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Vocabulary from Fundamentals of Java by Lambert and Osborne.


A method used to examine an attribute of an object without changing it.

actual parameter

A variable or expression contained in a method call and passed to that method. See also "formal parameter".


The set of actions that a class of objects supports.


A method that is run when an object is instantiated, usually to initialize that object's instance variables.


The process of hiding and restricting access to the implementation details of a data structure.

formal parameter

A name, introduced in a method definition, that is replaced by an actual parameter when the method is called.

helper method

A method used within the implementation of a class but not used by clients of that class.


The property of an object that it is the same thing at different points in time, even though the values of its attributes might change.


The process of creating a new object or instance of a class.


The time during which a data object or method call exists.


A method used to change the value of an attribute of an object.


The largest block in which the identifier is available.


The set of all the values of the variables of a program at any point during its execution.

visibility modifier

A symbol (public, protected, or private) that specifies the kind of access that clients have to a server's data and methods.

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