Java File and text Processing Form Letter, assignment help

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  1. Use file processing to have your form letter and data read from the file system.
    1. Begin with the classes you developed last week (or adopt last week's instructor sample solution).
    2. Create a class called FormLetterFileReader which has the following methods:
      • A no-parameter constructor, which simply creates a FormLetterFileReader
      • A constructor which takes a file name
      • A setFile method which takes a file name, representing the file to read the FormLetter contents from
      • A readLine method which returns one line read from the opened (and buffered) file
      • A getTokens method which returns an array of tokens found on the line. A token is either a buffer of text, or a replacement data item. These data items are recognized by starting with a { and ending with a } .
        • Note that the FormLetterFileReader may store the array differently, internally; but it needs to return the result as an array of Strings. The Strings will be tokenized and constructed into a FormLetter by the FormLetterFile.
      • A way to test the class to ensure it works properly (e.g., read a file, and output the resulting tokens). This can be a main method, or can be JUnit tests.
    3. Create a class called FormLetterFile which encapsulates a simple main method (not very different than FormLetterHello in many ways):
      • Gets two filenames from the command line or by prompting the user (implement one of the choices)
        • One filename is for the FormLetter, and one for the Properties.
      • Creates a new FormLetterFileReader using this filename as a parameter.
      • Creates a FormLetter instance with the filename as the title
        • While it can read a line from the FormLetterFileReader:
        • Break the line into tokens
        • For each token, if it is a simple string (i.e., doesn't begin with a { ), add it as a text entry to the FormLetter.
        • Otherwise, add it as a data item entry to the FormLetter.
        • Note that various text methods, such as trimming and substrings will be needed to make this go smoothly.
      • Load a Properties with the contents of the associated file name.
      • Invoke the doFormLetter method on the FormLetter.
    4. Run the FormLetterFile main method and capture the result for your submission.
    5. Create your own FormLetter template file and associated Properties file, and test your program by running FormLetterFile with them.


  • The client method is expected to either call the one-parameter constructor or call the no-parameter constructor followed by calling setFile. Calling readLine without opening the file first should throw an appropriate exception getTokens should simply return a zero-length array of Strings if called with an empty String
  • The setFile method needs to arrange for the file to be read one line at a time. This will make it convenient for the input to be setup as a BufferedReader object. A BufferedReader requires a FileReader to construct it. A FileReader is constructed from a File Also, note that it is possible the file does not exist, or perhaps cannot be read. Thus, your setFile may want to call a setInput function like so:
    private void setInput(String filename) throws FileNotFoundException {
        try {
            FileReader f = new FileReader(filename);
            input = new BufferedReader(f); // Assumes input is the field name for the BufferedReader
        } catch (FileNotFoundException fnfe) {
            System.err.println("File "+file+" not found");
            throw fnfe; // rethrow the exception
  • The readLine method can use delegation return input.readLine(), just like any other BufferedReader. However, you may also need to catch a possible IOException it may raise.
  • The String split method provides an efficient way to parse input strings.
    • The class StringTokenizer provides another very flexible way to parse input strings.
      • Note that, each time you find a "{" token, you next need look for a "}" token, to find the end of the DataItemEntry name.
      • The basic StringTokenizer methods are hasMoreTokens(), which returns true when there is another token to read, and nextToken(delimiter), which returns the next String bounded by that delimiter.
      • When constructing a StringTokenizer, you may provide the default token delimiter, and a boolean indicating whether you'd like to get the delimiters themselves back as tokens.
    • Also, you can just find the tokens using the String indexOf and substring methods.
    • It is also possible to use the Scanner class
  • When accumulating your array of results, you may find it useful to temporarily store them in a List<String>, since it is easy to add Strings to it. A LinkedList of String is a good implementation class. To turn a List into an array, remember to use the toArray method of the collection object, and pass a new String[0] as a parameter to coerce the return type.
  • Properties can be loaded directly, given a file name.
  • While you will create your own form letter, a sample form letter file might have content like so (or even be a web page):
    Dear {name},
    BREAKING: {newsHeadline}
    If we don't fight back, the {otherParty} will get their way.
    Donate to {thisParty} TODAY so we can finally put an end to the {otherParty} shenanigans!
    Give {amount}£ now
    Or, donate another amount
    Paid for by the {thisParty} PAC, not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.
  • While you will create your own properties file, a sample file, useful for the letter above, might have content like so:
     name=Loyal Party Supporter
     newsHeadline=Rt. Hon. Lord North calls for OUTRAGEOUS INCREASE IN TAXES on TEA!
     thisParty=Sons Of Liberty
     date=May 8, 1773

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