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Question:

How the StringBuilder class is implemented? Does it internally create new string objects each time we append?


Best Answer:


In .NET 2.0 it uses the String class internally. String is only immutable outside of the System namespace, so StringBuilder can do that.

In .NET 4.0 String was changed to use char[].

In 2.0 StringBuilder looked like this

public sealed class StringBuilder : ISerializable
{
    // Fields
    private const string CapacityField = "Capacity";
    internal const int DefaultCapacity = 0x10;
    internal IntPtr m_currentThread;
    internal int m_MaxCapacity;
    internal volatile string m_StringValue; // HERE ----------------------
    private const string MaxCapacityField = "m_MaxCapacity";
    private const string StringValueField = "m_StringValue";
    private const string ThreadIDField = "m_currentThread";

But in 4.0 it looks like this:

public sealed class StringBuilder : ISerializable
{
    // Fields
    private const string CapacityField = "Capacity";
    internal const int DefaultCapacity = 0x10;
    internal char[] m_ChunkChars; // HERE --------------------------------
    internal int m_ChunkLength;
    internal int m_ChunkOffset;
    internal StringBuilder m_ChunkPrevious;
    internal int m_MaxCapacity;
    private const string MaxCapacityField = "m_MaxCapacity";
    internal const int MaxChunkSize = 0x1f40;
    private const string StringValueField = "m_StringValue";
    private const string ThreadIDField = "m_currentThread";

So evidently it was changed from using a string to using a char[].

EDIT: Updated answer to reflect changes in .NET 4 (that I only just discovered).




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