How do I create an empty collection object?

Sometimes you need to return an empty collection from your Java methods. The java.util.Collections utility class have three different static constants for creating empty List, Set and Map.

  • Collections.EMPTY_LIST
  • Collections.EMPTY_SET
  • Collections.EMPTY_MAP

There are also methods when you want to create type-safe empty collections.

  • Collections.emptyList()
  • Collections.emptySet()
  • Collections.emptyMap()

Bellow it the code example.

package org.kodejava.example.util;

import java.util.*;

public class EmptyCollectionDemo {
    public static void main(String args[]) {
        List list = Collections.EMPTY_LIST;
        System.out.println("list.size()  = " + list.size());
        Set set = Collections.EMPTY_SET;
        System.out.println("set.size()   = " + set.size());
        Map map = Collections.EMPTY_MAP;
        System.out.println("map.size()   = " + map.size());

        // For the type-safe example use the following methods.
        List<String> strings = Collections.emptyList();
        System.out.println("strings.size = " + strings.size());

        Set<Long> longs = Collections.emptySet();
        System.out.println("longs.size() = " + longs.size());

        Map<String, Date> dates = Collections.emptyMap();
        System.out.println("dates.size() = " + dates.size());
    }
}

The output are:

list.size()  = 0
set.size()   = 0
map.size()   = 0
strings.size = 0
longs.size() = 0
dates.size() = 0

3 Comments

  1. Just browsing the net and came across your code! Very well structured and easy to understand. I might need a helping hand from you soon. Continue the good job and hopefully your work will be recognised by people.

    Reply

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