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Java Theory and Practice: To Mutate or not to Mutate?

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Stanley Kohut

Posts: 59
Nickname: velcro
Registered: Mar, 2003

Java Theory and Practice: To Mutate or not to Mutate? Posted: Mar 25, 2003 1:08 AM
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Brian Goetz writes "Immutable objects have a number of properties that make working with them easier, including relaxed synchronization requirements and the freedom to share and cache object references without concern for data corruption. While immutability may not necessarily make sense for all classes, most programs have at least a few classes that would benefit from being immutable."

Read the full IBM DeveloperWorks article here:

http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/java/library/j-jtp02183.html

Here's an excerpt:

Immutable classes, when used properly, can greatly simplify programming. They can only be in one state, so as long as they are properly constructed, they can never get into an inconsistent state. You can freely share and cache references to immutable objects without having to copy or clone them; you can cache their fields or the results of their methods without worrying about the values becoming stale or inconsistent with the rest of the object's state. Immutable classes generally make the best map keys. And they are inherently thread-safe, so you don't have to synchronize access to them across threads.

When do you use immutable objects in designs?

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