Can Static Method be overridden in Java – See yourself

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Let’s see an example of trying to override a static method. In this Java Program, we have two classes Parent and Child, both have name() method which is static. Now, As per rules of method overriding, if a method is overridden than a call is resolved by type of object during runtime. Which means, in our test class StaticOverrideTest, p.name() in second example, should call Child class’ name() method, because reference variable of type Parent is referring an object of Child, but instead it call name() method of Parent class itself. This happens, because static methods are resolved or bonded during compile time, and only information which is available, and used by compiler is type of reference variable. Since p was reference variable of Parent type, name() method from Parent class was called. Now, In order to prove that static method can be hidden, if we call Child.name() or c.name(), it will call name() method from Childclass. This means static methods can not overridden in Java, they can only be hidden. This also answers, Why static method can not be overridden in Java, because they are resolved during compile time. By the way, this example doesn’t show, whether you can overload static method or not, but you can. See this tutorial, for an example of overloading static method in Java.

/** * Java Program to show that, you can not override static method in Java. * If you declare same method in subclass then, It’s known as method hiding. * * @author Javin Paul */ public class StaticOverrideTest { public static void main(String args[]) { Parent p = new Parent(); p.name(); // should call static method from super class (Parent) // because type of reference variable // p is Parent p = new Child(); p.name(); // as per overriding rules this should call to child’s static // overridden method. Since static method can not be overridden // , it will call parent static method   // because Type of p is Parent. Child c = new Child(); c.name(); // will call child static method because static method // get called by type of Class } } class Parent{ /* * original static method in super class which will be hidden * in subclass. */ public static void name(){ System.out.println(“static method from Parent”); } } class Child extends Parent{ /* * Static method with same signature as in super class, * Since static method can not be overridden, this is called * method hiding. Now, if you call Child.name(), this method * will be called, also any call to name() in this particular * class will go to this method, because super class method is hidden. */ public static void name(){ System.out.println(“static method from Child”); } } Output static method from Parent static method from Parent static method from Child

That’s all on this Java interview question guys. Remember, Static methods can not be overridden in Java, but they can be overloaded and hidden in Java. We have also touched based on What is method hiding in Java, and learned Why Static method can not be overridden in Java, since they are bonded during compile time by using type of Class, and not at runtime using Objects.

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rakesh

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