Jamie Laverty Jamie Laverty - 1 year ago 52
Java Question

Boolean not setting in constructor

I'm trying to make a button that toggles a boolean on/off when it is pressed. I am already using a similar format for toggling other modules on/off, and it works perfectly. However, for some reason unbeknown to me, the boolean I am trying to assign the variable to never toggles at all.

Here is the code that creates the boolean:

boolean rainbow = false;
panels.add(new Panel("Hub", 50, 50, false) {
public void loadElements() {
getElements().add(new ElementBoolean("Rainbow", rainbow));

And here is the box class, which gets the boolean variable, and is supposed to toggle it on/off.

private String label;
private boolean property;

public ElementBoolean(String label, boolean property) {
this.label = label;
this.property = property;

public void mouseClicked(int mX, int mY, int button)
switch(button) {
case 0: {
if(!isSelected(mX, mY)) return;
this.property = !this.property;


Again, this format works fine for handling other modules, but for toggling the boolean is never assigns 'property' to the boolean 'rainbow' as it is supposed to. Therefore, the boolean 'property' is toggled correctly, however the variable 'rainbow' stays false. I'm sorry if I am missing something extremely simple, I just cannot understand why this isn't working.

No stack trace because it doesn't generate any errors.

Answer Source

The problem is that primitives (e.g. boolean) are passed by value, means that when you are passing rainbow to ElementBoolean's constructor, Java creates a new local variable in stack which is not referenced anyhow with initial rainbow variable. What you actually need is a Mutable (https://commons.apache.org/proper/commons-lang/javadocs/api-2.6/org/apache/commons/lang/mutable/package-summary.html)
If you don't want to use Apache library you can implement it easily by yourself:

public class Mutable<T> {

  private T value;

  public Mutable(final T value) {
    this.value = value;

  public T get() {
    return this.value;

  public void set(final T value) {
    this.value = value;