Diagram to show Java String’s Immutability

Here are a set of diagrams to illustrate Java String's immutability.

1. Declare a string

String s = "abcd";

s stores the reference of the string object. The arrow below should be interpreted as "store reference of".

String-Immutability-1

2. Assign one string variable to another string variable

String s2 = s;

s2 stores the same reference value, since it is the same string object.

String-Immutability-2

3. Concat string

s = s.concat("ef");

s now stores the reference of newly created string object.

string-immutability

Summary

Once a string is created in memory(heap), it can not be changed. We should note that all methods of String do not change the string itself, but rather return a new String.

If we need a string that can be modified, we will need StringBuffer or StringBuilder. Otherwise, there would be a lot of time wasted for Garbage Collection, since each time a new String is created. Here is an example of StringBuilder usage.

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