Control Flow Statement

  • if .. else if .. else: both else and else if are indeed optional. If you have just one statement, you can avoid the usage of {}. You can use boolean or Boolean inside an if. If you are using the else if statements some rules are in place:

    1. it’s possible to have zero or one else for every given if;
    2. you can have zero or more else if coming before an else (and else is optional, too);
    3. if an else if succeded, next else if and the final else will not be executed;
  • switch: inside a switch you can have char, byte, short, int and enum, so everything you can cast to int. Inside case you have to put compile-time constants. You cannot use float, double and long. This is the syntax for a switch:
switch (variable) {
case <compile-time constant>:



default and break are optionals. It’s not possible to have different cases with the same label. Remember that 'a' equals to 97 so you cannot have both case in a switch, you’ll get a compiler error. In the switch argument you can also have variables declared final and initialized so this is legal: final int a = 0;. Remember to assign the variable to a value or you’ll get a compiler error. The switch statement base its checks on what you are passing. If you pass for example a byte a case with the value of 128 will be out of range and you’ll get a compilation error. In a switch you can also use wrappers (unboxing FTW!) like Byte, Integer etc…

case are evaluated with an approch top-down and default can be anywhere inside a switch, even between case. When a case is matched, if there isn’t a break statement, every remaining case will be executed sequentially until the end or until a break has been found.

switch (3) {
		case 1:
		case 3:
			System.out.println(3); // printed
		case 2:
			System.out.println(2); // printed
  • while and do...while: the while loop takes a boolean expression. It’s not possible to do declaration inside but it’s possible to to do assignment inside:
// unreachable codes
final boolean b = false;
while(b) {}
while(false) {}
// ok
boolean b = false;
while(b) {}
while(b=true){} // b assigned to true and then goes inside the while block

with the do {..} while(expr); loop the reasoing is the same but the instructuns are going to run at least once.
* Basic for loop: we have three parts in a for loop: the declaration ed inizialization of variables (having the scope of the for), the boolean expression and the iteration expression. The second part can have only one boolean expression. the third part has the iteration expression that can be anything (not only an increment). These are legal: for(;;) and for (int i = 0, j = 0; i < 10; i = (i < 10) ? 10 : 1, j = 3) {}.

To go out of a loop you can use:

1. **break** to exit from the current loop;
2. **return** to exit from the method;
3. `System.exit()` to exit from the program;
  • Enhanced for loop: it can be used with arrays or collection (or classes implementing the Iterable interface). The syntax is for(declaration:expression); where the first part is the declaration of a variable of the type of an element of the array or the collection, the second part is the array or the collection.

  • break: causes the loop to stop and goes to the first line after the loop;
  • continue: causes the current iteration of the loop to end and starts with the next one inside the same loop after check that the boolean expression is still true;
  • labelled statement: you declare a label like this label:{} and then you can use break label; to break the current execution and go to the label. You can use a label only inside the scope of the label;