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Java: Fooled by java.util.Arrays.asList

I’ve been playing around with the boilerpipe code base by writing some tests around it to check my understanding but ran into an interesting problem using java.util.Arrays.asList to pass a list into one of the functions.

I was testing the BlockProximityFusion class which is used to merge together adjacent text blocks.

I started off calling that class like this:

import static java.util.Arrays.asList;
public void willCallBlockProximityFustion() throws Exception {    
    TextDocument document = new TextDocument(asList(contentBlock("some words"), contentBlock("followed by more words")));
private TextBlock contentBlock(String words) {
    TextBlock textBlock = new TextBlock(words, new BitSet(), wordCount(words), 0, 0, 0, 0);
    return textBlock;

Which blows up like this:

	at java.util.AbstractList.remove(AbstractList.java:144)
	at java.util.AbstractList$Itr.remove(AbstractList.java:360)
	at de.l3s.boilerpipe.filters.heuristics.BlockProximityFusion.process(BlockProximityFusion.java:115)
	at de.l3s.boilerpipe.filters.heuristics.BlockProximityFusionTest.willCallBlockProximityFustion(BlockProximityFusionTest.java:63)

The code around that area is trying to remove an element from an iterator…

                if (ok) {
                    changes = true;
                } else {

…which was created from the list that we passed into the constructor of TextDocument:

        for (Iterator<TextBlock> it = textBlocks.listIterator(offset); it

The remove method is not implemented on the list created by ‘Arrays.asList’ which is weird since I thought it created an ArrayList which does implement remove!

I’ve now learnt that the ArrayList created by ‘Arrays.asList’ is actually a private inner class of Arrays and doesn’t implement the remove method!

Who knew…


From http://www.markhneedham.com/blog/2012/02/11/java-fooled-by-java-util-arrays-aslist/

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