I want to convert a primitive to a string, and I tried:
This fails with the error:
int cannot be dereferenced
Now, I get that primitives are not reference types (ie, not an Object) and so cannot have methods. However, Java 5 introduced autoboxing and unboxing (a la C#… which I never liked in C#, but that’s beside the point). So with autoboxing, I would expect the above to convert myInt to an Integer and then call toString() on that.
Furthermore, I believe C# allows such a call, unless I remember incorrectly. Is this just an unfortunate shortcoming of Java’s autoboxing/unboxing specification, or is there a good reason for this?
Java autoboxing/unboxing doesn’t go to the extent to allow you to dereference a primitive, so your compiler prevents it. Your compiler still knows
myInt as a primitive. There’s a paper about this issue at jcp.org.
Autoboxing is mainly useful during assignment or parameter passing — allowing you to pass a primitive as an object (or vice versa), or assign a primitive to an object (or vice versa).
So unfortunately, you would have to do it like this: (kudos Patrick, I switched to your way)