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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 16. Definite Assignment

Each local variable (§14.4) and every blank final field (§4.12.4, §8.3.1.2) must have a definitely assigned value when any access of its value occurs.

An access to its value consists of the simple name of the variable (or, for a field, the simple name of the field qualified by this) occurring anywhere in an expression except as the left-hand operand of the simple assignment operator =15.26.1).

For every access of a local variable or blank final field x, x must be definitely assigned before the access, or a compile-time error occurs.

Similarly, every blank final variable must be assigned at most once; it must be definitely unassigned when an assignment to it occurs.

Such an assignment is defined to occur if and ...

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