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From "Levon Karayan (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] Created: (LANG-534) ArrayUtils should have method to conver null arrays to empty ones to help with Defensive coding
Date Mon, 21 Sep 2009 07:06:17 GMT
ArrayUtils should have method to conver null arrays to empty ones to help with Defensive coding
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                 Key: LANG-534
                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/LANG-534
             Project: Commons Lang
          Issue Type: Improvement
            Reporter: Levon Karayan
            Priority: Trivial


There are APIs that I've come across that return <code>null</code> Arrays in the
event where there are no results.  Often these APIs correctly throw exceptions when there
is an "exceptional event", but no results isn't exceptional.   This causes the programmer
to make extra tests for null throughout the code to deal with the null case, and sometimes
these null cases are added after a customer searched for gobleygook and got a NullPointerException.
 It's just far cleaner/safer to convert these null arrays to empty ones.

Another benefit to this method is that if the array being passed in is actually already an
empty array, it will swap the pointer for the <code>static final</code> in the
ArrayUtils class to help with memory fragmentation.

e.g.

BEFORE:

try
{
  results = customer.getResults(query);
} catch ( IOException ioex ) {
  //  ...
}
if ( null == results )
{
   results = new int[0]{};
}
// do stuff

AFTER
try
{
  results = ArrayUtils.nullToEmpty(customer.getResults(query));
} catch ( IOException ioex ) {
  //  ...
}
// do stuff




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