Non-static variable cannot be referenced from a static context | Java [Answered]

Sample problem:

I’ve written this test code:

class MyProgram
{
    int count = 0;
    public static void main(String[] args)
    {
        System.out.println(count);
    }
}

But it gives the following error:

Main.java:6: error: non-static variable count cannot be referenced from a static context
        System.out.println(count);
                           ^

How do I get my methods to recognize my class variables?

Non-static variable cannot be referenced from a static context – Answer #1:

ou must understand the difference between a class and an instance of that class. If you see a car on the street, you know immediately that it’s a car even if you can’t see which model or type. This is because you compare what you see with the class “car”. The class contains which is similar to all cars. Think of it as a template or an idea.

At the same time, the car you see is an instance of the class “car” since it has all the properties which you expect: There is someone driving it, it has an engine, wheels.

So the class says “all cars have a color” and the instance says “this specific car is red”.

In the OO world, you define the class and inside the class, you define a field of type Color. When the class is instantiated (when you create a specific instance), memory is reserved for the color and you can give this specific instance a color. Since these attributes are specific, they are non-static.

Static fields and methods are shared with all instances. They are for values which are specific to the class and not a specific instance. For methods, this usually are global helper methods (like Integer.parseInt()). For fields, it’s usually constants (like car types, i.e. something where you have a limited set which doesn’t change often).

To solve your problem, you need to instantiate an instance (create an object) of your class so the runtime can reserve memory for the instance (otherwise, different instances would overwrite each other which you don’t want).

In your case, try this code as a starting block:

public static void main (String[] args)
{
    try
    {
        MyProgram7 obj = new MyProgram7 ();
        obj.run (args);
    }
    catch (Exception e)
    {
        e.printStackTrace ();
    }
}

// instance variables here

public void run (String[] args) throws Exception
{
    // put your code here
}

The new main() method creates an instance of the class it contains (sounds strange but since main() is created with the class instead of with the instance, it can do this) and then calls an instance method (run()).

Answer #2:

Static fields and methods are connected to the class itself and not to its instances. If you have a class A, a ‘normal’ (usually called instance) method b, and a static method c, and you make an instance a of your class A, the calls to A.c() and a.b() are valid. Method c() has no idea which instance is connected, so it cannot use non-static fields.

The solution for you is that you either make your fields static or your methods non-static. Your main could look like this then:

class Programm {

    public static void main(String[] args) {
        Programm programm = new Programm();
        programm.start();
    }

    public void start() {
        // can now access non-static fields
    }
}

Answer #3:

The static keyword modifies the lifecycle of a method or variable within a class. A static method or variable is created at the time a class is loaded. A method or variable that is not declared as static is created only when the class is instantiated as an object for example by using the new operator.

The lifecycle of a class, in broad terms, is:

  1. the source code for the class is written creating a template or pattern or stamp which can then be used to
  2. create an object with the new operator using the class to make an instance of the class as an actual object and then when done with the object
  3. destroy the object reclaiming the resources it is holding such as memory during garbage collection.

In order to have an initial entry point for an application, Java has adopted the convention that the Java program must have a class that contains a method with an agreed upon or special name. This special method is called main(). Since the method must exist whether the class containing the main method has been instantiated or not, the main() method must be declared with the static modifier so that as soon as the class is loaded, the main() method is available.

The result is that when you start your Java application by a command line such as java helloworld a series of actions happen. First of all a Java Virtual Machine is started up and initialized. Next the helloworld.class file containing the compiled Java code is loaded into the Java Virtual Machine. Then the Java Virtual Machine looks for a method in the helloworld class that is called main(String [] args). this method must be static so that it will exist even though the class has not actually been instantiated as an object. The Java Virtual Machine does not create an instance of the class by creating an object from the class. It just loads the class and starts execution at the main() method.

So you need to create an instance of your class as an object and then you can access the methods and variables of the class that have not been declared with the static modifier. Once your Java program has started with the main() function you can then use any variables or methods that have the modifier of static since they exist as part of the class being loaded.

However, those variables and methods of the class which are outside of the main() method which do not have the static modifier can not be used until an instance of the class has been created as an object within the main() method. After creating the object you can then use the variables and methods of the object. An attempt to use the variables and methods of the class which do not have the static modifier without going through an object of the class is caught by the Java compiler at compile time and flagged as an error.

import java.io.*;

class HelloWorld {
    int myInt;      // this is a class variable that is unique to each object
    static int myInt2;  // this is a class variable shared by all objects of this class

    static void main (String [] args) {
        // this is the main entry point for this Java application
        System.out.println ("Hello, World\n");
        myInt2 = 14;    // able to access the static int
        HelloWorld myWorld = new HelloWorld();
        myWorld.myInt = 32;   // able to access non-static through an object
    }
}

Answer #4:

Let’s analyze your program first.. In your program, your first method is main(), and keep it in mind it is the static method… Then you declare the local variable for that method (compareCount, low, high, etc..). The scope of this variable is only the declared method, regardless of it being a static or non static method. So you can’t use those variables outside that method. This is the basic error u made.

Then we come to next point. You told static is killing you. (It may be killing you but it only gives life to your program!!) First you must understand the basic thing. *Static method calls only the static method and use only the static variable. *Static variable or static method are not dependent on any instance of that class. (i.e. If you change any state of the static variable it will reflect in all objects of the class) *Because of this you call it as a class variable or a class method. And a lot more is there about the “static” keyword. I hope now you get the idea. First change the scope of the variable and declare it as a static (to be able to use it in static methods).

And the advice for you is: you misunderstood the idea of the scope of the variables and static functionalities. Get clear idea about that.

Non-static variable cannot be referenced from a static context- Answer #5:

To be able to access them from your static methods they need to be static member variables, like this:

public class MyProgram7 {
  static Scanner scan = new Scanner(System.in);
  static int compareCount = 0;
  static int low = 0;
  static int high = 0;
  static int mid = 0;  
  static int key = 0;  
  static Scanner temp;  
  static int[]list;  
  static String menu, outputString;  
  static int option = 1;  
  static boolean found = false;

  public static void main (String[]args) throws IOException {
  ...

Answer #6:

Now you can add/use instances with in the method

public class Myprogram7 {

  Scanner scan;
  int compareCount = 0;
  int low = 0;
  int high = 0;
  int mid = 0;  
  int key = 0;  
  Scanner temp;  
  int[]list;  
  String menu, outputString;  
  int option = 1;  
  boolean found = false;  

  private void readLine() {

  }

  private void findkey() {

  }

  private void printCount() {

  }
  public static void main(String[] args){

    Myprogram7 myprg=new Myprogram7();
    myprg.readLine();
    myprg.findkey();
    myprg.printCount();
  }
}

Hope you learned something from this post.

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