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From "Paul Benedict (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] Commented: (LANG-360) Why does appendIdentityToString return null?
Date Tue, 30 Oct 2007 05:06:50 GMT

    [ https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LANG-360?page=com.atlassian.jira.plugin.system.issuetabpanels:comment-tabpanel#action_12538664
] 

Paul Benedict commented on LANG-360:
------------------------------------

What's ironic is that the current behavior is in perfect line with the javadoc:

"Appends the toString that would be produced by Object  if a class did not override toString
itself. null  will return null. ObjectUtils.appendIdentityToString(*, null) = null"

Based on that, it's difficult to argue that the current behavior is incorrect. Almost all
of Commons Lang behavior returns null where possible for a null source parameter.

I recommend keeping the current behavior, but adding a second method that combines appendIdentityToString
and defaultIfNull: 

appendIdentityToString(StringBuffer buffer, Object object, Object defaultValue)

> Why does appendIdentityToString return null?
> --------------------------------------------
>
>                 Key: LANG-360
>                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LANG-360
>             Project: Commons Lang
>          Issue Type: Bug
>            Reporter: Jörg Gottschling
>             Fix For: 2.4
>
>
> 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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