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From Alex Blewitt <>
Subject Re: [Error handling] NullPointer or IllegalArgument?
Date Thu, 14 Aug 2003 10:53:27 GMT
On Thursday, Aug 14, 2003, at 11:36 Europe/London, Jason Dillon wrote:

> I do not agree with the Exceptions section listed in the wiki.  I 
> think that a NPE can be thrown where appropriate.  For argument 
> methods which must not be null a NPE is not appropriate.  I think we 
> should change the text to make it clear that if you must throw an NPE, 
> then it is okay, but that you need to have a reason todo so and that 
> it must have a description.

I put that there to wean people away from the NPE re: discussions on 
this topic.

If you can give me a clear example of when throwing an NPE is 
desirable, please do so. But for every example you'll give, I'll ask 
why it couldn't be either an IllegalArgumentException (if it is to do 
with arguments), or if not a generic RuntimeException (with suitable 

That way, NPEs can be reserved for unwanted program bugs, and fixed and 
stamped on with all ferociousness.


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