4.3. Descriptors and Signatures

A descriptor is a string representing the type of a field or method. Descriptors are represented in the class file format using modified UTF-8 strings (§4.4.7) and thus may be drawn, where not further constrained, from the entire Unicode codespace.

A signature is a string representing the generic type of a field or method, or generic type information for a class declaration.

4.3.1. Grammar Notation

Descriptors and signatures are specified using a grammar. This grammar is a set of productions that describe how sequences of characters can form syntactically correct descriptors of various types. Terminal symbols of the grammar are shown in bold fixed-width font. Nonterminal symbols are shown in italic type. The definition ...

Get The Java® Virtual Machine Specification, Java SE 7 Edition, Third Edition now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.