yellow yellow - 5 months ago 24
Java Question

Initialization of variable java

Say I have a variable of some type var. At times when I don't initialize the variable I am asked to initialize( by eclipse) say to null. At times when I initialize at very beginning it says

DataType var= null;
"Remove this useless assignment to local variable "var""

My question is why is this difference in initialization at different scenarios? Is it datatype dependent?


In the first place, generally it is not a good practice initializing to null, because the compiler is warning you about a variable that is being read without being properly initialized. And setting it to null is very dubiously a proper initialization; Most probably it will produce a NullPointerException if being de-referenced.

I encourage you to follow always these rules whith initialization of local variables:

  • Set an initial value (and only once) as soon as it is available. If necessary, delay the declaration to the point where a valid value is available.
  • Do not initialize to null unless you write the subsequent code to be aware of that situation.

To end, if Eclipse warns you about a "useless initialization" is surely because the initial value you set to the variable (even if it was null) is never read before the next value is set.