This week's book giveaway is in the OCAJP 8 forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA Java SE 8 Programmer I Study Guide and have Edward Finegan & Robert Liguori on-line! See this thread for details.
Calling a final or private method from a constructor is always fine, and yes, it's good style if it reduces duplication or makes the code more readable.
Calling a non-final/non-private method -- specifically, calling a method that might be overridden -- is something you should do carefully. That's because when a parent class is being constructed, it will call the child's overridden version of the method. Sometimes that's exactly what you want -- it's a way for the child to customize the construction of the object. Other times, it's a bug waiting to happen, or even a security hole -- so be careful!
I would add that it's generally okay if you are calling the methods to initialize the object. But if you are performing work that the object will typically perform throughout its life cycle and many times, it is poor practice to call the method from the constructor. (IMHO)
Bill Shirley - bshirley - frazerbilt.com
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