‘final’ should not be called as constants. Because when an array is declared as final, the state of the object stored in the array can be modified. You need to make it immutable in order not to allow modifcations. In general context constants will not allow to modify. In C++, an array declared as const will not allow the above scenario but java allows. So java’s final is not the general constant used across in computer languages.
A variable that is declared static final is closer to constants in general software terminology. You must instantiate the variable when you declare it static final.
Definition as per java language specification (third edition) – 4.12.4 is “A final variable may only be assigned to once.”(§4.1.2)
Java language specification tries to redefine the meaning of constant in the following way!
We call a variable, of primitive type or type String, that is final and initialized with a compile-time constant expression (§15.28) a constant variable. Whether a variable is a constant variable or not may have implications with respect to class initialization (§12.4.1), binary compatibility (§13.1, §13.4.9) and definite assignment (§16).
This Core Java tutorial was added on 22/05/2008.