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Lecture #34 (Friday, December 2, 2005)


Today we worked on coding LinkedLists. We created a

First we want to make the class Node, but since this is a part of linkedlist we want to make the class Node private to linkedlist so we nest it inside.

class LinkedList{

// linklist's instance variables would normally be here but for the sake
// of discussion are further down in the class

 private class Node{
//what are the two important elements of a node?
// a pointer to the next node, and a reference to the object itself 

  private Object item;
  private Node next; 

 *As far as java access protections are concerned the node class has private
 *declarations, but since it is within linkedlist, linkedlist can access node's 
 *private elements.  LinkedList can play with it but we call it private to 
 *show that we dont want linkedlist to play with it directly.

public Node(Object item){
   this.item = item;

//What is the this reference?
//Since there are two variables being refered too as item
//it tells the computer that we want the one that was an instance variable
//for the class instead of the one that was passed in as a parameter. 

 public Node(Object item, Node next){
 this.item= item;
 this. next = next;

//We are going to have accessors and other methods.

 public Node getNext()
	return next;

 public Object getItem()
	return item;

 public void setNext(Node next)

// Now we have the basic framework of a node. I did not put in a setItem method
// because there is no reason to set an item on a node. A Nodes whole purpoes 
// is to organize an item. If you need a new item use a new node, if you want 
// to swap items swap nodes. Setting an item within a node would just make
// the code very confusing.

// Now we are going to write contructor for linked list
// these would normally be at the top of the class

private Node head;
private Node tail;
private int count;

// we discussed the general procedures last lecture for creating a linkedlist
Last Lecture

// general constructor
public LinkedList(){
  head = tail = null; 


// one method we need is to be able to add an object at the beginning of the 
//list we do this by an addHead method

public void addHead(Object item){

head = new Node(item, head);// this creates a new node and has it point to head
count++;                    // which was the old start of the list. Then it sets
 			    // head to the new node which becomes the first item
			    // in the list
if(tail=null){  // this is a special case for when the item we are adding will
 tail=head;    // be the first item in the list

// addTail adds the new object at the end of the list

public void addTail(Object item)
if(tail==null){ //first we take care of the special case where the list is empty
 addHead(item); //addHead changes count
Node newNode = new Node(item);  //create a new node
 tail.setNext(newNode);     	// set the tail equal to the new node
 tail = newNode;                //or tail=tail.getNext();

public Object removeHead(){
if(head==null){  // special case if list is already empty
return null;}

Object newObj = head.getitem();


 tail=null; //

return newObj;

public Object removeTail(){
if(tail==null)  // special case if list is empty
return null;

if(count==1){	     // special case if there is only one item in the list
return removeHead(); // removeHead returns to us and we need to bump it up out
                    // of this method
//The remove tail is the hardest method we have done so far. We cannot use the
//tail reference because it will not help us because we need to change the one
//in front of it, we need to use a loop and take a walk through the list to get
Node index=head;// we start out with a node pointing to the head;
for(int i = 0; i< (count-1); i++){
 index=index.getNext();              //first we walk through the list (once we
}				     // have delt with the special cases
				     // we want two less than count because 
				     // count is one two high due to indexing
				     // and then we want to be one back from the
				     // last item in the list.

Object temp = tail.getItem();//next we set a tempt to the object we are removing

index.setNext(null);  // then we cut off the rest of the list
tail = index;        // set the tail to the second to last item (index) which is
	             // now the last item in the list
count --;         // decrease the count and finally return the object we removed

return temp;
/* another way to code this is:
*  the general trick is to remember to initialize index outside of the loop
*  Object temp = tail.getItem();
*  Node index;
*  for(index=head; index.getNext() !=tail; index=index.getNext())
*  ;
*  for an empty forloop you want to put the semicolon directly below
*  the loop because it makes it obvious that the loop is empty
*  forgetting the semicolon would make the next line of code
*  be what is "inside" the forloop
*  index.setNext(null);
*  count--;
*  return temp;