Identifiers

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Identifiers

All Java variables must be identified with unique names.

These unique names are called identifiers.

Identifiers can be short names (like x and y) or more descriptive names (age, sum, totalVolume).

Note: It is recommended to use descriptive names in order to create understandable and maintainable code:

Example

				
					// Good
int minutesPerHour = 60;

// OK, but not so easy to understand what m actually is
int m = 60;
				
			

The general rules for naming variables are:

  • Names can contain letters, digits, underscores, and dollar signs
  • Names must begin with a letter
  • Names should start with a lowercase letter and it cannot contain whitespace
  • Names can also begin with $ and _ (but we will not use it in this tutorial)
  • Names are case sensitive (“myVar” and “myvar” are different variables)
  • Reserved words (like Java keywords, such as int or boolean) cannot be used as names

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