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From Jörg Gottschling (JIRA) <>
Subject [jira] Created: (LANG-360) Why does appendIdentityToString return null?
Date Sun, 21 Oct 2007 12:22:50 GMT
Why does appendIdentityToString return null?

                 Key: LANG-360
             Project: Commons Lang
          Issue Type: Bug
            Reporter: Jörg Gottschling

ObjectUtils is designed to handle null imputs gracefully. But ObjectUtils.appendIdentityToString
does not. It returns null unnessecary if you pass null als second parameter (the object to
get the identity from). For example appendIdentityToString(new StringBuffer(), null) will
return null! Which is an uncommen behaviour. Think about code like this:

ObjectUtils.appendIdentityToString(buffer, param1)
                    .appendIdentityToString(buffer, param2)
                    .appendIdentityToString(buffer, param3);

This will cause an NPE if param1 or param2 ist null. There may be other code where a NPE will
not happen, but the code is used for debugging and there will be an unexpected or wrong output.

So you shoul return the StringBuffer which is passed in or a new one if null. The harder question
is what to do with the object. I think we should append "null" to the StringBuffer, because
this is what I would expect and what the passed reference is.

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