When is the unmodifiablemap (really) necessary?

Collections.unmodifiableMap guarantees that the map will not be modified. It’s mostly useful if you want to return a read-only view of an internal map from a method call, e.g:

class A {
    private Map importantData;

    public Map getImportantData() {
        return Collections.unmodifiableMap(importantData);

This gives you a fast method that does not risk the client changing your data. It’s much faster and more memory efficient than returning a copy of the map. If the client really does want to modify the returned value then they can copy it themselves, but changes to the copy won’t be reflected in A’s data.

If you are not returning map references to anyone else then don’t bother making it unmodifiable unless you are paranoid about making it immutable. You can probably trust yourself to not change it.

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