Variable-Length Argument Lists

Variable-length argument lists are a new feature in J2SE 5.0. Programmers can create methods that receive an unspecified number of arguments. An argument type followed by an ellipsis (...) in a method's parameter list indicates that the method receives a variable number of arguments of that particular type. This use of the ellipsis can occur only once in a parameter list, and the ellipsis, together with its type, must be placed at the end of the parameter list. While programmers can use method overloading and array passing to accomplish much of what is accomplished with "varargs," or variable-length argument lists, using an ellipsis in a method's parameter list is more concise.

Figure 7.20 demonstrates method average (lines 716), which receives a variable-length sequence of doubles. Java treats the variable-length argument list as an array whose elements are all of the same type. Hence, the method body can manipulate the parameter numbers as an array of doubles. Lines 1213 use the enhanced for loop to walk through the array and calculate the total of the doubles in the array. Line 15 accesses numbers.length to obtain the size of the numbers array for use in the averaging calculation. Lines 29, 31 and 33 in main call method average with two, three and four arguments, respectively. Method average has a variable-length argument list, so it can average as many double arguments as the caller passes. The output reveals that each call to method average returns the correct value.

Figure 7.20. Using variable-length argument lists.

(This item is displayed on pages 322 - 323 in the print version)

 1 // Fig. 7.20:
 2 // Using variable-length argument lists.
 4 public class VarargsTest
 5 {
 6 // calculate average
 7 public static double average( double... numbers )
 8 {
 9 double total = 0.0; // initialize total
11 // calculate total using the enhanced for statement
12 for ( double d : numbers ) 
13  total += d; 
15 return total / numbers.length;
16 } // end method average
18 public static void main( String args[] )
19 {
20 double d1 = 10.0;
21 double d2 = 20.0;
22 double d3 = 30.0;
23 double d4 = 40.0;
25 System.out.printf( "d1 = %.1f
d2 = %.1f
d3 = %.1f
d4 = %.1f

26 d1, d2, d3, d4 );
28 System.out.printf( "Average of d1 and d2 is %.1f
29 average( d1, d2 ) );
30 System.out.printf( "Average of d1, d2 and d3 is %.1f
31 average( d1, d2, d3 ) );
32 System.out.printf( "Average of d1, d2, d3 and d4 is %.1f
33 average( d1, d2, d3, d4 ) );
34 } // end main
35 } // end class VarargsTest
d1 = 10.0
d2 = 20.0
d3 = 30.0
d4 = 40.0

Average of d1 and d2 is 15.0
Average of d1, d2 and d3 is 20.0
Average of d1, d2, d3 and d4 is 25.0

Common Programming Error 7.6

Placing an ellipsis in the middle of a method parameter list is a syntax error. An ellipsis may be placed only at the end of the parameter list.

Introduction to Computers, the Internet and the World Wide Web

Introduction to Java Applications

Introduction to Classes and Objects

Control Statements: Part I

Control Statements: Part 2

Methods: A Deeper Look


Classes and Objects: A Deeper Look

Object-Oriented Programming: Inheritance

Object-Oriented Programming: Polymorphism

GUI Components: Part 1

Graphics and Java 2D™

Exception Handling

Files and Streams


Searching and Sorting

Data Structures



Introduction to Java Applets

Multimedia: Applets and Applications

GUI Components: Part 2



Accessing Databases with JDBC


JavaServer Pages (JSP)

Formatted Output

Strings, Characters and Regular Expressions

Appendix A. Operator Precedence Chart

Appendix B. ASCII Character Set

Appendix C. Keywords and Reserved Words

Appendix D. Primitive Types

Appendix E. (On CD) Number Systems

Appendix F. (On CD) Unicode®

Appendix G. Using the Java API Documentation

Appendix H. (On CD) Creating Documentation with javadoc

Appendix I. (On CD) Bit Manipulation

Appendix J. (On CD) ATM Case Study Code

Appendix K. (On CD) Labeled break and continue Statements

Appendix L. (On CD) UML 2: Additional Diagram Types

Appendix M. (On CD) Design Patterns

Appendix N. Using the Debugger

Inside Back Cover

Java(c) How to Program
Java How to Program (6th Edition) (How to Program (Deitel))
ISBN: 0131483986
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 615

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