workaround - Are static methods inherited in Java?




why static methods cannot be overridden in java (9)

I was reading A Programmer’s Guide to Java™ SCJP Certification by Khalid Mughal.

In the Inheritance chapter, it explains that

Inheritance of members is closely tied to their declared accessibility. If a superclass member is accessible by its simple name in the subclass (without the use of any extra syntax like super), that member is considered inherited

It also mentions that static methods are not inherited. But the code below is perfectlly fine:

class A
{
    public static void display()
    {
        System.out.println("Inside static method of superclass");
    }
}

class B extends A
{
    public void show()
    {
        // This works - accessing display() by its simple name -
        // meaning it is inherited according to the book.
        display();
    }
}

How am I able to directly use display() in class B? Even more, B.display() also works.

Does the book's explanation only apply to instance methods?

https://code.i-harness.com


All methods that are accessible are inherited by subclasses.

From the Sun Java Tutorials:

A subclass inherits all of the public and protected members of its parent, no matter what package the subclass is in. If the subclass is in the same package as its parent, it also inherits the package-private members of the parent. You can use the inherited members as is, replace them, hide them, or supplement them with new members

The only difference with inherited static (class) methods and inherited non-static (instance) methods is that when you write a new static method with the same signature, the old static method is just hidden, not overridden.

From the page on the difference between overriding and hiding.

The distinction between hiding and overriding has important implications. The version of the overridden method that gets invoked is the one in the subclass. The version of the hidden method that gets invoked depends on whether it is invoked from the superclass or the subclass


All the public and protected members can be inherited from any class while the default or package members can also be inherited from the class within the same package as that of the superclass. It does not depend whether it is static or non static member.

But it is also true that static member function do not take part in dynamic binding. If the signature of that static method is same in both parent and child class then concept of Shadowing applies, not polymorphism.


If that's what the book really says, it's wrong.[1]

The Java Language Specification #8.4.8 states:

8.4.8 Inheritance, Overriding, and Hiding

A class C inherits from its direct superclass all concrete methods m (both static and instance) of the superclass for which all of the following are true:

  • m is a member of the direct superclass of C.

  • m is public, protected, or declared with package access in the same package as C.

  • No method declared in C has a signature that is a subsignature (§8.4.2) of the signature of m.

[1] It doesn't say that in my copy, 1st edition, 2000.


Many have voiced out their answer in words. This is an extended explanation in codes:

public class A {
    public static void test() {
        System.out.println("A");
    }
    public static void test2() {
        System.out.println("Test");
    }
}

public class B extends A {
    public static void test() {
        System.out.println("B");
    }
}

// Called statically
A.test();
B.test();
System.out.println();

// Called statically, testing static inheritance
A.test2();
B.test2();
System.out.println();

// Called via instance object
A a = new A();
B b = new B();
a.test();
b.test();
System.out.println();

// Testing inheritance via instance call
a.test2();
b.test2();
System.out.println();

// Testing whether calling static method via instance object is dependent on compile or runtime type
((A) b).hi();
System.out.println();

// Testing whether null instance works
A nullObj = null;
nullObj.hi();

Results:

A
B

Test
Test

A
B

Test
Test

A

A

Therefore, this is the conclusion:

  1. When we call the static in a static manner via ., it will look for the static defined in that class, or the class nearest to that in the inheritance chain. This proves that static methods are inherited.
  2. When static method is called from an instance, it calls the static method defined in the compile-time type.
  3. Static method can be called from a null instance. My guess is that the compiler will use the variable type to find the class during compilation, and translate that to the appropriate static method call.

Static members will not be inherited to subclass because inheritance is only for non-static members.. And static members will be loaded inside static pool by class loader. Inheritance is only for those members which are loaded inside the object


Static method is inherited in subclass but it is not polymorphism. When you writing the implementation of static method, the parent's class method is over hidden, not overridden. Think, if it is not inherited then how you can be able to access without classname.staticMethodname();?


This concept is not that easy as it looks. We can access static members without inheritance, which is HasA-relation. We can access static members by extending the parent class also. That doesn't imply that it is an ISA-relation (Inheritance). Actually static members belong to the class, and static is not an access modifier. As long as the access modifiers permit to access the static members we can use them in other classes. Like if it is public then it will be accessible inside the same package and also outside the package. For private we can't use it anywhere. For default, we can use it only within the package. But for protected we have to extend the super class. So getting the static method to other class does not depend on being Static. It depends on Access modifiers. So, in my opinion, Static members can access if the access modifiers permit. Otherwise, we can use them like we use by Hasa-relation. And has a relation is not inheritance. Again we can not override the static method. If we can use other method but cant override it, then it is HasA-relation. If we can't override them it won't be inheritance.So the writer was 100% correct.


We can declare static methods with same signature in subclass, but it is not considered overriding as there won’t be any run-time polymorphism.Because since all static members of a class are loaded at the time of class loading so it decide at compile time(overriding at run time) Hence the answer is ‘No’.


You can override static methods, but if you try to use polymorphism, then they work according to class scope(Contrary to what we normally expect).

public class A {

    public static void display(){
        System.out.println("in static method of A");
    }
}

public class B extends A {

    void show(){
        display();
    }

     public static void display(){
        System.out.println("in static method of B");
    }

}
public class Test {

    public static void main(String[] args){
        B obj =new B();
        obj.show();

        A a_obj=new B();
        a_obj.display();


    }


}

IN first case, o/p is the "in static method of B" # successful override In 2nd case, o/p is "in static method of A" # Static method - will not consider polymorphism







static