Practice with Functions

Created By: Geoffrey Challen
/ Updated: 2022-05-26

This lesson continues our exploration of functions. We'll present a bit more Java syntax, and spend time reinforcing what we've learned about functions. Let's get started!

Enhanced for Loop

To get us warmed up and ready to go, let's check out a new bit of Java syntax! Remember how we started with this common while loop:

and eventually arrived at this common for loop:

Well, that for loop became so common that there's an even simpler way to work through the values in array using Java's enhanced for loop:

Show off the enhanced for loop or foreach loop.

for (Indexed) versus Enhanced (Non-Indexed) for

When you should use the indexed for (for (int i = 0;...) and when the enhanced for? Here are some things to consider:

  • If you are iterating over an array—or other data structures that support iteration, which we'll encounter soon—consider the enhanced for loop
  • However, if you need access to the array index, then you have no option but to use the indexed for loop

For many common array-processing tasks that we've encountered, the enhanced for loop is a much better fit, since avoiding the extra index variable leads to a cleaner loop declaration and value access within the loop. For example, counting:

Show how to complete the homework problem above. Feel free to cover multiple approaches!

Practice with Functions

Next let's get some more practice with functions! Together we'll write a method that determines when an int array is a palindrome array: meaning that the values it contains are the same forward and backward. For example, {1, 2, 4} is not an array palindrome, but {1, 0, 2, 0, 1} is!

Let's go step by step and see how to approach constructing this method. First, let's determine our method signature, and practice calling it on some sample inputs.

Show how to set up the method signature, and call it using a few sample inputs.

Next, let's begin work on the body of the method. Our array access pattern here is a bit different than what we've seen previously, so let's proceed carefully.

Write the loop that proceeds through the array forward, but also show how we can construct a backward index as we go. Don't worry about only processing half of the array.

As a next step, let's complete the job by adding the decision-making logic we need to determine if the passed array is an array palindrome. This should remind us a bit of the search pattern that we covered yesterday.

Add the decision making logic in the loop, and discuss short-circuit return or proof by contradiction.

Finally, let's make one small improvement to our code.

Discuss the optimization achieved by only processing the first half of the array.

Show how to complete the homework problem above. Feel free to cover multiple approaches!