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Java Fundamental Classes Reference

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16. The java.text Package

The package java.text is new as of Java 1.1. It contains classes that support the internationalization of Java programs. The internationalization classes can be grouped as follows:

  • Classes for formatting string representations of dates, times, numbers, and messages based on the conventions of a locale.

  • Classes that collate strings according to the rules of a locale.

  • Classes for finding boundaries in text according to the rules of a locale.

Many of the classes in java.text rely upon a java.util.Locale object to provide information about the locale that is in use.

The Format class is the superclass of all of the classes that generate and parse string representations of various types of data. The DateFormat class formats and parses dates and times according to the customs and language of a particular locale. Similarly, the NumberFormat class formats and parses numbers, including currency values, in a locale-dependent manner.

The MessageFormat class can create a textual message from a pattern string, while ChoiceFormat maps numerical ranges to strings. By themselves, these classes do not provide different results for different locales. However, they can be used in conjunction with java.util.ResourceBundle objects that generate locale-specific pattern strings.

The Collator class handles collating strings according to the rules of a particular locale. Different languages have different characters and different rules for sorting those characters; Collator and its subclass, RuleBasedCollator, are designed to take those differences into account when collating strings. In addition, the CollationKey class can be used to optimize the sorting of a large collection of strings.

The BreakIterator class finds various boundaries, such as word boundaries and line boundaries, in textual data. Again, BreakIterator locates these boundaries according to the rules of a particular locale.

Figure 16.1 shows the class hierarchy for the java.text package.

BreakIterator

Name

BreakIterator

Synopsis

Class Name:

java.text.BreakIterator

Superclass:

java.lang.Object

Immediate Subclasses:

None

Interfaces Implemented:

java.lang.Cloneable, java.io.Serializable

Availability:

New as of JDK 1.1

Description

The BreakIterator class is an abstract class that defines methods that find the locations of boundaries in text, such as word boundaries and sentence boundaries. A BreakIterator operates on the object passed to its setText() method; that object must implement the CharacterIterator interface or be a String object. When a String is passed to setText(), the BreakIterator creates an internal StringCharacterIterator to iterate over the String.

When you use a BreakIterator, you call first() to get the location of the first boundary and then repeatedly call next() to iterate through the subsequent boundaries.

The BreakIterator class defines four static factory methods that return instances of BreakIterator that locate various kinds of boundaries. Each of these factory methods selects a concrete subclass of BreakIterator based either on the default locale or a specified locale. You must create a separate instance of BreakIterator to handle each kind of boundary you are trying to locate:

  • getWordInstance() returns an iterator that locates word boundaries, which is useful for search-and-replace operations. A word iterator correctly handles punctuation marks.

  • getSentenceInstance() returns an iterator that locates sentence boundaries, which is useful for textual selection. A sentence iterator correctly handle punctuation marks.

  • getLineInstance() returns an iterator that locates line boundaries, which is useful in line wrapping. A line iterator correctly handles hyphenation and punctuation.

  • getCharacterInstance() returns an iterator that locates boundaries between characters, which is useful for allowing the cursor to interact with characters appropriately, since some characters are stored as a base character and a diacritical mark, but only represent one display character.

Class Summary

public abstract class java.util.BreakIterator extends java.lang.Object
                      implements java.lang.Cloneable, 
                                 java.io.Serializable {
  // Constants
  public final static int DONE;
  // Constructors
  protected BreakIterator();
  // Class Methods
  public static synchronized Locale[] getAvailableLocales();
  public static BreakIterator getCharacterInstance();
  public static BreakIterator getCharacterInstance(Locale where);
  public static BreakIterator getLineInstance();
  public static BreakIterator getLineInstance(Locale where);
  public static BreakIterator getSentenceInstance();
  public static BreakIterator getSentenceInstance(Locale where);
  public static BreakIterator getWordInstance();
  public static BreakIterator getWordInstance(Locale where);
  // Instance Methods
  public Object clone();
  public abstract int current();
  public abstract int first();
  public abstract int following(int offset);
  public abstract CharacterIterator getText();
  public abstract int last();
  public abstract int next();
  public abstract int next(int n)
  public abstract int previous();
  public abstract void setText(CharacterIterator newText);
  public void setText(String newText);
}

Constants

DONE

public final static int DONE

Description

A constant that is returned by next() or previous() if there are no more breaks to be returned.

Constructors

BreakIterator

protected BreakIterator()

Description

This constructor should be called only from constructors of subclasses.

Class Methods

getAvailableLocales

public static synchronized Locale[] getAvailableLocales()

Returns

An array of Locale objects.

Description

This method returns an array of the Locale objects that can be passed to getCharacterInstance(), getLineInstance(), getSentenceInstance(), or getWordInstance().

getCharacterInstance

public static BreakIterator getCharacterInstance()

Returns

A BreakIterator appropriate for the default Locale.

Description

This method creates a BreakIterator that can locate character boundaries in the default Locale.

public static BreakIterator getCharacterInstance(Locale where)

Parameters

where

The Locale to use.

Returns

A BreakIterator appropriate for the given Locale.

Description

This method creates a BreakIterator that can locate character boundaries in the given Locale.

getLineInstance

public static BreakIterator getLineInstance()

Returns

A BreakIterator appropriate for the default Locale.

Description

This method creates a BreakIterator that can locate line boundaries in the default Locale.

public static BreakIterator getLineInstance(Locale where)

Parameters

where

The Locale to use.

Returns

A BreakIterator appropriate for the given Locale.

Description

This method creates a BreakIterator that can locate line boundaries in the given Locale.

getSentenceInstance

public static BreakIterator getSentenceInstance()

Returns

A BreakIterator appropriate for the default Locale.

Description

This method creates a BreakIterator that can locate sentence boundaries in the default Locale.

public static BreakIterator getSentenceInstance(Locale where)

Parameters

where

The Locale to use.

Returns

A BreakIterator appropriate for the given Locale.

Description

This method creates a BreakIterator that can locate sentence boundaries in the given Locale.

getWordInstance

public static BreakIterator getWordInstance()

Returns

A BreakIterator appropriate for the default Locale.

Description

This method creates a BreakIterator that can locate word boundaries in the default Locale.

public static BreakIterator getWordInstance(Locale where)

Parameters

where

The Locale to use.

Returns

A BreakIterator appropriate for the given Locale.

Description

This method creates a BreakIterator that can locate word boundaries in the given Locale.

Instance Methods

clone

public Object clone()

Returns

A copy of this BreakIterator.

Overrides

Object.clone()

Description

This method creates a copy of this BreakIterator and then returns it.

current

public abstract int current()

Returns

The current position of this BreakIterator.

Description

This method returns the current position of this BreakIterator. The current position is the character index of the most recently returned boundary.

first

public abstract int first()

Returns

The position of the first boundary of this BreakIterator.

Description

This method finds the first boundary in this BreakIterator and returns its character index. The current position of the iterator is set to this boundary.

following

public abstract int following(int offset)

Parameters

offset

An offset into this BreakIterator.

Returns

The position of the first boundary after the given offset of this BreakIterator or DONE if there are no more boundaries.

Throws

IllegalArgumentException

If offset is not a valid value for the CharacterIterator of this BreakIterator.

Description

This method finds the first boundary after the given offset in this BreakIterator and returns its character index.

getText

public abstract CharacterIterator getText()

Returns

The CharacterIterator that this BreakIterator uses.

Description

This method returns a CharacterIterator that represents the text this BreakIterator examines.

last

public abstract int last()

Returns

The position of the last boundary of this BreakIterator.

Description

This method finds the last boundary in this BreakIterator and returns its character index. The current position of the iterator is set to this boundary.

next

public abstract int next()

Returns

The position of the next boundary of this BreakIterator or DONE if there are no more boundaries.

Description

This method finds the next boundary in this BreakIterator after the current position and returns its character index. The current position of the iterator is set to this boundary.

public abstract int next(int n)

Parameters

n

The boundary to return. A positive value moves to a later boundary a negative value moves to a previous boundary; the value 0 does nothing.

Returns

The position of the requested boundary of this BreakIterator.

Description

This method finds the nth boundary in this BreakIterator, starting from the current position, and returns its character index. The current position of the iterator is set to this boundary.

For example, next(-2) finds the third previous boundary. Thus next(1) is equivalent to next(), next(-1) is equivalent to previous(), and next(0) does nothing.

previous

public abstract int previous()

Returns

The position of the previous boundary of this BreakIterator.

Description

This method finds the previous boundary in this BreakIterator, starting from the current position, and returns its character index. The current position of the iterator is set to this boundary.

setText

public abstract void setText(CharacterIterator newText)

Parameters

newText

The CharacterIterator that contains the text to be examined.

Description

This method tells this BreakIterator to examine the piece of text specified by the CharacterIterator. This current position of this BreakIterator is set to first().

public void setText(String newText)

Parameters

newText

The String that contains the text to be examined.

Description

This method tells this BreakIterator to examine the piece of text specified by the String, using a StringCharacterIterator created from the given string. This current position of this BreakIterator is set to first().

Inherited Methods

Method Inherited From Method Inherited From

equals(Object)

Object

finalize()

Object

getClass()

Object

hashCode()

Object

notify()

Object

notifyAll()

Object

toString()

Object

wait()

Object

wait(long)

Object

wait(long, int)

Object

See Also

CharacterIterator, Locale, String, StringCharacterIterator


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