Episode 3, Functions

Episode 3, Functions

Season 2 - The ABCs

In this chapter we’ll cover essential features of the subject. For more details you need follow th links at the end.

Functions are used to write an algorithm, a behaviour, execute commands one after another. They are containers for a block of isolated lines of code.


visibility static final ReturnType nameOfTheFunction ( ParamType paramName, PType2 p2 ) { CODE };

E.g. public static final String getHero() { return "Jon"};

  1. Where ReturnType is String and nameOfTheFunction is getHero
    • E.g. String getHero() { return "Jon"};
    • E.g. private static void callHero(String heroName) {};
  2. These elements are optional visibility static final
  3. ( ) (parenthesis are mandatory)
  4. { } (curly braces are mandatory)
  5. If ReturnType is other than void then at least one return or one throw keyword should be used
  6. One function can return only one value or void (meaning no value)
  7. One function can accept any number of parameters, where each parameter can have a different type
    • E.g. void getTheBastard(String name);
    • E.g. void findUsers(String name1, String name2, int age);

Letz’ code it

  1. Continue to work in same folder from the previous episode.
  2. Create a .java file with name FunctionsObject.java
  3. Type this body:
    public class FunctionsObject {
        private int rabbitsNumber;
        // the constructor is the function with the name of the class
        // it is called by the java virtual machine
        // when new instance is created
        public FunctionsObject() {
            System.out.println("I'm the function called by default");
            System.out.println("when new instance of \"me\" is created");
            System.out.println("I'm the constructor of " + getClass().getName());
            // we can call any function from within any function
            // this is how we call the function,
            // we write the name and add parenthesis
            // if there is a case, we should pass as well parameters
            System.out.println("I have " + gimmeCoins() + " coins");
        I'm a public function, you can call me from anywhere
        the functions are not called in automatic way (but the constructor!)
        somebody should to call them
        @see https://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/java/javaOO/accesscontrol.html
        // function with no parameters
        public void hello() {
            System.out.println("Hello all :)");
        // function with one parameter
        public void doSomeMagic(String magicianName) {
            System.out.println("do the magic mr. " + magicianName);
        // function with more parameters
        // here we see example of OVERLOADING, same function name but different amount and/or types of parameters
        public void doSomeMagic(String magicianName, int numberOfRabbits) {
            System.out.println("do the magic mr. " + magicianName + " with " + numberOfRabbits + " rabbits!");
        // a private function can be called only from within the parent class!!
        // @see https://docs.oracle.com/javase/tutorial/java/javaOO/accesscontrol.html
        private int gimmeCoins() {
            return 345;
        // function considered as getter
        // usually it is public
        public int getRabbitsNumber(){
            return rabbitsNumber;
        public void setRabbitsNumber(int nr) {
            rabbitsNumber = nr;
            * as well it is quite common to name the parameter with same name as the variable (field/attribute)
             * e.g. setRabbitsNumber(int rabbitsNumber)
             * in this case to set the internal variable you have to use keyword: this
             * e.g. this.rabbitsNumber = rabbitsNumber;
        // functions can call other functions from same class
        // or from variables who are in this class
        // as well static functions
        // any function as well can have it's own variables,
        // which are destroyed when the function is executed
        public void callAndSubCall() {
           int coins = gimmeCoins(); // we can call as well the private functions
           doSomeMagic("Rocky the SubCall", getRabbitsNumber());
           doSomeMagic("Coins", coins);
  4. Create another .java file with name Functions.java
  5. Type this body
    import FunctionsObject;
    public class Functions {   
        public static void main(String[] args) {
            FunctionsObject myFuncs = new FunctionsObject();
            myFuncs.doSomeMagic("David Blane");
            myFuncs.doSomeMagic("David Blane", myFuncs.getRabbitsNumber());
            // in order to call this function, you have to make it public
            // myFuncs.gimmeCoins(); // so in order to call it you have to change visibility
  6. Now we can run the Functions.java:

    Navigate to the location of the file Functions.java with cd command, e.g. cd /home/$USER/java-abc.

    javac Functions.java
    java Functions
    • Right click inside the file and click Run


    • Click on little green triangle, that looks like play located on the same line as to public static void main(..).

    If you cannot find it then click here for details.

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