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Java, A Beginner’s Guide, 5th Edition by Herbert Schildt

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Controlling Access to Class Members

In its support for encapsulation, the class provides two major benefits. First, it links data with the code that manipulates it. You have been taking advantage of this aspect of the class since Chapter 4. Second, it provides the means by which access to members can be controlled. It is this feature that is examined here.

Although Java’s approach is a bit more sophisticated, in essence, there are two basic types of class members: public and private. A public member can be freely accessed by code defined outside of its class. This is the type of class member that we have been using up to this point. A private member can be accessed only by other methods defined by its class. It is through the use of private members ...

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