15.18.1 String Concatenation Operator +
If only one operand expression is of type String, then string conversion is performed on the other operand to produce a string at run time. The result is a reference to a newly created String object that is the concatenation of the two operand strings. The characters of the left-hand operand precede the characters of the right-hand operand in the newly created string.
184.108.40.206 String Conversion
Any type may be converted to type String by string conversion.
A value x of primitive type T is first converted to a reference value as if by giving it as an argument to an appropriate class instance creation expression:
If T is boolean, then use new Boolean(x).
If T is char, then use new Character(x).
If T is byte, short, or int, then use new Integer(x).
If T is long, then use new Long(x).
If T is float, then use new Float(x).
If T is double, then use new Double(x).
This reference value is then converted to type String by string conversion.
Now only reference values need to be considered. If the reference is null, it is converted to the string "null" (four ASCII characters n, u, l, l). Otherwise, the conversion is performed as if by an invocation of the toString method of the referenced object with no arguments; but if the result of invoking the toString method is null, then the string "null" is used instead.
220.127.116.11 Optimization of String Concatenation
An implementation may choose to perform conversion and concatenation in one step to avoid creating and then discarding an intermediate String object. To increase the performance of repeated string concatenation, a Java compiler may use the StringBuffer class or a similar technique to reduce the number of intermediate String objects that are created by evaluation of an expression.
For primitive types, an implementation may also optimize away the creation of a wrapper object by converting directly from a primitive type to a string.
Originally posted by Marilyn deQueiroz:
I guess the big question is, since the JLS says that the primitive will be converted to an Object which toString() will then be called on, why is this not happening?