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The Java® Language Specification, Java SE 7 Edition, Fourth Edition by Alex Buckley, Gilad Bracha, Guy Steele, Bill Joy, James Gosling

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Chapter 11. Exceptions

When a program violates the semantic constraints of the Java programming language, the Java Virtual Machine signals this error to the program as an exception.

An example of such a violation is an attempt to index outside the bounds of an array. Some programming languages and their implementations react to such errors by peremptorily terminating the program; other programming languages allow an implementation to react in an arbitrary or unpredictable way. Neither of these approaches is compatible with the design goals of the Java SE platform: to provide portability and robustness.

Instead, the Java programming language specifies that an exception will be thrown when semantic constraints are violated and will cause a non-local ...

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