[kaffe] Re: Java lang spec: private access

Tom Tromey tromey at redhat.com
Tue May 16 08:16:06 PDT 2006

>>>>> "Ito" == Ito Kazumitsu <kaz at maczuka.gcd.org> writes:

Ito> The Java Language Specification, Third Edition says:

Ito> |6.6.1 Determining Accessibility

Ito> Why "the top level class" ?

At this level it is a language design decision.

The idea is that all the code defined within the scope of a top-level
class can share implementation details.  I suppose the thinking is
that, because the member and its users are lexically close, this is
safe enough to promote as a general practice.  Also, there are no
binary compatibility issues here.

Ito> What if the private member is declared in an inner class?

>From a language semantics point of view, that is definitely allowed by
the JLS.  It isn't unreasonable from a design point of view, just a

>From a compiler point of view, you have to emit accessor methods in
these cases, because to the JVM all classes are top-level classes, and
there are no special access rules for this.  This is a pain; Classpath
avoids private accesses across class boundaries for this reason.


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