vash_ace vash_ace - 3 months ago 16
Java Question

Singleton via enum way is lazy initialized?

This is a very wide-spread enum singleton code:

public enum enumClazz{
//do something

and a bunch of places said it is a lazy initialization. But I am confused after I read Chapter 7 of 'Inside the Java Virtual Machine' -- The Lifetime of a Type:

The Java virtual machine specification gives implementations
flexibility in the timing of class and interface loading and linking,
but strictly defines the timing of initialization. All implementations
must initialize each class or interface on its first active use. The
following six situations qualify as active uses:

  • A new instance of a class is created (in bytecodes, the execution of a new instruction. Alternatively, via implicit creation,
    reflection, cloning, or deserialization.)

  • The invocation of a static method declared by a class (in bytecodes, the execution of an invokestatic instruction)

  • The use or assignment of a static field declared by a class or interface, except for static fields that are final and initialized by
    a compile-time constant expression (in bytecodes, the execution of a
    getstatic or putstatic instruction)

  • The invocation of certain reflective methods in the Java API, such as methods in class Class or in classes in the java.lang.reflect

  • The initialization of a subclass of a class (Initialization of a class requires prior initialization of its superclass.)

  • The designation of a class as the initial class (with the main()< method) when a Java virtual machine starts up

The third point with bold style clarify that if the field is
static final
, the initialization of the field is happened at compile-time. Likewise, the
is implicitly equal to
public static final
and comply with the third point.

Can someone correct me if my understanding is wrong?


enum instance fields are not "initialized by a compile-time constant expression". They can't be, because only String and primitive types are possible types for a compile-time constant expression.

That means that the class will be initialized when INSTANCE is first accessed (which is exactly the desired effect).

The exception in the bold text above exists, because those constants (static final fields initialized with a compile-time constant expression) will effectively be inlined during compilation:

class A {
  public static final String FOO = "foo";

  static {
    System.out.println("initializing A");

class B {
  public static void main(String[] args) {

Executing class B in this example will not initialize A (and will not print "initializing A"). And if you look into the bytecode generated for B you'll see a string literal with the value "foo" and no reference to the class A.