Computer Science 252
Problem Solving with Java

Spring 2016, The College of Saint Rose

Lab 4: Java Review: Part 3
Due: 11:59 PM, Monday, February 15, 2016

This is the third of the three "review" labs that are designed to refresh and sharpen your prerequisite Java programming skills. Again, there are a few programs to write, but all are things you should be comfortable doing, maybe with a little refreshing of your memory, having completed the prerequisites successfully.

You are to work individually on these tasks. Searching for similar programs on the Internet (or anywhere) is not permitted, and would be counterproductive to your ability to learn how to approach these straightforward tasks. However, you should feel free to ask your instructor, our graduate assistant, or the ASC tutors for help as you work through them.

This third review lab focuses on text/string processing. All programs for this lab are once again Java applications.

Getting Set Up

To get your BlueJ environment set up for this week's lab assignment, start BlueJ and choose "New Project" from the "Project" menu. Navigate to your folder for this course and choose the name "Lab4" (no spaces) for the project.

Java String Overview

Before we get to practice programs, let's review (or introduce, in some cases) Java's String class.

Java API Documentation: java.lang.String

Java's String class is used to represent sequences of characters. The same term is used in most modern programming languages. String provides many frequently-used methods, some of which you will practice with in this lab.

You have hopefully used Java Strings in many situations:

Java's String class is also unique in the sense that it does not fall clearly into one of the two categories of types in Java:

Java considers String to be an object type. But Strings share features with both object and non-object types.

Some useful String methods

Miscellaneous String methods

    public boolean startsWith(String s)
          // true only if this string starts with s
    public boolean endsWith(String s)
          // true only if this string ends with s

    public boolean equals(String s)
          // true only if this string has same sequence of chars as s
    public boolean equalsIgnoreCase(String s)
          // true only if this string has same sequence of chars as s
          // except capital & lower case letters considered the same

    public int lastIndexOf(String s)
    public int lastIndexOf(String s, int startIndex)
          // return index of last occurrence of s (occurring at or  
          // before startIndex) in this string, and -1 if no match.

    public String replace(char oldChar, char newChar)
          // Returns a new string resulting from replacing all  
          // occurrences of oldChar in this string with newChar. 
    public String trim()
          // Returns a new string with leading and trailing spaces removed.
    public int compareTo(String s)
          // Returns negative int if string before s in case-sensitive
          //    dictionary order;
          // returns 0 if equal
          // returns positive int if string after s in case-sensitive
          //        dictionary order.

    public char charAt(int index)
            // Returns the character at the specified index. 

Converting Strings to numeric types

Before we move to the String practice programs, we consider the conversion of String data to numeric types.

We have seen already that a Scanner can retrive numeric data from its input with the nextInt and nextDouble methods. This leads to one technique for converting String data to numbers. Just as we can use the keyboard or the contents of a file as the input for a Scanner, we can also use a String:

   Scanner nums = new Scanner("17 23.2");
   int first = nums.nextInt();
   double second = nums.nextDouble();

This will result in the number 17 in the variable first, and 23.2 in the variable second.

Alternately, if we have a String that we expect contains text that can be interpreted as a number, we can use methods of the Integer and Double classes to do the conversion:

   String s1 = "23";
   int i1 = Integer.parseInt(s1);
   String s2 = "-3.5";
   double d2 = Double.parseDouble(s2);

Note that these would throw NumberFormatExceptions if the String passed as their parameters cannot be converted to the desired numerical format.

A very common situation where String-to-number conversions are needed is when numbers are entered through graphical user interface components, such as popup windows created using the JOptionPane methods.

Java API Documentation: javax.swing.JOptionPane

  String response = 
    JOptionPane.showInputDialog("Enter an integer.");
  int theInt = Integer.parseInt(response);

Practice Programs

Practice Program: Write a program that prompts for the name of an input text file with a keyboard Scanner, then reads the contents of that file, word by word. Along the way, the program should keep track of the following, to be reported at the end: the shortest word, the longest word, the first word alphabetically, the last word alphabetically, and the number of words. Additional notes below. (15 points)

More on the WordsFromText program:

For the input file below:

It's not impossible
I used to bullseye womp rats in my
T-16 back home
they're not much bigger than two meters
Then man your ships
And may the Force be with you

my program prints:

Encountered 32 words.
Shortest: I
Longest: impossible
First: And
Last: your

Practice Program: Convert the program at to interact with the user through JOptionPane popup windows instead of through a keyboard Scanner and System.out.println. (5 points)

Practice Program: Write a program that prompts for a single String from a keyboard Scanner and then guesses whether the string enters is most likely a web URL, an email address, or neither. Basic guidelines are below. You are welcome to improve on them. (20 points)

Your program should use these rules, at a minimum:

Hint: String methods such as indexOf and substring are likely to be helpful.

Here are some sample interactions with my reference solution to this program:

Input string?
Could be an email address.

Input string?
Could be a URL.

Input string? hithere!!
Doesn't look like either.

Input string?
Could be a URL.
Could be an email address.

Input string?
Doesn't look like either.

Input string?
Doesn't look like either.

Input string? me@
Could be an email address.

Input string? cs252@http://                       
Doesn't look like either.


Before 11:59 PM, Monday, February 15, 2016, submit your lab for grading. To complete the submission, email a copy of your lab (a .7z or .zip file containing your project directory) to terescoj AT


This assignment is worth 40 points, which are distributed as follows:

> FeatureValueScore
WordsFromText correctness 15
GuessingGame correctness 5
WhatIsIt correctness 20
Total 40