# Re: Java Question

From:
"Oliver Wong" <owong@castortech.com>
Newsgroups:
comp.lang.java.programmer
Date:
Wed, 20 Sep 2006 21:53:05 GMT
Message-ID:
<5LiQg.28798\$bf5.3722@edtnps90>
"Daniel Dyer" <"You don't need it"> wrote in message
news:op.tf64n1yw8kxvgr@jack.local...

On Wed, 20 Sep 2006 15:01:39 +0100, Justin <kzapth245@gmail.com> wrote:

Yes...I have argued that none of them can be declard a class
constant...

Unless you are considering the possibility of unfortunate accidents, I
think it is safe to say that number of legs could be a class constant -
i.e., every tortoise has four legs. Age and weight differ between
separate tortoises and while average weight and longest recorded age apply
to tortoises at the class level, rather than to individual tortoises, they
will not be constant over time.

The number of legs is one of the three way ties I was thinking of.
Average weight and longest recorded age are the others. Average weight might
not be the average weight of only the turtles in the simulator, but of all
turtles, past present and future. I.e. it might be derived from some model
that biologists have about turtles. E.g. the average weight of a hawksbill
hatchling is said to be 13.5 to 19.5 grams. It doesn't matter how many
turtles are in your simulator, nor what they weight; the average weight of a
hawksbill hatchling would remain constant regardless.

Similarly for longest recorded age. If it is known that turtles of a
given species have a life expectensie distributed normally around 200 years
with a standard deviation of about 30 years, but one freak turtle was
discovered to have lived two thousand years due to special circumstances
(perhaps surviving in a special environment which no longer exists), we
could probably safely rule out the possibility of ever seeing another turle
live as long (at least with the same, if not greater, plausibility that we'd
rule out the possibility of a turtle ever losing a leg), and just hardcode
that 2000 years is the longest recorded age, regardless of what age the
turtles in our simulator would ever reach. Perhaps the longest recorded age
field might even be used as a sanity check, so that if the ages of any
turtles in the simulator reaches that, we know some sort of error occurred
somewhere.

- Oliver

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