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Require help in type casting concept

Deepakk Verma
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 09, 2009
Posts: 31
Hello to all Ranchers,
I have been working on this small practice program where i got stuck. This is a simple program on the type casting concept..here i am getting a error as

try12.java:17:possible loss of precision
found :int

the code is as follows:

But then i type casted it and compiled it i got the result as

In 1000 days light will travel about -186000000 miles.

Now i dont understand from where did this -1000 came from

please tell me how this seconds = -1000 is evaluated
Thanking you
Deepak Verma
Greg Stevens
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 23, 2009
Posts: 41
Try this to see the difference:

"seconds" is assigned the result of casting (days * time) to a short. Since (days * time) is larger than the maximum allowed value for a
short (32,767), the value does not fit properly in the short variable and doesn't make any sense (-1000).

The int variable "second" is assigned the result of integer arithmetic (days * time) and so the value is 32767 * 1000 = 32,767,000.
Henry Wong

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 20526

try12.java:17:possible loss of precision
found :int

This means that you have an assignment that the compiler can't determined to be safe -- meaning that the value being assigned may exceed the range of the target.

To avoid this, you casted it... however, in this example, the value did exceed the range of a short. A casting operation from an int to a short, merely truncates the int -- meaning only the lower bytes will be used.

And the reason the value is negative is because this "overflow" happened to overflow into the sign bit.


Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
Ruben Guillen

Joined: Sep 02, 2009
Posts: 28
Please also give a look to the following reference from

Java Language Specification Third Edition

4.2.1 Integral Types and Values
The values of the integral types are integers in the following ranges:

For byte, from -128 to 127, inclusive
For short, from -32768 to 32767, inclusive
For int, from -2147483648 to 2147483647, inclusive
For long, from -9223372036854775808 to 9223372036854775807, inclusive
For char, from '\u0000' to '\uffff' inclusive, that is, from 0 to 65535

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