The Big Moose Saloon Question and Answer of the Month

Mosey on in and pull up a stool. The JavaRanch Big Moose Saloon is the place to get your Java questions answered. Our bartenders keep the peace, and folks are pretty friendly anyway, so don't be shy!

Question: Package-private and protected access, who needs 'em?

Over in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum, Jeanne Boyarsky (after some provoking from J. B. Rainsberger) opened a bottle of worms with this thread starter:

J. B. Rainsberger wrote:

I never use the package-level or protected access modifiers. I just find that I never need those levels of protection. To me, part of a class is either open or closed. Various degrees of "open" serve only to complicate my life, and my life is complicated enough.

I'm curious what others think of the various degrees of openness.

Personally, I find package-level and protected access to be useful. Especially for reusable components. I'm curious what others think.

Now, mosey on o'er, see what folks are saying and chime in with some thoughts of your own.