Use optional to check Null pointer exception

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I currently have something like this:

Price price = new Price();
ActualValue actualValue = new ActualValue();

I want to make sure when calling getRegion() and getValue(), no NPE is thrown, trying to make it write in one line so I thought about using Optional

Currently what I have is this:

            .flatMap(d -> Optional.ofNullable(d.getPreviousPrice())
            .flatMap(p -> Optional.ofNullable(p.getRegion())
                    .flatMap(m -> Optional.ofNullable(m.getValue()))))
            .ifPresent(v -> actualValue.setValue(v));

Looks ugly, how can I improve?

Solution produces a cleaner code. It’s similar to flatMap except the function inside doesn’t need to know about Optional. Also passing method references makes things a little bit shorter.


My advice is to make rare use of the Optional-construct. It may make the code look “cleaner” and surly “shorter” but it brings a false sense of safety. BTW less code is no metric to follow.

I would come from the other side and ask questions like:

  1. Do I violate the law of demeter with “price.getPreviousPrice().getRegion().getValue()”?
  2. Why should a previous price have no region where it is valid?

You should have a look at your design. These new constructs may have their applications. But most of the time I see them in usage they hide design flaws. Semantical problems where obfuscated by language mechanisms.

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