be 0 here as well (all the low-order bits of this number are 0.)
[ July 18, 2003: Message edited by: Ernest Friedman-Hill ]

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Eric Lidell
Greenhorn

Joined: Jul 02, 2003
Posts: 20
Hi Ernest,
Thank for the answer.
 
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