I'm working on an application that parses a text file with information that is delimited as following:

```
id#title#author
```

There are certain lines that contain no data for the author and are simply blank, however there is still a # at the end. Using Java's built in split, the returned length is only 2. Do I need to manually check the length of the returned array in my function or is there another method?

For example:

```
26380#Complete Story of the San Francisco Horror#
```

I'm trying to return a null value for the author if it is not listed. I'm currently using:

```
data.split("#")
```

# Best How To :

Use the overloaded method

```
yourString.split("#", -1)
```

The javadoc states

The array returned by this method contains each substring of this string that is terminated by another substring that matches the given expression or is terminated by the end of the string.

[...]

The limit parameter controls the number of times the pattern is applied and therefore affects the length of the resulting array. If the limit n is greater than zero then the pattern will be applied at most n - 1 times, the array's length will be no greater than n, and the array's last entry will contain all input beyond the last matched delimiter. **If n is non-positive then the pattern will be applied as many times as possible and the array can have any length.** If n is zero then the pattern will be applied as many times as possible, the array can have any length, and trailing empty strings will be discarded.

Invoking `String#split(String)`

is equivalent to invoking

```
yourString.split(yourRegex, 0);
```

which does what that last line of javadoc states, discarding trailing empty strings.

This, however, will not return `null`

in the last position of the array returned. It will simply be an empty string.