Friday, May 23, 2014

Changes to String.intern() in Java 7

intern() method of String class is used for internalizing Java String. It's a process of creating a String pool where String objects with equal values are stored only once.
You can look at this post for more details on the method.

There is no change in the contract of the method. So, from the perspective of usage of this method, it's still same. Changes are mainly around the implementation of String pool where interned strings are stored. Let's go in detail :


intern() method until Java 6

Until Java 6 (and even some of the early Java 7 releases) all interned strings were stored in PermGen (Permanent Generation) memory. This memory area is reserved for long lived objects such as classes and constant pools. PermGen has fixed size, so it can NOT be expanded at runtime. This means that careless usage of interning strings can result in problem. JVM specification refers to this memory area as Method Area.


intern() method in Java 7

String pool in Java 7 was relocated to heap. So method area is logically part of heap, link. This means fixed size limitation of Perm Gen is not an issue any more. So along with normal objects, interned Strings will also get stored in heap.


References :

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