See discussion here:

On Apr 1, 5:03 pm, Jim Sermersheim <> wrote:
> In the generated Java code, a typical Builder set method might look like
> this:
>       public Builder setSomething(java.lang.String value) {
>         result.hasSomething = true;
>         result.something_ = value;
>         return this;
>       }
> Later, when we build the message and then serialize it, the
> CodedOutputStream.compute*Size() will throw NullPointerException because
> the value is null. Should the Builder.set* methods check for null and
> not set result.has* to true?
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