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From "Jacob Kjome (JIRA)" <>
Subject [jira] Created: (BEANUTILS-268) doesn't can't handle null values returned by bean properties
Date Mon, 22 Jan 2007 20:34:29 GMT doesn't can't handle null values returned by bean properties

                 Key: BEANUTILS-268
             Project: Commons BeanUtils
          Issue Type: Bug
          Components: Bean-Collections
    Affects Versions: 1.7.0
            Reporter: Jacob Kjome

I've got a bean that has properties that will, at times, return null values.  BeanComparator
appears to fail with a NullPointerException.  It's difficult to tell exactly where because
the exception thrown is a ClassCastException with a message of e.toString(), so all I know
is that a NullPointerException happened, not where it happened.

I suspect that the exception happens inside the compare(Object, Object) method with the call...

Object value1 = PropertyUtils.getProperty( o1, property );

Looking into PropertyUtils, and following the path, it seems like the problematic code is

PropertyUtilsBean.getNestedProperty(Object, String)

That code is rather involved.  If I get around to performing a minimal testcase, I'll see
if I can narrow down the exception to a particular piece of code.  In any case, there's no
reason why a bean shouldn't be allowed to return null for a given property.

My workaround is to add methods for respective properties that are guaranteed to not return
null.  For instance, if I have a getter called getMyValue(), I create a corresponding method
called getMyValueNotNul().  I have to take care with the value it returns, though.  The position
in a sort for a null value would be different than a literal empty String.  So, depending
on the Object type, I have to make up values which will either come before all other non-null
values or after all other non-null values (I don't recall what the natural order of null values
are; whether they come first or last.  I know when ordering on a SQLcolumn, null values show
up last.  Hopefully that behavior is consistent here, but that's beside the point here).

I hope this can be fixed before 1.8.0 is released!


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