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Java’s Selection Statements

Java supports two selection statements: if and switch. These statements allow you to control the flow of your program’s execution based upon conditions known only during run time.


Java’s Selection Statements


Java supports two selection statements: if and switch. These statements allow you to control the flow of your program’s execution based upon conditions known only during run time.


The if statement is Java’s conditional branch statement. It can be used to route program execution through two different paths. Here is the general form of the if statement:



if (condition) statement1; else statement2;

The if-else-if Ladder


A common programming construct that is based upon a sequence of nested ifs is the if-else-if ladder. It looks like this:


if(condition) statement;


else if(condition) statement;


else if(condition) statement;



else statement;


The if statements are executed from the top down. As soon as one of the conditions controlling the if is true, the statement associated with that if is executed, and the rest of the ladder is bypassed. If none of the conditions is true, then the final else statement will be executed.The final else acts as a default condition;




The switch statement is Java’s multiway branch statement. It provides an easy way to dispatch execution to different parts of your code based on the value of an expression. As such, it often provides a better alternative than a large series of if-else-if statements. Here is the general form of a switch statement:



switch (expression) { case value1:


//  statement sequence break;


case value2:


//  statement sequence







case valueN:


// statement sequence






// default statement sequence }



The expression must be of type byte, short, int, or char; each of the values specified in the case statements must be of a type compatible with the expression. (An enumeration value can also be used to control a switch statement.



Iteration Statements


Java’s iteration statements are for, while, and do-while. These statements create what we commonly call loops. As you probably know, a loop repeatedly executes the same set of instructions until a termination condition is met. As you will see, Java has a loop to fit any programming need.





The while loop is Java’s most fundamental loop statement. It repeats a statement or block


while its controlling expression is true. Here is its general form: while(condition) {


// body of loop }


The condition can be any Boolean expression. The body of the loop will be executed as long as the conditional expression is true. When condition becomes false, control passes to the next line of code immediately following the loop. The curly braces are unnecessary if only a single statement is being repeated.


if the conditional expression controlling a while loop is initially false,      then  the  body of the loop will not be executed at all. However, sometimes it is desirable to execute the body of a loop at least once, even if the conditional expression is false to   begin     with.  In  other  words, there are times when you would like to test the termination expression at the end of the loop rather than at the beginning.


The do-while loop always executes its body at least once, because its conditional expression is at the bottom of the loop. Its general form is


do {


//   body of loop } while (condition);


Each iteration of the do-while loop first executes the body of the loop and then evaluates the conditional expression. If this expression is true, the loop will repeat. Otherwise, the loop terminates.


For Loop:


Beginning with JDK 5, there are two forms of the for loop. The first is the traditional form that has been in use since the original version of Java. The second is the new ―for-each‖ form. Both types of for loops are discussed here, beginning with the traditional form. Here is the general form of the traditional for statement:



for(initialization; condition; iteration) { // body }



If only one statement is being repeated, there is no need for the curly braces. The for loop operates as follows. When the loop first starts, the initialization portion of the loop is executed. Generally, this is an expression that sets the value of the loop control variable, which acts as a counter that controls the loop. It is important to understand that the initialization expression is only executed once. Next, condition is evaluated. This must be a Boolean expression. It usually tests the loop control variable against a target value. If this expression is true, then the body of the loop is executed. If it is false, the loop terminates. Next, the iteration portion of the loop is executed. This is usually an expression that increments or decrements the loop control variable.




Beginning with JDK 5, a second form of for was defined that implements a ―for-each‖ style loop. As you may know, contemporary language theory has embraced the for-each concept, and it is quickly becoming a standard feature that programmers have come to expect. A foreach style loop is designed to cycle through a collection of objects, such as an array, in strictly sequential fashion, from start to finish. Unlike some languages, such as C#, that implement a for each loop by using the keyword foreach, Java adds the for-each capability by enhancing the for statement. The advantage of this approach is that no new keyword is required, and no preexisting code is broken. The for-each style of for is also referred to as the enhanced for loop. The general form of the for-each version of the for is shown here:



for(type itr-var : collection) statement-block



Here, type specifies the type and itr-var specifies the name of an iteration variable that will receive the elements from a collection, one at a time, from beginning to end. The collection being cycled through is specified by collection. There are various types of collections that can be used with the for, but the only type used in this chapter is the array. With each iteration of the loop, the next element in the collection is retrieved and stored in itr-var. The loop repeats until all elements in the collection have been obtained. Because the iteration variable receives values from the collection, type must be the same as (or compatible with) the elements stored in the collection. Thus, when iterating over arrays type must be compatible with the base type of the array.


The for-each style for automates the preceding loop. Specifically, it eliminates the need to establish a loop counter, specify a starting and ending value, and manually index the array. Instead, it automatically cycles through the entire array, obtaining one element at a time, in sequence, from beginning to end. For example, here is the preceding fragment rewritten using a for-each version of the for:



int nums[] = { 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 }; int sum = 0;


for(int x: nums) sum += x;


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