protected void initialize (Class<?> type, Object oldInstance, Object newInstance, Encoder out)

Produce a series of statements with side effects on newInstance so that the new instance becomes equivalent to oldInstance. In the specification of this method, we mean by equivalent that, after the method returns, the modified instance is indistinguishable from newInstance in the behavior of all methods in its public API.

The implementation typically achieves this goal by producing a series of "what happened" statements involving the oldInstance and its publicly available state. These statements are sent to the output stream using its writeExpression method which returns an expression involving elements in a cloned environment simulating the state of an input stream during reading. Each statement returned will have had all instances the old environment replaced with objects which exist in the new one. In particular, references to the target of these statements, which start out as references to oldInstance are returned as references to the newInstance instead. Executing these statements effects an incremental alignment of the state of the two objects as a series of modifications to the objects in the new environment. By the time the initialize method returns it should be impossible to tell the two instances apart by using their public APIs. Most importantly, the sequence of steps that were used to make these objects appear equivalent will have been recorded by the output stream and will form the actual output when the stream is flushed.

The default implementation, calls the initialize method of the type's superclass.

type    the type of the instances
oldInstance    The instance to be copied.
newInstance    The instance that is to be modified.
out    The stream to which any initialization statements should be written.

NullPointerException    if out is null