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null pointer exception

priya rishi
Ranch Hand

Joined: Oct 26, 2008
Posts: 119
Without line 6 this code throws nullpointer exception.
but with it ,prints null.
How come? please explain

class nullDemo
{
static String s;
public static void main(String args[])
{
s = s + ""; //line 6
System.out.println(s);
String s1 = s.toLowerCase();
System.out.println(s1);
}
}


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Rob Spoor
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 27, 2005
Posts: 19651
    
  18

Every static or instance field gets an initial value. For numbers that's 0, for booleans false, and for objects null.

Since line 6 is the only assignment to static field s, without that line s will remain null. When you then try to call a method on it (line 8) - BOOM! NullPointerException.

Now on line 6 you assign something to s. You are using the old value of s for that though, so the result will be

Because of this concatenation, the null is converted to string literal "null" and then concatenated with the empty string - leading to the string "null".


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marc weber
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 31, 2004
Posts: 11343

For details (and future reference), see JLS - 15.18.1 String Concatenation Operator +...
If an operand of type String is null, then the string "null" is used instead of that operand.


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