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From Emmanuel Lecharny <>
Subject Re: Should we use assert ?
Date Fri, 04 Jun 2010 12:20:58 GMT
On 6/4/10 2:10 PM, Stefan Seelmann wrote:
> Emmanuel Lecharny wrote:
>> Hi guys,
>> currently (and probably because nobody uses them, due to some Java 1.3
>> habits we have), we don't use asserts to do simple things like checking
>> methods parameters (pre-conditions).
>> Should we start using them ?
> I never used them before.
> For me assert is a bit magic because they are disabled at runtime and
> the assert statement isn't evaluated unless they are enabled. I prever
> to throw a IllegalArgumentException instead.

It's funny because I was an heavy user of asserts when I was writing C 
code, and it saved me a hell lot of time.

Here, we should make a distinction between using asserts and if(). Let 
me take an exemple.

Suppose we are writing an User API, with a method taking a parameter 
that should not be null. Clearly, using an assert in this case is *not* 
valid, as it might be disabled art runtime. Now, if we are writing a 
method used internally, then there is no need to do a if( condition not 
met ) then throw new IllegalArgumentException, as it's unlikely to 
happen, if we have tests covering those cases.

However, I won't push to much if you feel more comfortable using an if+ 
IllegalArgumentException. In any case, what is important is to cover the 
case of bad arguments being used...
> My 2 cents,
> Stefan

Emmanuel L├ęcharny

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