When to NOT use interpolated strings

I am currently reading the newest edition of Jon Skeet’s book ”C# in depth” (https://csharpindepth.com/) which is a quite interesting read so far.

There is however one thing in the book that made me feel really bad about myself. You see, I really think interpolated strings helps improve readability quite a lot, and therefore I have been changing a lot of code similar to this:

Log.Debug("Value of property A is {0} and B is {1}", variable.A, variable.B);

with this:

Log.Debug($"Value of property A is {variable.A} and B is {variable.B}");

Can you think of a reason why this is a BAD thing to do? Assume that you have your code live in a production environment. In most cases debug level logging will then be turned off.

In the first variant of the code, where the properties are given as separate parameters, the Debug method will just return and nothing is done with the parameters. But in the second variant, where the parameter to the Debug method has been changed to an interpolated string, strings will be constructed for both properties and a resulting formatted string will be constructed before Debug is called. This means that the program will do all the work needed to construct the string, and then just throw it away.

Using an interpolated string in this scenario might slow down the application quite a bit, even with Debug level logging turned off!

To summarize, do not use interpolated strings unless you are 100% sure that the result will actually be used!

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