Catch NullPointerException

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This article includes content generously donated to OWASP by Fortify.JPG.

Abstract

It is generally a bad practice to catch NullPointerException.

Description

Programmers typically catch NullPointerException under three circumstances:

  1. The program contains a null pointer dereference. Catching the resulting exception was easier than fixing the underlying problem.
  2. The program explicitly throws a NullPointerException to signal an error condition.
  3. The code is part of a test harness that supplies unexpected input to the classes under test.

Of these three circumstances, only the last is acceptable.

Examples

The following code mistakenly catches a NullPointerException.

	  try {
		mysteryMethod();
	  }
	  catch (NullPointerException npe) {
	  }

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Category:Error Handling

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