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TIOBE - Java Coding Standard

Rule:  Controversial2Checked automatically with code checker

This rule is Obsolete
Synopsis:Assigning an Object to null is a code smell. Consider refactoring
Severity Level:2

Assigning a "null" to a variable (outside of its declaration) is usually bad form. Some times, the assignment is an indication that the programmer doesn't completely understand what is going on in the code. NOTE: This sort of assignment may in rare cases be useful to encourage garbage collection. If that's what you're using it for, by all means, disregard this rule :-)
public class Foo {
   public void bar() {
     Object x = null; // This is OK.
     x = new Object();
     // Big, complex piece of code here.
     x = null; // This is BAD.
     // Big, complex piece of code here.