Tuesday, May 17, 2011

How java implements Exception handling?

When an unexpected error occurs in a method, java has to handle this exception. So it has to throw that exception and handle it some way. Lets see how :


Throwing an exception

Many kinds of errors can cause exceptions--problems ranging from serious hardware errors, such as a hard disk crash, to simple programming errors, such as trying to access an out-of-bounds array element. When such an error occurs within a Java method, the method creates an exception object and hands it off to the runtime system. The exception object contains information about the exception, including its type and the state of the program when the error occurred. The runtime system is then responsible for finding some code to handle the error. In Java terminology, creating an exception object and handing it to the runtime system is called throwing an exception.


Catching an exception

After a method throws an exception, the runtime system leaps into action to find someone to handle the exception. The set of possible "someones" to handle the exception is the set of methods in the call stack of the method where the error occurred. The runtime system searches backwards through the call stack, beginning with the method in which the error occurred, until it finds a method that contains an appropriate exception handler. An exception handler is considered appropriate if the type of the exception thrown is the same as the type of exception handled by the handler. Thus the exception bubbles up through the call stack until an appropriate handler is found and one of the calling methods handles the exception. The exception handler chosen is said to catch the exception.
If the runtime system exhaustively searches all of the methods on the call stack without finding an appropriate exception handler, the runtime system (and consequently the Java program) terminates.

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