I have some Java like this:

if (!fooclass.getInfoText().equals(""))

Is there a neater way of setting one value based on the test results of another value? It seems nasty to me that the method is run twice, but putting the result in a variable when it may be empty and not used at all seems equally messy.

In PHP I might do:

if (($foo = $bar->baz()) !== "")
    $this->set_info_text = $foo;

But I know some people are quite strongly for and against this method, though I can't recall a good justification against it.


I believe fooclass is a reference of Foo class. I can only think about introducing a variable and check it to prevent the double-invokation of same method.

String fooInfo = fooclass.getInfoText();
if (!"".equals(fooInfo))


I'm using "".equals(fooInfo) to avoid NPE.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the advice on avoiding NPE. So is this your recommended method, using a variable? \$\endgroup\$ – deed02392 Aug 15 '13 at 10:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @deed02392 at this moment I can't think of another solution. \$\endgroup\$ – Anirban Nag 'tintinmj' Aug 15 '13 at 11:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Introducing a variable may be a form of premature optimization. Nevertheless an explaining variable may help readability. I usually do not introduce variables when it's about simple getters, as they are mostly self-explanatory. If setting infoTextshould always be a no-op then perhaps the setter could do the check, but then I'd be inclined to rename the setter to reflect this behavior. \$\endgroup\$ – bowmore Aug 15 '13 at 13:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @bowmore actually he was not happy with invoking same method twice. So I gave this solution & I'm not also very fond of introducing unwanted variables. \$\endgroup\$ – Anirban Nag 'tintinmj' Aug 15 '13 at 13:49
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @tintinmj I agree with your solution, it's basically what he'd do in php. I just wanted to clarify what would be a valid reason to introduce a variable, and what would not be. \$\endgroup\$ – bowmore Aug 15 '13 at 14:14

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