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Java

Java Best Practises - Create variable for return statement?

Assume there is no further (manipulating) action taken on the variable and it is just used for holding the return data. Is it better to create a variable or directly return the data here?

Example:

/* Is this considered ok? */

public String getFormattedTime(){
        SimpleDateFormat formatter = new SimpleDateFormat("h:mm a");
        formatter.setTimeZone(TimeZone.getTimeZone(getTimeZone()));
        Date dateTime = new Date(getTime() * 1000);
        String timeString = formatter.format(dateTime);
        return timeString; // <---
    }

/* Or should I use that? */

public String getFormattedTime(){
        SimpleDateFormat formatter = new SimpleDateFormat("h:mm a");
        formatter.setTimeZone(TimeZone.getTimeZone(getTimeZone()));
        Date dateTime = new Date(getTime() * 1000);
        return formatter.format(dateTime); // <---
    }

Craig Dennis Ben Jakuben

Scott Evans
Scott Evans
4,236 Points

As far as i'm aware, although I'm not 100% on Java Best practices, the logical part of my brain tells me that the 2nd option would be preferable. This is to save the memory used when assigning the variable in the first option.

This is not a definitive answer, but purely a educated opinion.

Hi Scott, thanks for your answer! I also think that the second one is better and saves resources. Let's see what others have to say :)

2 Answers

Hi Philip,

Just return it, I think. One less variable to worry about and the longer form of it doesn't add much in way of clarity. IDEs will tell you to refactor that variable out and use the direct return method and they're optimised using best practices.

Steve.

Hi Steve, Thanks for confirming that to me. I think it's clear for me now

No problem! :-)

Craig Dennis
STAFF
Craig Dennis
Treehouse Teacher

Yep +1, like Nike said "Just Return It" ... or something like that.