interfaces

http://www.tutorialspoint.com/java/java_interfaces.htm

 an interface is different from a class in several ways, including:

  • You cannot instantiate an interface.
  • An interface does not contain any constructors.
  • All of the methods in an interface are abstract.
  • An interface cannot contain instance fields. The only fields that can appear in an interface must be declared both static and final.
  • An interface is not extended by a class; it is implemented by a class.
  • An interface can extend multiple interfaces.

When overriding methods defined in interfaces there are several rules to be followed:

  • Checked exceptions should not be declared on implementation methods other than the ones declared by the interface method or subclasses of those declared by the interface method.
  • The signature of the interface method and the same return type or subtype should be maintained when overriding the methods.
  • An implementation class itself can be abstract and if so interface methods need not be implemented.

When implementation interfaces there are several rules:

  • A class can extend only one class, but implement many interfaces.
  • An interface can extend another interface, similarly to the way that a class can extend another class.

Extending Multiple Interfaces:

public interface Hockey extends Sports, Event

Tagging Interfaces:

public interface EventListener
{}

An interface with no methods in it is referred to as a tagging interface. There are two basic design purposes of tagging interfaces:

Creates a common parent: As with the EventListener interface, which is extended by dozens of other interfaces in the Java API, you can use a tagging interface to create a common parent among a group of interfaces. For example, when an interface extends EventListener, the JVM knows that this particular interface is going to be used in an event delegation scenario.

Adds a data type to a class: This situation is where the term tagging comes from. A class that implements a tagging interface does not need to define any methods (since the interface does not have any), but the class becomes an interface type through polymorphism.

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