Helpful NullPointerExceptions

JDK 14 will have a new feature, JEP 358 – Helpful NullPointerExceptions. This feature aims to bring a better understanding to the developer about the cause of a Null Pointer Exception.

Let’s take a look at the code below:

String name = student.getName();

The JVM would produce a message like:

Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NullPointerException at Student.main (

That’s not bad. Lookin g at your code you can infer that “student” is null and that’s what caused the error. But consider this scenario:

String zipCode = student.getAddress().getZipCode();

That would trigger a similar error message. But now, where’s the error coming from? It is from “student” or “getAddress”?

Starting on JDK 14, the same error message would be:

Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NullPointerException:
  Cannot read field "zipCode" because "student.getAddress" is null 
  at Student.main (

Much better IMHO.

What about you? What’re your thoughts?


One thought on “Helpful NullPointerExceptions

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