Let’s dive in.
42 minutes into the Coding Blocks Episode 16, Michael Outlaw explains two reasons.
- “If you have two versions of null objects, they should be identical, why waste memory to have same nothingness repeated”.
- For equality checks – Each null object can be compared by reference.
Depending on a situation you might not even need to do a equality check as a null object usually does nothing (as you can see in the example below.)
TL;DR – You can stop reading here.
Here is an example of how you can use a Singleton pattern with a Null object pattern.
Suppose that there is a simple factory (PaymentStrategyFactory) that returns a strategy object instance for processing a payment given a provider name.
PayPal & ApplePay strategies return “Successful” or “Failed” process status at random.
If a provider name is not supported, the
PaymentStrategyFactory simply returns an object of type
NullPaymentStrategy, which implements
Singleton instance is achieved with a private constructor and a static
Let’s put them together and process payments.
You can see that
NoOp because there
PaymentStrategyFactory returns a singleton instance
NullPaymentStrategy.Instance as there is no matching payment strategy.
Googling Singleton Anti Pattern results in many reasons why Singleton pattern is bad.
But when used judiciously, it can improve your code quality/memory/speed.
Source code is available on GitHub.