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From "private (JIRA)" <j...@apache.org>
Subject [jira] Created: (CONFIGURATION-384) ConfigurationException is a checked exception; should be unchecked (ie: subclass of RuntimeException)
Date Tue, 02 Jun 2009 13:41:07 GMT
ConfigurationException is a checked exception; should be unchecked (ie: subclass of RuntimeException)
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                 Key: CONFIGURATION-384
                 URL: https://issues.apache.org/jira/browse/CONFIGURATION-384
             Project: Commons Configuration
          Issue Type: Bug
          Components: Events & Notifications
    Affects Versions: 1.6
         Environment: N/A
            Reporter: private



There's a movement in the field to simplify Java development by using unchecked Exceptions
rather than checked Exceptions. Most notably this approach has been championed by Rod Johnson
(J2EE without EJB, Spring Framework) and Bruce Eckels (Thinking in Java). In the last 2 years,
popular libraries like Spring Framework and Hibernate 3.0 have used unchecked exceptions.

Quote from the DeveloperWorks article listed below:

"Some exceptions are basically secondary return codes (which generally signal violation of
business rules), and some are of the "something went horribly wrong" variety (such as failure
to make a database connection). Johnson advocates using checked exceptions for the first category
(alternative return codes), and runtime exceptions for the latter category. In the "something
went horribly wrong" category, the motivation is simply to recognize the fact that no caller
is going to effectively handle this exception, so it might as well get propagated all the
way up the stack with the minimum of impact on the intervening code (and minimize the chance
of exception swallowing)."

I have listed this as a bug rather than an improvement as it is common for developers to simply
wrap configuration sections in a try { .. } catch ( ConfigurationException ignore ) {}, which
inevitably leads to buggy code further down the line.Even if the ConfigurationException is
caught, it is likely to be wrapped in a RuntimeException subclass for reporting, which is
also unnecessarily obtuse.

It makes sense for this Exception to be unchecked (RuntimeException subclass) so that developers
can decide whether the exception condition is worthy of catching or should be allowed to propagate
as best suits their application.


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