ArrayList problem - getting 'cannot resolve symbol' errors when trying to access ArrayList

Hi.  I'm just learning java (I know, you've never heard that line before...)

I am writing a program that builds a deck of cards into an array list.  

The errors I am getting are: cannot resolve symbol
symbol  : method size ()
location: class Deck
Object deckSize = theDeck.size();
                                      ^ cannot resolve symbol
symbol  : method get (int)
location: class Deck

Here is the code I have:

import java.util.ArrayList;
import java.util.Iterator;
import java.util.Random;

public class Deck extends Object
  static int DECKSIZE;
  protected int remaining;
  private ArrayList theDeck;

  //Default Constructor
  public Deck()
  /* Default constructor creates a deck of 52 cards - Sets remaining to
  DECKSIZE -1 **/
      theDeck = new ArrayList();
      DECKSIZE = 0;
      char suitl = 'E';
      for(int suitno = 0; suitno < 4; suitno ++)
                   case 0: suitl='C';
                   case 1: suitl='D';
                   case 2: suitl='H';
                   case 3: suitl='S';
        for(int rank = 2; rank < 15; rank ++)
            theDeck.add(DECKSIZE, new Card(suitl,rank));
            }//end rank for loop
      }//end suit for loop
            remaining = DECKSIZE -1;
    }//end Default Constructor
   //Main method
public static void main(java.lang.String [] args)
int i = 0;
Deck theDeck = new Deck();
Object deckSize = theDeck.size();
} //end Class

As far as I can tell, my syntax on the get statements to retrieve info from the ArrayList are correct.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Mayank SAssociate Director - Product EngineeringCommented:
You have a class-level data-member with the same name as the local-variable in the main () method.

>> private ArrayList theDeck;

This is the class-level member.

>> Deck theDeck = new Deck();

This is the local variable in main (). Now since they have the same name 'theDeck', this one would over-ride the one in the class-member. Hence, if you want to access the class-member, you should change their names. Also - do you want to access the array-list for the 'theDeck' object? If so, you should provide an accessor method for it. Something like:

public ArrayList getDeck ()
  return theDeck ;

} // end of getDeck ()

From main (), you can write:

Deck theDeck = new Deck () ;
System.out.println ( theDeck.getDeck ().get ( 0 ) ) ; // in this case, you can live with the same variable-name.

Also - if you want to access the ArrayList directly from main (), you cannot do that since the ArrayList is not a static member whereas the main () method is static. You either need to make the array-list static or use an object to access it, the way I've shown.

As a matter of fact, since the main () method belongs to the same class, you don't need the accessor method, meaning that you can directly use:

Deck theDeck = new Deck () ;
System.out.println ( theDeck.theDeck.get ( 0 ) ) ; // I hope the variable-name should not be an issue

But its better to keep an accessor if you want to access this list from outside the class.

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You are confusing 2 things:
theDeck is an ArrayList in one place and a Deck in the main.
And Deck has no .size()
Stilett0Author Commented:

If I was to differentiate the names, which ones do I change?  I tried to use a separate array name in the Main method to begin with, and it also was not working.  

Your answer was excellent, and the program will work with what you suggested.  I guess I'm just confused as to where the name differentiation needs to occur.

Mayank SAssociate Director - Product EngineeringCommented:
Better to change the name of the ArrayList to something else.
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