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The primitive types are defined to have an explicit range and mathematical behavior. Languages such as C and C++ allow the size of an integer to vary based upon the dictates of the execution environment. However, Java is different. Because of Java’s portability requirement, all data types have a strictly defined range. For example, an int is always 32 bits, regardless of the particular platform. This allows programs to be written that are guaranteed to run without porting on any machine architecture. While strictly specifying the size of an integer may cause a small loss of performance in some environments, it is necessary in order to achieve portability.


Cover of Java: The Complete Reference™, Eighth Edition


Why the primitive types are not defined to have an explicit range like C and C++?