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how the compiler decides about the unreachable stmt

NareshAnkuskani Kumar
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 15, 2005
Posts: 76
hi guys below i am listing the code plz refer it once

class one
public static void main(String a[])
System.out.println("first stmt");
System.out.println("second stmt");
i am very much clear that the above code results in compile time error that
the stmt after return stmt is unreachable.

look at the other code below

class two
{ public static void main(......)
System.out.println("due to finaly");
System.out.println("out of try-catch-finally stmt");//3

in the above code (i.e) the second code why i am not facing the same problem which i came across during the compilation of first code.
because i am very sure that the statement marked '//3' is surely not reachable.
Edwin Dalorzo
Ranch Hand

Joined: Dec 31, 2004
Posts: 961
If an exception happens in the try block, and you handle it, and manage to pass to the next statement out of the try-catch-finally block, then that statement is actually reachable.

Not the case of your first example, pal.

Edwin Dalorzo


I have an interpretation of this behavior based on the explanations of the JLS chapter 14 section 21.

The JLS determines if a statement is reachable based on two principles

  • Whether the statement is reachable.
  • Whether the statement can complete normally.

  • Now, the JLS states that a break, continue, return, or throw statement cannot complete normally.

    Now, this sounds kind of obvious for some statements.

    Interpretation #1
    That means any statement after any of this statements could be considered unreachable.

    Evidence #1

    Interpretation #2
    Then, JSL suggests that a finally block is reachable if its try statement is reachable. So in this code the finally statement is reachable, no matter that the try block finish abnormally.

    Evidence #2

    However, the JLS also states that �[�] Every other statement S in a nonempty block that is not a switch block is reachable if and only if the preceding statement S can complete normally�

    Interpretation #3
    As the try block in previous statement did not complete normally, the next statement after the try-finally block is unreachable, as this evidence shows.

    Evidence #3

    Finally, the JLS states that a Catch block is reachable "[...] if some expression or a throw statement in the try block is reachable and can throw an exception whose type is assignable to the parameter of the catch clause [...]"

    Interpretation #4
    This statement seems to be override the previous one, because althought the return stament always finish abnormally it might be subject to cause an exception in a try-catch-block, and hence the next evidence is valid, because the cath block is subjet to finish normally if you handle the exception, and if so, the statement after try-catch-finally may be executed. Let's see some evidence

    Evidence #4

    I hope this helps.

    Edwin Dalorzo
    Murali Mohan
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Jan 09, 2006
    Posts: 66
    Thank you Edwin Dalorzo.
    Great explanation...

    Thanks,<br />Murali...
    shandilya popuru
    Ranch Hand

    Joined: Dec 21, 2004
    Posts: 95

    hats off to your explanation Edwin Dalorzo

    I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
    subject: how the compiler decides about the unreachable stmt
    It's not a secret anymore!