assignment operator : Java Glossary

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assignment operator
Assignment Operators
Operator Meaning Notes
a = b; ordinary assignment copy the value of b into a. If b is reference copy the pointer to b into a, not the values of the fields of the object pointed to by b into the fields of the object currently pointed to by a.
a += 2; a = a + 2; plus
a -= 2; a = a - 2; subtract
a *= 2; a = a * 2; multiply
a /= 2; a = a / 2; divide
a %= 2; a = a % 2; modulus
a >>>= 2; a = a >>> 2; unsigned right shift
a >>= 2; a = a >> 2; signed right shift
a <<= 2; a = a << 2; signed and unsigned left shift
a &= 2; a = a & 2; bitwise and
a |= 2; a = a | 2; bitwise or
a ^= 2; a = a ^ 2; xor, exclusive or
The main advantage is terseness. It also helps avoid errors like this where two names are similar but not identical:

swimmer = swimner + 2;

When you write:

swimmer += 2;

there is no possibility for that sort of leaping to conclusions. Further, even a mindless compiler will generate more efficient code with the compound form.

The offical term for the calculating assignment operators is compound assignment operators.

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