be assigned to another variable of type String. You can use an object of type String as an
argument to println( ). For example, consider the following fragment:
String str = "this is a test";
Here, str is an object of type String. It is assigned the string "this is a test". This string is
displayed by the println( ) statement.
As you will see later, String objects have many special features and attributes that
make them quite powerful and easy to use. However, for the next few chapters, you will
be using them only in their simplest form.
A Note to C/C++ Programmers About Pointers
If you are an experienced C/C++ programmer, then you know that these languages provide
support for pointers. However, no mention of pointers has been made in this chapter. The
reason for this is simple: Java does not support or allow pointers. (Or more properly, Java
does not support pointers that can be accessed and/or modified by the programmer.) Java
cannot allow pointers, because doing so would allow Java programs to breach the firewall
between the Java execution environment and the host computer. (Remember, a pointer can
be given any address in memory--even addresses that might be outside the Java run-time
system.) Since C/C++ make extensive use of pointers, you might be thinking that their loss
is a significant disadvantage to Java. However, this is not true. Java is designed in such a way
that as long as you stay within the confines of the execution environment, you will never need
to use a pointer, nor would there be any benefit in using one.
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