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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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11.1. The Kinds and Causes of Exceptions

11.1.1. The Kinds of Exceptions

An exception is represented by an instance of the class Throwable (a direct subclass of Object) or one of its subclasses.

Throwable and all its subclasses are, collectively, the exception classes.

Note that a subclass of Throwable must not be generic (§8.1.2).

The classes Exception and Error are direct subclasses of Throwable.

Exception is the superclass of all the exceptions from which ordinary programs may wish to recover.

Error is the superclass of all the exceptions from which ordinary programs are not ordinarily expected to recover.

Error and all its subclasses are, collectively, the error classes.

The class Error is a separate subclass of Throwable, distinct from ...

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