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private main method in java

gokulanand narayanan
Greenhorn

Joined: Feb 16, 2006
Posts: 23
Hi,

Can i have a class like this? and will i be able to run this?

class A
{
private static void main(String args[])
{
System.out.println("Hello World!");
}
}

I am able to do this (only with the version jdk1.3.1_20)

Can anyone explain me!!!

Thanks
Gokul
Peter Chase
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 30, 2001
Posts: 1970
You can certainly have such a class.

You should not be able to run it, using the normal "java[.exe]" launcher; to do that, your class and its main() should be public.

If you find you can run it, that might be a feature of your ancient Java version.


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Ilja Preuss
author
Sheriff

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 14112
Originally posted by Peter Chase:

If you find you can run it, that might be a feature of your ancient Java version.


Or rather a bug...


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Raghavan Muthu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 20, 2006
Posts: 3344

Originally posted by Peter Chase:
..
If you find you can run it, that might be a feature of your ancient Java version.


I wonder was there an earlier version of Java supporting this first of all?


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Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Sheriff

Joined: Jan 30, 2000
Posts: 18671
Yes, older versions of Java allowed this, for no apparent reason. This changed around JDK 1.4. The JLS has always said that the main method must be public, although it doesn't say what should happen if it's not publuc. So one might argue that this behavior was simply unspecified, not technically a bug. Regardless, anyone who uses a private main method should consider the code to be extremely unreliable at best.


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It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
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