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Posted 21 Feb 2008

Testing for Empty String

, 21 Feb 2008
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A brief comparison of techniques of testing for empty strings


Every once in a while, someone will post a snippet with code such as...

if ( somestring == "" )

... and in many cases someone else will respond, "Always use if ( somestring.Length == 0 ), it's more efficient."

... or maybe someone will respond, "Always use if ( somestring == System.String.Empty ), it's more efficient."

And neither will back up his claim.

Here are some numbers; performing each test against a provided string (UInt32.MaxValue times) yields:

C:\>StrTest ""
00:01:09.3764731 // if ( providedstring == "" )
00:01:10.3869118 // if ( providedstring == localstaticemptystring )
00:01:10.1249723 // if ( providedstring == System.String.Empty )
00:00:38.1334581 // if ( providedstring.Length == 0 )

C:\>StrTest "abc"
00:01:36.3041617 // if ( providedstring == "" )
00:01:36.6285272 // if ( providedstring == localstaticemptystring )
00:01:35.9541459 // if ( providedstring == System.String.Empty )
00:00:31.6860051 // if ( providedstring.Length == 0 )

The difference between comparing against a literal empty string and a static empty string is negligible. And note that somehow when the provided string isn't empty, those tests take even longer!

Testing the Length of the string is the clear winner here, though it's not as Earth-shattering as some might have you believe.


  • 2008-02-21 First submitted


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Software Developer (Senior)
United States United States
BSCS 1992 Wentworth Institute of Technology

Originally from the Boston (MA) area. Lived in SoCal for a while. Now in the Phoenix (AZ) area.

OpenVMS enthusiast, ISO 8601 evangelist, photographer, opinionated SOB, acknowledged pedant and contrarian


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Comments and Discussions

GeneralHmm Pin
ZeroDegrez22-Feb-08 5:48
memberZeroDegrez22-Feb-08 5:48 
GeneralRe: Hmm Pin
PIEBALDconsult22-Feb-08 7:48
memberPIEBALDconsult22-Feb-08 7:48 
QuestionHave you tested these? Pin
CCMint21-Feb-08 17:44
memberCCMint21-Feb-08 17:44 
AnswerRe: Have you tested these? Pin
PIEBALDconsult22-Feb-08 7:41
memberPIEBALDconsult22-Feb-08 7:41 
GeneralSo it is not me only... Pin
Oleg Shilo21-Feb-08 16:35
memberOleg Shilo21-Feb-08 16:35 
GeneralRe: So it is not me only... Pin
PIEBALDconsult22-Feb-08 7:40
memberPIEBALDconsult22-Feb-08 7:40 
GeneralRe: So it is not me only... Pin
Oleg Shilo24-Feb-08 11:06
memberOleg Shilo24-Feb-08 11:06 
GeneralRe: So it is not me only... Pin
Thomas Weller29-Nov-08 18:44
memberThomas Weller29-Nov-08 18:44 
GeneralRe: So it is not me only... Pin
PIEBALDconsult30-Nov-08 5:57
memberPIEBALDconsult30-Nov-08 5:57 
GeneralRe: So it is not me only... Pin
Oleg Shilo30-Nov-08 12:10
memberOleg Shilo30-Nov-08 12:10 
GeneralRe: So it is not me only... Pin
Thomas Weller30-Nov-08 23:34
memberThomas Weller30-Nov-08 23:34 
GeneralRe: So it is not me only... Pin
PIEBALDconsult1-Dec-08 11:08
memberPIEBALDconsult1-Dec-08 11:08 
GeneralRe: So it is not me only... Pin
mm52850430-Jan-09 3:53
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GeneralRe: So it is not me only... Pin
PIEBALDconsult30-Jan-09 5:22
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GeneralRe: So it is not me only... Pin
mm52850431-Jan-09 9:05
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GeneralRe: So it is not me only... Pin
PIEBALDconsult31-Jan-09 9:18
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GeneralRe: So it is not me only... Pin
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