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Chapter 9. Exceptions > Item 64: Strive for failure atomicity

Item 64: Strive for failure atomicity

After an object throws an exception, it is generally desirable that the object still be in a well-defined, usable state, even if the failure occurred in the midst of performing an operation. This is especially true for checked exceptions, from which the caller is expected to recover. Generally speaking, a failed method invocation should leave the object in the state that it was in prior to the invocation. A method with this property is said to be failure atomic.

There are several ways to achieve this effect. The simplest is to design immutable objects (Item 15). If an object is immutable, failure atomicity is free. If an operation fails, it may prevent a new object from getting created, but it will never leave an existing object in an inconsistent state, because the state of each object is consistent when it is created and can’t be modified thereafter.


  

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