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Android Reading from an Input stream efficiently

I am making an HTTP get request to a website for an android application I am making.

I am using a DefaultHttpClient and using HttpGet to issue the request. I get the entity response and from this obtain an InputStream object for getting the html of the page.

I then cycle through the reply doing as follows:

BufferedReader r = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(inputStream));
String x = "";
x = r.readLine();
String total = "";

while(x!= null){
total += x;
x = r.readLine();

However this is horrendously slow.

Is this inefficient? I’m not loading a big web page – so the file size is not big. Is there a better way to do this?





The problem in your code is that it’s creating lots of heavy String objects, copying their contents and performing operations on them. Instead, you should use StringBuilder to avoid creating new String objects on each append and to avoid copying the char arrays. The implementation for your case would be something like this:

BufferedReader r = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(inputStream));
StringBuilder total = new StringBuilder();
for (String line; (line = r.readLine()) != null; ) {

You can now use total without converting it to String, but if you need the result as a String, simply add:

String result = total.toString();

I’ll try to explain it better…

  • a += b (or a = a + b), where a and b are Strings, copies the contents of both a and b to a new object (note that you are also copying a, which contains the accumulated String), and you are doing those copies on each iteration.
  • a.append(b), where a is a StringBuilder, directly appends b contents to a, so you don’t copy the accumulated string at each iteration.