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7.7 Instance Methods

There is another category of functions which can be used apart from those listed in the previous section. These are called, in Java/object-oriented parlance, "instance methods" and represent functions that can be executed on an object.

It is possible to invoke any of its public instance methods on any object (though not on primitive values - numeric and boolean ones). The syntax is that you place a "." followed by the method invocation after the object you want to invoke the method on, hence NAME.substring(3) instead of substring(NAME,3). If you know what you're doing, feel free to go ahead and do this. However, most of the instance methods you're likely to want to use have equivalents in the normal functions listed in the previous section, so unless you're a Java programmer or feeling adventurous, you are probably best off ignoring this feature.


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TOPCAT - Tool for OPerations on Catalogues And Tables
Starlink User Note253
TOPCAT web page: http://www.starlink.ac.uk/topcat/
Author email: m.b.taylor@bristol.ac.uk
Mailing list: topcat-user@jiscmail.ac.uk