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The Java® Language Specification, Java SE 7 Edition, Fourth Edition by Alex Buckley, Gilad Bracha, Guy Steele, Bill Joy, James Gosling

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6.6. Access Control

The Java programming language provides mechanisms for access control, to prevent the users of a package or class from depending on unnecessary details of the implementation of that package or class. If access is permitted, then the accessed entity is said to be accessible.

Note that accessibility is a static property that can be determined at compile time; it depends only on types and declaration modifiers.

Qualified names are a means of access to members of packages and reference types. When the name of such a member is classified from its context (§6.5.1) as a qualified type name (denoting a member of a package or reference type, §6.5.5.2) or a qualified expression name (denoting a member of a reference type, §6.5.6.2), ...

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