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References in java

May 13, 2010
tags:

Strong: The general object created is with strong reference
Weak Reference: GC will not take this reference as a strong one to uphold the object from GC. so we can get null sometimes – for this we can use WeakHashMap where entry removed if object as key removed.
Use the ReferenceQueue class to determine the objects removed to do cleanup.

Soft Reference: Will continue to keep object in memory as long as the environment (memory) permits.
Phantom Reference:Will always return null for object not existing – marked for gc. useful if you want to know the point at which object was marked for gc. and also for avoiding finalize for the objects.

http://weblogs.java.net/blog/enicholas/archive/2006/05/understanding_w.html

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