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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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Chapter 8. Classes

Class declarations define new reference types and describe how they are implemented (§8.1).

A top level class is a class that is not a nested class.

A nested class is any class whose declaration occurs within the body of another class or interface.

This chapter discusses the common semantics of all classes - top level (§7.6) and nested (including member classes (§8.5, §9.5), local classes (§14.3) and anonymous classes (§15.9.5)). Details that are specific to particular kinds of classes are discussed in the sections dedicated to these constructs.

A named class may be declared abstract8.1.1.1) and must be declared abstract if it is incompletely implemented; such a class cannot be instantiated, but can be extended by subclasses. ...

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