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Converter Class


This essay does not describe an existing computer program, just one that should exist. This essay is about a suggested student project in Java programming. This essay gives a rough overview of how it might work. I have no source, object, specifications, file layouts or anything else useful to implementing this project. Everything I have prepared to help you is right here.

This project outline is not like the artificial, tidy little problems you are spoon-fed in school, when all the facts you need are included, nothing extraneous is mentioned, the answer is fully specified, along with hints to nudge you toward a single expected canonical solution. This project is much more like the real world of messy problems where it is up to you to fully the define the end point, or a series of ever more difficult versions of this project and research the information yourself to solve them.

Everything I have to say to help you with this project is written below. I am not prepared to help you implement it; or give you any additional materials. I have too many other projects of my own.

Though I am a programmer by profession, I don’t do people’s homework for them. That just robs them of an education.

You have my full permission to implement this project in any way you please and to keep all the profits from your endeavour.

Please do not email me about this project without reading the disclaimer above.

Whoever named the functions in Java for converting one type into another must have enjoyed memorising the French irregular verbs back in high school. There is very little regularity to the names. I propose writing a class CVT that is composed completely of static final wrapper methods for converting any of the 20 basic Java types into any of the others. The method names will be perfectly regular. Hopefully inlining will get rid of most of the overhead of using them.
Method Purpose
String CVT.toString(int) convert an int to a String
int CVT.toint(String) convert a String to an int
String CVT.toString(Integer) convert an Integer to a String
int CVT.toInteger(String) convert a String to an Integer
The wrapper methods could throw exceptions in some cases. The wrappers would take care of any trim()s needed to keep some of the parsers happy.

The conversion amanuensis has already done most of the work for you cataloging how you convert anything to anything. You simply have to modify its test driver to emit the source code for the CVT class. Bill Wilkinson posted some code similar to my proposed CVT class a year or so ago.

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