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  1. #1
    petzeee is offline Member
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    Default Lifecycle of objects created inside a function?

    Hi,

    We all know that JAVA variables in a function are only valid until this specific function returns. But what about objects which are created inside a function? Let's say like this:
    Java Code:
    public static Dog myCustomFunction(){
          Dog myDog = new Dog("Jake");
          return myDog;
    }
    And let's say that this function is called like this:
    Java Code:
    Dog dog = myCustomFunction();
    So, the variable dog will have a reference to the object in the memory, even after the function returns, right? What if the Object Dog has, apart from its name, other "fields" which are objects itself? Their reference will still be intact, an not destroyed by the garbage collector?

    I'm asking this because I have a problem with nested objects. All of a sudden, some parts are randomly overwritten with different objects/values. I always thought that a memory space allocated to an object wouldn't be "destroyed" by the garbage collector as long as there is a reference pointing at it.

  2. #2
    KevinWorkman's Avatar
    KevinWorkman is offline Crazy Cat Lady
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    Default Re: Lifecycle of objects created inside a function?

    You're right. As long as a reference to an Object exists, it won't be garbage collected. Even if it was, it wouldn't really make sense that you'd have different Objects in its place. Nulls maybe, but not just random different data. There must be something wrong with your code/logic. Time to break out the debugger!
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  3. #3
    Tolls is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Lifecycle of objects created inside a function?

    Sounds to me like you have a case of shared references.
    So you have assigned a reference to object X to an attribute inside object Y.
    You then also assign the same reference to object Z later on.
    Object Z changes a value in X. Since Y has the same reference it sees that change.
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