Nick Rolando Nick Rolando - 1 year ago 141
Java Question

Best practices/performance: mixing StringBuilder.append with String.concat

I'm trying to understand what the best practice is and why for concatenating string literals and variables for different cases. For instance, if I have code like this

StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder("AAAAAAAAAAAAA")

Is this the way to do it? From this post, I noticed that the
operator on Strings creates a new instance of StringBuilder, concatenates the operands, and returns a String conversion, which seems like a lot more work than just calling
; so if that's true, then that is out of the question. But what about
? Is it proper to use
for every concatenation? Or just for variables, and literals are okay to append with

StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder("AAAAAAAAAAAAA")

What are the general rules for best practices and performance for going about these situations? Is my assumption correct on
and it should really just not be used?

Answer Source

+ operator

String s = s1 + s2

Behind the scenes this is translated to:

String s = new StringBuilder(s1).append(s2).toString();

Imagine how much extra work it adds if you have s1 + s2 here:

stringBuilder.append(s1 + s2)

instead of:


Multiple strings with +

Worth to note that:

String s = s1 + s2 + s3 + ... +sN

is translated to:

String s = new StringBuilder(s1).append(s2).append(s3)...apend(sN).toString();


String s = s1.concat(s2);

String creates char[] array that can fit both s1 and s2. Copies s1 and s2 contents to this new array. Actually requires less work then + operator.


Maintains an internal char[] array that grows when needed. No extra char[] is created if the internal one is sufficiently big.


is also performing poorly because s1.concat(s2) creates an extra char[] array and copies s1 and s2 to it just to copy that new array contents to internal StringBuilder char[].

That being said you should use append() all the time and append raw strings (your first code snippet is correct).

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