FAQ: Learn Java: Variables - Static Checking

This community-built FAQ covers the “Static Checking” exercise from the lesson “Learn Java: Variables”.

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FAQs on the exercise Static Checking

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Why does a string variable require an upper case “S”, when other variable types begin with a lower case letter?

That was actually briefly evoked on the exercise that starts using String variables.

The types we had been using so far, int, double, char and so on, were the so-called primitive types.

String was referred to as somewhat different, as Strings are objects.

When gaining experience in Java the difference between these two becomes absolute and obvious, but so far all we should try to get is that they are different.

(Though, String and the others we’ve seen so far, should feel very different for one reason. Primitives like int or double or so, are atomic. Scalar. They contain one thing that is its own thing. int contains one number, double also contains one number though it can be decimal, char contains one character, boolean contains one true or false. But String is a sequence of stuff, a sequence of characters. It is a compound of stuff that are separate from one another, not atomic. It should feel different.)

The primitive types, are the ones that Java allows, and no more than that. There are 8 of them and that’s it. They are named as Java decided would be their names, int, double, char and so on. All entirely lowercase. They are actually keywords of the Java language, and all keywords are entirely lowercase (at least up to Java 12. Could change later).

Object types, well Java provides some of them that we can use, such as String, but anyone can create new Object types. That’s actually what we do every time we write

class SomeName { /* stuff here */ }

Because anyone can make more of these, it is preferable that some naming conventions are respected. One of these conventions is that these type names start with an uppercase letter.

Java follows that convention with the classes it provides, as can be seen with String, which starts with a capital S.