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Core Java Interview Questions and Answers

Ques. String vs StringBuffer vs StringBuilder in Java
Ans. String in Java
1) String is immutable in Java: String is by design immutable in java you can check this post for reason. Immutability offers lot of benefit to the String class e.g. his hash code value can be cached which makes it a faster hashmap key; it can be safely shared between multithreaded applications without any extra synchronization. To know why strings are immutable in java see the link

2)when we represent string in double quotes like "abcd" they are referred as String literal and String literals are created in String pools.

3) "+" operator is overloaded for String and used to concatenated two string. Internally "+" operation is implemented using either StringBuffer or StringBuilder.

4) Strings are backed up by Character Array and represented in UTF-16 format.

5) String class overrides equals() and hashcode() method and two Strings are considered to be equal if they contain exactly same character in same order and in same case. If you want ignore case comparison of two strings consider using equalsIgnoreCase() method. To learn how to correctly override equals method in Java see the link.

7) toString() method provides string representation of any object and its declared in Object class and its recommended for other class to implement this and provide string representation.

8) String is represented using UTF-16 format in Java.

9) In Java you can create String from byte array, char array, another string, from StringBuffer or from StringBuilder. Java String class provides constructor for all of these.

Problem with String in Java
One of its biggest strength "immutability" is a biggest problem of Java String if not used correctly. many a times we create a String and then perform a lot of operation on them e.g. converting string into uppercase, lowercase , getting substring out of it , concatenating with other string etc. Since String is an immutable class every time a new String is created and older one is discarded which creates lots of temporary garbage in heap. If String are created using String literal they remain in String pool. To resolve this problem Java provides us two Classes StringBuffer and StringBuilder. String Buffer is an older class but StringBuilder is relatively new and added in JDK 5.

Differences between String and StringBuffer in Java
Main difference between String and StringBuffer is String is immutable while StringBuffer is mutable means you can modify a StringBuffer object once you created it without creating any new object. This mutable property makes StringBuffer an ideal choice for dealing with Strings in Java. You can convert a StringBuffer into String by its toString() method. String vs StringBuffer or what is difference between StringBuffer and String is one of the popular interview questions for either phone interview or first round. Now days they also include StringBuilder and ask String vs StringBuffer vs StringBuilder. So be preparing for that. In the next section we will see difference between StringBuffer and StringBuilder in Java.

Difference between StringBuilder and StringBuffer in Java
StringBuffer is very good with mutable String but it has one disadvantage all its public methods are synchronized which makes it thread-safe but same time slow. In JDK 5 they provided similar class called StringBuilder in Java which is a copy of StringBuffer but without synchronization. Try to use StringBuilder whenever possible it performs better in most of cases than StringBuffer class. You can also use "+" for concatenating two string because "+" operation is internal implemented using either StringBuffer or StringBuilder in Java. If you see StringBuilder vs StringBuffer you will find that they are exactly similar and all API methods applicable to StringBuffer are also applicable to StringBuilder in Java. On the other hand String vs StringBuffer is completely different and there API is also completely different, same is true for StringBuilders vs String.

1) String is immutable while StringBuffer and StringBuilder is mutable object.
2) StringBuffer is synchronized while StringBuilder is not which makes StringBuilder faster than StringBuffer.
3) Concatenation operator "+" is internal implemented using either StringBuffer or StringBuilder.
4) Use String if you require immutability, use Stringbuffer in java if you need mutable + threadsafety and use StringBuilder in Java if you require mutable + without thread-safety.
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