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Showing posts from July, 2012

String memory internals

This article is based on my answer on StackOverflow. I am trying to explain how String class stores the texts, how interning and constant pool works.
The main point to understand here is the distinction between String Java object and its contents - char[] under private value field. String is basically a wrapper around char[] array, encapsulating it and making it impossible to modify so the String can remain immutable. Also the String class remembers which parts of this array is actually used (see below). This all means that you can have two different String objects (quite lightweight) pointing to the same char[].
I will show you few examples, together with hashCode() of each String and hashCode() of internal char[] value field (I will call it text to distinguish it from string). Finally I'll show javap -c -verbose output, together with constant pool for my test class. Please do not confuse class constant pool with string literal pool. They are not quite the same. See also Understa…