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difference between protected and private

kesava chaitanya
Ranch Hand

Joined: Aug 15, 2001
Posts: 140
what is difference between protected and private?
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24199

There are four access levels in Java.
  • private things can be directly accessed only within the class that defines them.
  • default (i.e., no access modifier) things can be accessed by any code in the same package as the defining class.
  • protecte is like default, except subclasses outside of the defining package can also access the member.
  • public members are accessible to all code everywhere.

  • Many people are surprised to learn that "protected" is actually less protected than the default!

    [Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
    Adam Brown

    Joined: Jan 08, 2004
    Posts: 11
    As an edition to Mr. F-H's explanation on protected members, it should also be noted that if another subclass 'B' were to extend from subclass 'A' already extended from a superclass containing protected members (while existing in another package), those protected members would only be seen by the subclass 'A'. In a sense, those inherited protected members assume private visibility within subclass 'A' and cannot be seen by subclass 'B'.
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    subject: difference between protected and private
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