jnancheta jnancheta - 1 month ago 7x
Java Question

Why is using a wild card with a Java import statement bad?

It is much more convenient and cleaner to use a single statement like

import java.awt.*;

than to import a bunch of individual classes

import java.awt.Panel;
import java.awt.Graphics;
import java.awt.Canvas;

What is wrong with using a wildcard in the


The only problem with it is that it clutters your local namespace. For example, let's say that you're writing a Swing app, and so need java.awt.Event, and are also interfacing with the company's calendaring system, which has com.mycompany.calendar.Event. If you import both using the wildcard method, one of these three things happens:

  1. You have an outright naming conflict between java.awt.Event and com.mycompany.calendar.Event, and so you can't even compile.
  2. You actually manage only to import one (only one of your two imports does .*), but it's the wrong one, and you struggle to figure out why your code is claiming the type is wrong.
  3. When you compile your code there is no com.mycompany.calendar.Event, but when they later add one your previously valid code suddenly stops compiling.

The advantage of explicitly listing all imports is that I can tell at a glance which class you meant to use, which simply makes reading the code that much easier. If you're just doing a quick one-off thing, there's nothing explicitly wrong, but future maintainers will thank you for your clarity otherwise.