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Tip of the Day
Language: Java
Expertise: Beginner
Feb 2, 1998

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Make the Right Comparison

Although Java's String package is a lot more friendly than C's string handling, you can still find yourself surprised by its behavior at times. Consider this code:
 
import java.lang.String;

public class StringCompareTest {
   public static void main(String argv[])    {
      String string1 = "JavaPro";
      String string2 = "JavaPro";
      if (string1 == string2)
         System.out.println("Equal!");
   }
}
Even though both string1 and string2 contain the same values, this class will still tell you they're different. Why? The answer lies in the use of the == operator: when used in this way, Java compares the value of the pointers to the strings, not the string values. The right comparison code looks like this:

 
If (string1.equals(string2)) 
Michiel deBruijn
 
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