jlc488 jlc488 - 1 year ago 59
Java Question

What's the difference between Event Listeners & Handlers in Java?

In general terms of java, there are listeners & handlers for events.

I mean I use them unknowingly, just whichever is available in the API.

My question is, in what case do we use listeners and in what case do we use handlers for events?

What's the difference between them? Characteristics??

I've searched for reasons and I couldn't find a proper explanation for Java.


There's no formally defined difference between listeners and handlers. Some people probably would probably argue that they are interchangeable. To me however, they have slightly different meaning.

A listener is an object that subscribes for events from a source. Cf. the observer pattern. Usually you can have many listeners subscribing for each type of event, and they are added through addXyzListener methods.

Example: The MouseListener in the Java API.

A handler is an object that is responsible for handling certain events. A typical scenario would be to provide a handler for a specific event/task as an argument to a constructor, or set the handler through a setXyzHandler method. In other words, you usually have one handler for each type of event.

Example: The MemoryHandler in the Java API.