We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What Is an Anonymous Inner Class?

By Eugene P.
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At EasyTechJunkie, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

In object-oriented computer programming, an anonymous inner class is a class that is declared inside of a method but is unnamed. An anonymous inner class has several restrictions that make it different from a normal class, including a restriction on the scope of the variables it can access. There are some very specific situations in which using an anonymous inner class can make source code more readable, but it is primarily used to help enforce encapsulation where the generation of separate classes could complicate it.

Encapsulation is the concept in object-oriented programming (OOP) that an object and its components should be in some way protected and bound to the object. Anonymous inner classes, and inner classes in general, help to realize encapsulation for particularly complex objects. Instead of having to create a class that relies on a separate external one, binding them together artificially and potentially exposing some of the components, an anonymous inner class can tie the two together solidly.

In some programming languages, an anonymous inner class can help to overcome the restrictions of single inheritance. If an object inherits from one class but then needs to access another, an inner class can be generated on the fly and then passed to the appropriate handlers. This technique is common with callbacks and event listeners. The only alternative would be to create an entire second class in which only one or two methods are overridden.

Anonymous inner classes have some restrictions in place to prevent breaking encapsulation and to enforce scope. The primary restriction is that an anonymous inner class cannot access variables of the method in which it resides unless those variables are declared as final. This is because the inner class could continue functioning beyond the life of the class and method in which it nests. The variables of the wrapping class would be destroyed once its life was over, so the references the inner class held would become instantly invalid. The only exception to this is a final variable, because it will exist beyond the instance.

One of the more specific uses for an anonymous inner class is code protection. Many OOP languages provide for a mechanism called reflection. Reflection allows a program to dissect another class and see what its member variables and methods are, but not the code itself. By using an anonymous inner class, the contents of the inner class are protected from reflection and the inner workings of the larger class can be effectively hidden.

EasyTechJunkie is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

EasyTechJunkie, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.