observer : Java Glossary

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observer
This is a mechanism of links so that components can directly notify each other when something interesting happens. There are typically several observers of one observed object. When something interesting happens in the observed object, it calls notifyObservers which in turn notifies each of the observers by calling their update methods. This is a completely different communication mechanism from creating and posting events, which typically flow only from child to parent. Observable and Observer are interfaces that any class may elect to implement.

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