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Chapter 3

Programming in the Small II: Control

The basic building blocks of programs -- variables, expressions, assignment statements, and subroutine call statements -- were covered in the previous chapter. Starting with this chapter, we look at how these building blocks can be put together to build complex programs with more interesting behavior.

Since we are still working on the level of "programming in the small" in this chapter, we are interested in the kind of complexity that can occur within a single subroutine. On this level, complexity is provided by control structures. The two types of control structures, loops and branches, can be used to repeat a sequence of statements over and over or to choose among two or more possible courses of action. Java includes several control structures of each type, and we will look at each of them in some detail.

Program complexity can be seen not just in control structures but also in data structures. A data structure is an organized collection of data, chunked together so that it can be treated as a unit. Section 3.8 in this chapter includes an introduction to one of the most common data structures: arrays.

The chapter will also begin the study of program design. Given a problem, how can you come up with a program to solve that problem? We'll look at a partial answer to this question in Section 3.2. Finally, Section 3.9 is a very brief first look at GUI programming.

Contents of Chapter 3:

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