Re: Throwing Constructor Exceptions and cleaning up

Eric Sosman <>
Fri, 03 Apr 2009 18:37:10 -0400
Peter Duniho wrote:

On Fri, 03 Apr 2009 14:06:32 -0700, Eric Sosman <>

     Whether such an optimization would be Good or Bad seems unclear.
For correctly-used objects it could simplify finalization to the point
of eliminating it. On the other hand, it might encourage people to
rely on finalize() in situations where they shouldn't; I can almost
hear the C++ converts saying "So *that's* how Java does destructors!"

Can you elaborate on why such a system would encourage incorrect use of
finalizable objects?

     Nearly all uses of finalize() are incorrect. ;-)

     ... but that's really just my knee-jerk reaction, engendered
by reading too much code where finalize() was abused as a destructor.
Often by someone who lacked the wit to call super.finalize(), too.
So my immediate response to the mention of finalize() is to make
the sign of the Cross, hang garlic in all the windows, and mutter
prayers to Saint Jude, patron saint of the desperate.

     Using finalize() to release a JNI peer is all right. Using
finalize() as a last-ditch safety net (complaining loudly that a
bug has been detected) is a little shadier, but still defensible.
I haven't seen *any* other use cases for finalize() that I found
convincing. YMMV.


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