Java Switch Statement Example

I don’t see the switch statement used very much, but it’s on your syllabus so let’s take a look at it:

String grade = input(); // assume that input method exists
String msg;
switch (grade) {
	case "A":
		 msg += "Very ";
	case "B":
		 msg += "Good ";
	case "C": 
		 msg += "Pass";
	case "D":
		 msg = "Borderline ";
	case "F":
		 msg = "Fail";
		 msg = "Invalid Grade";

The outputs are as follows:

grade = “A” -> “Very Good Pass”
grade = “B” -> “Good Pass”
grade = “C” -> “Pass”
grade = “D” -> “Borderline Fail”
grade = “F” -> “Fail”
Anything else -> “Invalid Grade”


  • You have to have the break statement otherwise you “fall through” to the next case. It’s normal to have a break statement at the end of every case. The example I’ve provided is contrived to show you the functionality, but in 25 years of programming Java I can’t remember genuinely using a switch statement like this!
  • The default case is executed if none of the other cases are executed.
  • The ability to use a switch statement on String objects was introduced in Java 7.

Java Generics: A simple example

Sometimes you will see funny angle brackets in Java code. Although Java’s generic types are not mentioned in the IB syllabus, this is a brief example of their use.

The output of this code is:

Anything object: Fred, 5
Anything object: Second, 2

package genericsdemo;
import java.util.List;
import java.util.ArrayList;
 * @author justin
public class GenericsDemo {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        /* Here we create four MyContainer objects and show that we can put
         * any type into them. Note that the generic type has to be a reference
         * type; we couldn't put a primitive in there.
        MyContainer<String> container1 = new MyContainer("Hello");
        MyContainer<Integer> container2 = new MyContainer(5);
        MyContainer<java.util.Random> container3 = new MyContainer(new java.util.Random());
        MyContainer<Anything> container4 = new MyContainer(new Anything("Fred", 5));
        /* It is probably rare that you will use Java Generics to create
         * your own containers. Much more likely you will use it to specify  
         * the type of object to be held in a list object from the Java
         * library.
        List<Anything> myList = new ArrayList();
        myList.add(new Anything("First", 1));
        myList.add(new Anything("Second", 2));
        myList.add(new Anything("Third", 3));

class MyContainer<T>{
    /* T is not a type, it is a type variable.
     * The variable t is an object of type T, even though we don't yet know 
     * what type T is. 
    T t;
    public MyContainer(T t) {
        this.t = t;
    T get(){
        return t;

class Anything {
    String name;
    int number;
    public Anything(String name, int number) { = name;
        this.number = number;
    public String toString() {
        return "Anything object: " + name + ", " + number;

Using JLists with the ListModel interface

Purists may prefer only to allow the View to communicate with the Model via the Controller but in the types of small applications that we do in schools I think it’s perfectly reasonable for the View to have a direct reference to the Model.

// In the Model
private Set people = new HashSet();
public List getPeople() {
     return new ArrayList(people);

// In the View
List people = model.getPeople();
for (Person person : people) {