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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    dynamic object identification problem

    ok, I have a class that takes 3 inputs.
    Variable(NAME, TYPE, DATA);
    the name is a string, the type is a string, however the DATA is where it gets tricky.

    DATA depends on what the string TYPE is. Example
    if TYPE is a String
    DATA isa String
    if TYPE is a VectorObject
    DATA isa VectorObject

    you get the idea right?
    Now, here's the problem. I don't know what to identify DATA as. It's type is determined at runtime, not compiletime, so I don't know what to define it as, since a string cannot be coverted into VectorObject, plus i can't keep redefining DATA.
    if TYPE isa VectorObject
    DATA isa VectorObject
    would be shown as VectorObject DATA = new VectorObject();
    the problem arises when i try to store or return the DATA object!

    public <omg i dont know what identifier goes here, b/c i don't know the type yet> GetData { return DATA;}

    There's got to be a better way to do this or something small that im missing.
    like an interface.. but i dont know how to implment the interface if so....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Desfine data as Object
    if (data instanceof String)
        String s = (String)data;
    else if(data instanceof Vector)
        Vector v = (Vector)data;
    Not sure what you're wanting to do here, but it doesn't sound like a very good way of doing it. I could help you more if you tell me how those objects are going to be used.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    here's the problem tho, when i go to define data it keep *****ing for an identifier!
    like (keep in mind im a c programmer) i cant do
    public void data;
    and if i give it a type when i create data variable i have to cast, (which i said i can't do with vector)
    So basically i'm really asking how do i make a variable with no type, then GIVE it a type later...

    this is for ascripting system.
    I read in a file with:

    varName varType varData

    then i pass those values to Variable class to store them.
    I make an arraylist of variable objects to keep track of all the variables in the file.

    but in the Variable(name,type,data) class i need to establish the correct data values.
    If the type in the file says "vector" or"float" i know the value is a vector or float.
    However when i declare a variable "Data" i don't know what type (int,string,vector,float) to make it when i declare it.
    I'd have to make it return a string constantly, then parse the string to see if it's the correct type...

    So i eithr have to keep creating different instances of a varibale data or just make one instance and have it a void type which i thought id be able to cast or change into the needed type later...

    also a problem arises when i attempt to return the varData value. Since i wont know what type it is at compile time i wont know what to return!
    would i do as you said, and justdo

    if data instanceOf vector
    return vectored data;
    if data instanceOf float
    return floated data;

    but, how do i make data a float or vector dynamically like that(since a string or other type wont cast correctly to a vector...)?
    and how do i know what to make the return type for the method that returns the data variable value.

    public String GetData(){}//isn't right if data is a vector, b/c it should return a vector object... not a string.
    public void GetData(){} //wont let me return something... or will it?
    is that slightly more clear? if you'd like to see the classes, please let me know.
    Basically is there a way to make a variable without a type at compile time? then just have it "casted" (for lack of a better term) at runtime with the proper datatype?
    Last edited by clownie; 12-21-2005 at 04:19 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    script class
     import java.io.*;
     import java.util.ArrayList;
     public class Script
     	public ArrayList<Variable> variables = new ArrayList<Variable>();//make this array list global? or just return it?
     	public Script(String fileName, String path)
     			if (fileName==null)
     			String   line;
     			String[] lineSplit;
     			//ArrayList file = new ArrayList(); -- not needed? use normal string array instead?
     				boolean read=false;//true when you should start reading for variables. false when encounters #end or doesn't find #begin
     				BufferedReader in = new BufferedReader(new FileReader(fileName));
     				if(!in.ready()) throw new IOException();
     				while(in.readLine() != null)
     					//split up line into tokens
     					lineSplit = line.split(" ");
     					//before for loops so next line gets read in by while loop, since after a #begin the next line must be a variable declaration
     							variables.add(new Variable(lineSplit[0],lineSplit[1],lineSplit[2]));//name, type, value or just pass lineSplit
     							System.out.println("Added new Variable: "+lineSplit[0]+" "+lineSplit[1]+" "+lineSplit[2]);
     							/*Variable() is going to need to be able to differentiate b/t types and then alter it's own
     							 *data based on its type.
     							 *if type is Vector 3D 
     							 *split up the value into it's 3 xyz components.
     							 *store the new value as a Vector3D object.
     							 *varvalue=new Vector3D(x,y,z); or 
     							 *varvalue=new Vector3D;
     							 *you get the idea.
     					//check token for beginning of variables -- #begin and #end should be on own line to simplify reading. Can take out the for loops and just put 0 in place of i.
     					for(int i=0; i<lineSplit.length;i++)
     					for(int i=0; i<lineSplit.length;i++)
     			}catch(IOException e)
     	/*	void addVariable(){}
     		void setVariable(){} //return a variable's value with specified name
     		boolean getBoolData(){}
     		float getFloatData(){}
     		Color getColorData(){}
     		Vector3D getVectorData(){}
     		String getStringData(){}
     		double getNumberData(){}
    variable class
    public class Variable
    		private String varname; //Name of variable.
    		private String vartype; //type of value (float,bool, etc).
    		private String varvalue;  //Data stored in variable.
    	public Variable(String name, String type, String value)
    			//check types
    				//variable is a boolean
    				boolean varvalue=Boolean.parseBoolean(value);
    				//check to see if true or false
    			else if(type.equals("float"))
    				float varvalue=Float.parseFloat(value); 
    			else if(type.equals("string"))
    			else if(type.equals("color"))
    								//take care of color Color3D (r,g,b,Alpha)
    			else if(type.equals("vector"))
    								//take care of Vector3D split the value with commma as delimiter	
    			else if(type.equals("point"))
    								//take care of Point3D split value with comma as delimeter
    			else //type=unknown... so ignore it...
    		public String GetType(){ return vartype;}
    		public String GetName(){ return varname;}
    		public String GetStringData(){ return varvalue;}

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    you can't create a void data type, void is more for the return type of a method that returns nothing. I don't know of any way to do what you want.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    alright, thanks anyways. found the solution i was looking for anyways.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    New Jersey
    Umm... you could have just done what Phaelax said.

    class MyClass {
        private Object data;
        public MyClass( Object thing ) {
            data = thing;
        public Object getData() {
            return data;
    and if you did this:
    MyClass test = new MyClass( new Integer( 5 ));
    System.out.println( test.getData() );
    test = new MyClass( new String( "hi" ));
    System.out.println( test.getData() );
    that would print:

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