CodeQL documentation

Inefficient String constructor

ID: java/inefficient-string-constructor
Kind: problem
Severity: recommendation
Precision: high
Tags:
   - efficiency
   - maintainability
Query suites:
   - java-security-and-quality.qls

Click to see the query in the CodeQL repository

The String class is immutable, which means that there is no way to change the string that it represents. Consequently, there is rarely a need to copy a String object or construct a new instance based on an existing string, for example by writing something like String hello = new String("hello"). Furthermore, this practice is not memory efficient.

Recommendation

The copied string is functionally indistinguishable from the argument that was passed into the String constructor, so you can simply omit the constructor call and use the argument passed into it directly. Unless an explicit copy of the argument string is needed, this is a safe transformation.

Example

The following example shows three cases of copying a string using the String constructor, which is inefficient. In each case, simply removing the constructor call new String and leaving the argument results in better code and less memory churn.

public void sayHello(String world) {
	// AVOID: Inefficient 'String' constructor
	String message = new String("hello ");

	// AVOID: Inefficient 'String' constructor
	message = new String(message + world);

	// AVOID: Inefficient 'String' constructor
	System.out.println(new String(message));
}

References

  • J. Bloch, Effective Java (second edition), Item 5. Addison-Wesley, 2008.

  • Java API Specification: String(String).

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