natural order : Java Glossary


natural order
A spreadsheet may do calculations of the cells in one of several ways, e.g. row by row or column by column or in natural order. If cell A depends on the values of cells B and C it makes sense to calculate cells B and C before you calculate A, otherwise you will have to recalculate A when B later changes upon calculation. If you order your calculations to avoid such recalculation, that is called natural order. Spreadsheets typically do this by default. However, the Java compiler does not do it to your class or member variable inline initialisations. They are done top to bottom in the order they are encountered.

The Comparable interface defines a natural ordering for sorted arrays and Collections.

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