Agree, this is a wrongheaded article. Personally I'm becoming increasingly enamored of Google Guava's immutable datatypes and functional-style programming to deal with this class of problems. Nulls suck, but I think they are mostly an artifact of having mutable data structures.
Articles like this is where bad Java style comes from.
In real life you:
use commons APIs to check for empty objects, collections, etc;
treat exceptions like they are, well, exceptional and not like they are form of "if" statement;
never test Enumeration values for equality using object.equals();
dont use assert class like shown. You just add more complexity and gain nothing but exchange NPE for IAE.
and so on and so on.
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