Ways to compare String Values

0 votes

I constructed a class with one String field. Then I created two objects and I have to compare them using == operator and .equals() too. Here's what I've done:

public class MyClass {

    String a;

    public MyClass(String ab) {
        a = ab;
    }

    public boolean equals(Object object2) {
        if(a == object2) { 
            return true;
        }
        else return false;
    }

    public boolean equals2(Object object2) {
        if(a.equals(object2)) {
            return true;
        }
        else return false;
    }



    public static void main(String[] args) {

        MyClass object1 = new MyClass("test");
        MyClass object2 = new MyClass("test");

        object1.equals(object2);
        System.out.println(object1.equals(object2));

        object1.equals2(object2);
        System.out.println(object1.equals2(object2));
    }


}

After compile it shows two times false as a result. Why is it false if the two objects have the same fields - "test"?

Jan 14 in Java by Sushmita
• 6,820 points
35 views

1 answer to this question.

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0 votes

== compares object references, it checks to see if the two operands point to the same object (not equivalent objects, the same object).

If you want to compare strings (to see if they contain the same characters), you need to compare the strings using equals.

In your case, if two instances of MyClass really are considered equal if the strings match, then:

public boolean equals(Object object2) {
    return object2 instanceof MyClass && a.equals(((MyClass)object2).a);
}

...but usually if you are defining a class, there's more to equivalency than the equivalency of a single field (a in this case).


Side note: If you override equals, you almost always need to override hashCode. As it says in the equals JavaDoc:

Note that it is generally necessary to override the hashCode method whenever this method is overridden, so as to maintain the general contract for the hashCode method, which states that equal objects must have equal hash codes.

answered Jan 14 by developer_1
• 3,220 points

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