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Do not reuse the names of publicly visible identifiers, public utility classes, interfaces, and or packages in the Java Standard Library.

Wiki MarkupIf a developer uses an identifier that has the same name as a public class, such as {{Vector}}, a subsequent maintainer might not be aware that this identifier does not actually refer to {{When a developer uses an identifier that has the same name as a public class, such as Vector, a subsequent maintainer might be unaware that this identifier does not actually refer to java.util.Vector}}, and might unintentionally use the custom {{Vector}} instead of the original {{ Vector rather than the original java.util.Vector}} class. The custom type {{Vector}} can [shadow|BB. Definitions#shadow] a class name from {{java.util.Vector}}, as specified by [§6.3.2|http://java.sun.com/docs/books/jls/third_edition/html/names.html#6.3.2] of the _Java Language Specification_ \[[JLS 2005|AA. Bibliography#JLS 05]\]. This can result in unexpected program behavior. Wiki MarkupWell-defined import statements can resolve these issues. However, when reused name definitions are imported from other packages, use the _by The Java Language Specification (JLS), §6.3.2, "Obscured Declarations" [JLS 2005], and unexpected program behavior can occur.

Well-defined import statements can resolve these issues. However, when reused name definitions are imported from other packages, use of the type-import-on-demand declaration_ (see [§7§7.5.2, "Type-Import-on-Demand Declaration"|http://java.sun.com/docs/books/jls/third_edition/html/packages.html#7.5.2] of the _Java Language Specification_ \ [[JLS 2005|AA. Bibliography#JLS 05]\]). Additionally, a common, and potentially misleading, tendency is to produce the import statements _after_ writing the code, often via automatic inclusion of import statements by an IDE. This creates further ambiguity with respect to the names; when a custom type is found earlier in the Java include path than the intended type, no further searches are conducted. ) can complicate a programmer's attempt to determine which specific definition was intended to be used. Additionally, a common practice that can lead to errors is to produce the import statements after writing the code, often via automatic inclusion of import statements by an IDE, which creates further ambiguity with respect to the names. When a custom type is found earlier than the intended type in the Java include path, no further searches are conducted. Consequently, the wrong type is silently adopted.

Noncompliant Code Example (Class Name)

This noncompliant code example implements a class that reuses the name of the class java.util.Vector. It attempts to introduce a different condition for the isEmpty() method for interfacing with native legacy code by overriding the corresponding method in java.util.Vector. Unexpected behavior can arise if a maintainer confuses the isEmpty() method with the java.util.Vector.isEmpty() method.

Code Block
bgColor#FFcccc

class Vector {
  private int val = 1;

  public boolean isEmpty() {
    if (val == 1) {   // comparesCompares with 1 instead of 0
      return true;
    } else {
      return false;
    }
  }
  // otherOther functionality is same as java.util.Vector
}

// import java.util.Vector; omitted

public class VectorUser {
  public static void main(String[] args) {
    Vector v = new Vector();
    if (v.isEmpty()) {
      System.out.println("Vector is empty");
    }
  }
}

Compliant Solution (Class Name)

This compliant solution uses a different name for the class, preventing any potential shadowing. of the class from the Java Standard Library:

Code Block
bgColor#ccccff

class MyVector {
  //otherOther code
}

Wiki MarkupWhen the developer and organization control the original shadowed class, it may be preferable to change the design strategy of the original in accordance with Bloch's _Effective Java_ \ [[Bloch 2008|AA. Bibliography#Bloch 08]\] "Item 16: Prefer interfaces to abstract classes." Changing the original class into an interface would permit class {{MyVector}} to declare that it implements the hypothetical {{Vector}} interface. This would permit client code that intended to use {{MyVector}} to remain compatible with code that uses the original implementation of {{Vector}}.

Risk Assessment

Name ], Item 16, "Prefer Interfaces to Abstract Classes." Changing the original class into an interface would permit class MyVector to declare that it implements the hypothetical Vector interface. With this technique, client code that intended to use MyVector would remain compatible with code that uses the original implementation of Vector.

Risk Assessment

Public identifier reuse decreases the readability and maintainability of code.

Recommendation Rule

Severity

Likelihood

Remediation Cost

Priority

Level

DCL05DCL01-J

low Low

unlikely Unlikely

medium Medium

P2

L3

Automated Detection

An automated tool can easily detect reuse of the set of names representing public classes or interfaces from the Java Standard Library.

Related Guidelines

Bibliography

On_

<ac:structured-macro ac:name="unmigrated-wiki-markup" ac:schema-version="1" ac:macro-id="7b2d19aa-2aa4-4a85-85aa-ddfeddc308dd"><ac:plain-text-body><![CDATA[

[[JLS 2005

AA. Bibliography#JLS 05]]

[[Bloch 2005]

Puzzle 67, "All Strung Out"

[Bloch 2008]

Item 16, "Prefer Interfaces to Abstract Classes"

[FindBugs 2008]

 
[JLS 2005]

 

§6.3.2, "Obscured Declarations"

http://java.sun.com/docs/books/jls/third_edition/html/names.html#6.3.2]

]]></ac:plain-text-body></ac:structured-macro>

§6.3.1, "Shadowing Declarations"

 

§7.5.2, "Type-Import-on-Demand Declaration"

 

§14.4.3, "Shadowing of Names by Local Variables"

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[[FindBugs 2008

AA. Bibliography#FindBugs 08]]

]]></ac:plain-text-body></ac:structured-macro>

<ac:structured-macro ac:name="unmigrated-wiki-markup" ac:schema-version="1" ac:macro-id="41913ba6-5ac0-4612-8494-2aa94cb826a7"><ac:plain-text-body><![CDATA[

[[Bloch 2005

AA. Bibliography#Bloch 05]]

Puzzle 67: All Strung Out

]]></ac:plain-text-body></ac:structured-macro>

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[[Bloch 2008

AA. Bibliography#Bloch 08]]

Item 16: Prefer interfaces to abstract classes

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DCL04-J. Prevent class initialization cycles      01. Declarations and Initialization (DCL)      02. Expressions (EXP)

 

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