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Discussion on: What programming best practice do you disagree with?

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madani_sina profile image
Sina Madani

Getters and setters for every field, or even just getters for immutable ones. When inheritance is intended I understand the rationale but for serializable data classes, publically accessible fields should be made public.

Most of the time a final field with a getter can be made public, the only reason not to is to avoid using generics (by taking advantage of covariant return types)

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jckuhl profile image
Jonathan Kuhl

I've never fully understood getters and setters. If I have a field that has both a getter and a setter like so:

class Person {
   private String name;

   public String getName() {
     return this.name;
   }

   public void setName(String name) {
     this.name = name;
   }
}

Why not just make the field public? What's the point in making getters and setters and not just dealing with the field directly? I asked one instructor about this and he just said "it's better encapsulation" but I don't see it.

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rossdrew profile image
Ross

It allows you to validate and know when fields are accessed.

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michaeldober profile image
Michael Ober

Getters and Setters allow you to validate and normalize input. If this validation isn't needed then consider a public field.