Chapter 6

Pulling a Switcheroo


check Avoiding the trouble with big else-if statements

check Using the switch statement

check Creating case groups

check Using characters with case

In Book 2, Chapter 4, you find out about the workhorses of Java decision-making: boolean expressions and the mighty if statement. In this chapter, you discover another Java tool for decision-making: the switch statement. The switch statement is a pretty limited beast, but it excels at making one particular type of decision: choosing one of several actions based on a value stored in an integer variable. As it turns out, the need to do just that comes up a lot. You want to keep the switch statement handy for use when such a need arises.

Battling else-if Monstrosities

Many applications call for a simple logical selection of things to be done depending on some value that controls everything. As I describe in Book 2, Chapter 4, such things are usually handled with big chains of else-if statements all strung together.

Unfortunately, these things can quickly get out of hand. else-if chains can end up looking like DNA ...

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