Protected means that the variable/method/etc in question can be accessed by other classes in the same package, and classes outside the package through inheritance. This means that if Class A extends Class B (in another package), Class A can access any of B's protected members through inheritance (that is, it can access them as if they were its own members / overwrite methods, etc) it cannot access them through dot notation:
At least, thats the way I understand it. If anyone can help clarify this point a little better, I'd appreciate it.
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