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Cover image for Effective Java: Avoid Strings When Other Types Are More Appropriate

Effective Java: Avoid Strings When Other Types Are More Appropriate

kylec32 profile image Kyle Carter ・1 min read

Often when receiving data from files, HTTP requests, keyboard input, etc. we receive that data as a String. Often we just keep these variables as a String even if a different variable type is more appropriate. The most appropriate type depends on what we are trying to represent; if we are trying to represent a finite set of items we may use a enum, true/false means boolean, numbers could be an int, long, or even BigInteger. The benefits of using the appropriate type are as follows:

  • Performance improvements with not having to convert back and forth between the String type.
  • The built in functions of the type work correctly for that type such as equals, hashcode, etc.
  • Less error prone.

It can sometimes take a little more effort to save our variables as the correct type, especially if they are provided as a String initially. The payoff is worth it and will keep your code much cleaner.

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