in the light of
OAK-3508 i looked at the ExternalIdentifyRef class and found the following implementation of Object.equals(Object):
since this class is public and exported as part of a public API, i don't think the assumption made in the code is justified. also i would argue that catching Exception is bad style as is exception driven development. in this particular case it was IMHO perfectly trivial to just get rid of the catch clause altogether.