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Thread: Primitive Data Types

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    Post Primitive Data Types

    I understand that the Java programming language is statically-typed, which means that all variables must first be declared before they can be used. Easy enough, right? Anyways, there are some things that I still do not understand about a variable's data type. For example, everything. What is the difference between a byte and short data type? I've read through the Primitive Data Types (The Java™ Tutorials > Learning the Java Language > Language Basics), but I do not understand what the website is trying to convey. I apologize for asking a question that may be simple in the first place, but if I am unable to learn the difference between primitive data types, then I will not be able to continue with the Java course. As always, all replies are appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help.

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    Default Re: Primitive Data Types

    A byte is 8 bit signed number and short is 16 bit signed number
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    Post Re: Primitive Data Types

    Quote Originally Posted by PhHein View Post
    A byte is 8 bit signed number and short is 16 bit signed number
    Thank you very much for responding to my thread, PhHein. I regret to inform you that I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, and that I have another question to ask of you. When do you know which primitive data type to choose when using a certain integer?
    Last edited by MarkLearningJava; 06-28-2013 at 11:40 AM.

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    Default Re: Primitive Data Types

    Normally you always use int as long as you're below 2^31-1. As the tutorial says you can save some memory when using huge amounts of numbers being below 2^7-1 or 2^15-1.
    The other use of byte and short is API methods returning those, or using them as parameters.
    Last edited by PhHein; 06-28-2013 at 12:18 PM.
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    Default Re: Primitive Data Types

    The types byte, char, short and int also take 4 bytes when stored on a stack (as local values or parameters) or when they are a (static or non-static) class member. Only as array elements they take 1 or 2 bytes of memory in a particular JVM implementation. The reason for this is speed: all class objects are multiples of 4 bytes. Except for doubles and longs, all primitive types take exactly one slot of 4 bytes. This increases the size of the data somewhat but it speeds up the code tremendously.

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