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Table of contents
1.
Introduction
2.
Exception In Java
3.
Java.lang.ExceptionInInitializererror
4.
Constructors of java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError
5.
Methods of java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError
6.
Examples of java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError
6.1.
NullPointerException
6.2.
Java
6.2.1.
Output
6.3.
OutOfMemoryError
6.4.
Java
6.4.1.
Output
6.5.
ClassNotFoundException
6.6.
Java
6.6.1.
Output
7.
Causes of java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError
8.
Resolve java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError?
9.
Handle And Recover
9.1.
Fixing a NullPointerException
9.2.
Java
10.
Frequently Asked Questions
10.1.
How to fix exception in initializer error in Java?
10.2.
What is the error initializer exception?
10.3.
What is the init exception in Java?
10.4.
How does ExceptionInInitializeError differ from other exceptions in Java, such as NullPointerException or ArrayOutOfBoundException?
10.5.
Are there any real-world scenarios where ExceptionInInitializeError has occurred and how was it resolved?
10.6.
How can I debug and troubleshoot ExceptionInInitializeError in my Java Application?
10.7.
What is the impact of ExceptionInInitializeError on the performance and reliability of a Java application?
11.
Conclusion
Last Updated: Mar 28, 2024
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Java lang ExceptionInInitializerError

Author Abhay Rathi
1 upvote
Crack Google SDE interview : Essential projects
Speaker
Saurav Prateek
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20 Jun, 2024 @ 01:30 PM

Introduction

Ever coded along in Java and hit a snag called java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError? It might sound scary, but it's actually a message from Java trying to help! This error pops up when there's a problem initializing a class, kind of like a hiccup when setting up the tools you need for your program. 

Java lang ExceptionInInitializerError

In this blog, we will discuss about Java lang ExceptionInInitializerError. We will discuss what this error means, why it happens, and how to fix it.

Exception In Java

An exception is an occurrence that occurs during the execution of our program that disturbs the regular flow of code execution, i.e. instructions. An exception indicates that an unexpected or abnormal situation has been raised in the program execution, such as an invalid input or error condition. 

In Java, we have a rich set of built-in exceptions organised into a hierarchy of classes representing different exception types. Errors are often generated by the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and highlight problems that may cause the program to crash or terminate.

Also read, Duck Number in Java and Hashcode Method in Java

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Java.lang.ExceptionInInitializererror

Java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError is a subclass of the 'java.lang.Error' class, an unchecked type of exception that indicates an exception occurred during the initialization of a class. 

When the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) loads a static initializer block or the static variable initializer of a class raises an exception, this error is raised automatically. Because ExceptionInInitializerError is an unchecked error, it does not need to be mentioned in the throws clause of a function. 

Note: ExceptionInInitializerError might cause the programe to crash or become unstable if not handled appropriately.

Exception hierarchy in java


Also see,  Swap Function in Java

Constructors of java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError

The java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError class provides three constructors:

  1. ExceptionInInitializerError(): This constructor creates an instance of ExceptionInInitializerError with no specific detail message. It's useful when you want to create a simple instance of the exception without providing additional information
     
  2. ExceptionInInitializerError(String message): This constructor creates an instance of ExceptionInInitializerError with a specified detail message. You can use this constructor when you want to provide additional information or context about the error that occurred during class initialization
     
  3. ExceptionInInitializerError(Throwable thrown): This constructor creates an instance of ExceptionInInitializerError with a specified cause. It takes a Throwable object as an argument, which represents the exception or error that caused the initialization error

Methods of java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError

The java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError class does not define any additional methods beyond those inherited from its superclass, java.lang.LinkageError. However, it indirectly inherits methods from its parent classes, such as java.lang.Throwable and java.lang.Object. There are some of the commonly used methods inherited by ExceptionInInitializerError:

  • getCause(): This method returns the cause of this ExceptionInInitializerError as a Throwable object. It's useful for obtaining information about the original exception that occurred during class initialization
     
  • getException(): This method retrieves the exception that occurred during the static initialization process, leading to the creation of this error
     
  • printStackTrace(): This method prints the stack trace of the exception to the standard error stream, which is useful for debugging and diagnosing issues

Examples of java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError

Below we will discuss the 3 types of Java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError:

  1. NullPointerException
     
  2. OutOfMemeoryError 
     
  3. ClassNotFoundException

NullPointerException

In this code, we declare a String variable ‘ninjaString’ and set it to null. Then we try to use str's length() function, which results in a NullPointerException since string variable is null and does not relate to a valid object.

  • Java

Java

public class error2 {
   public static void main(String[] args) {
       String ninjaString = null;
       System.out.println(ninjaString.length());
   }
}

Output

null pointer exception output

OutOfMemoryError

In the code below, we create an ArrayList of Integer arrays and then loop indefinitely adding additional Integer arrays to the list. As the list grows in size, it will ultimately occupy all available memory, resulting in an OutOfMemoryError.

  • Java

Java

import java.util.ArrayList;

public class error1 {
   // OutOfMemory example
   public static void main(String[] args) {
       ArrayList<Integer[]> list = new ArrayList<Integer[]>();
       while(true) {
           list.add(new Integer[1000000]);
       }
   }
}

Output

out of memory error output

ClassNotFoundException

Using the Class.forName() function, we are attempting to load a class named "com.Ninja.NonExistentClass" in this code. However, because this class does not exist, a ClassNotFoundException will be issued at runtime. This is an illustration of a ClassNotFound problem.

  • Java

Java

public class error3 {
   // ClassNotFoundExceptionExample
   public static void main(String[] args) {
       try {
           Class.forName("com.Ninja.NonExistentClass");
       } catch (ClassNotFoundException e) {
           e.printStackTrace();
       }
   }
}

Output

output for classnotfoundexception

Causes of java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError

The java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError occurs when the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) encounters an issue while trying to initialize a class. Initialization involves setting up a class for use, like allocating memory and running any static initializer code blocks or variable assignments. Here are some common causes:

  • Exceptions in Static Initializer Blocks: If a static initializer block (a code block within a class definition that runs only once when the class is loaded) throws an exception, the JVM throws this error. This could be due to errors in the code itself, like null pointer exceptions or issues accessing resources.
  • Circular Dependencies: When two classes have static initializer blocks that depend on each other (e.g., Class A needs something from Class B's initialization, and vice versa), a circular dependency can occur. The JVM gets stuck trying to initialize them in the correct order, leading to the error.
  • No Static Initializer but Runtime Exception: Even if there's no static initializer block, if a static variable assignment throws a runtime exception (like NullPointerException), the JVM might throw this error as well.

Resolve java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError?

Here are some approaches to tackle java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError:

  1. Fix the Exception in Static Initializer: Carefully examine the code within any static initializer blocks of the problematic class. Identify and fix the error that's causing the exception within the block. This could involve handling potential null references, ensuring proper resource access, or correcting any coding mistakes.
  2. Refactor Circular Dependencies: Break circular dependencies between classes. You might achieve this by:
    • Moving initialization logic out of static initializer blocks and into regular methods that can be called in a specific order.
    • Using dependency injection to provide necessary objects to classes during construction instead of relying on static initialization.
  3. Handle Runtime Exceptions in Static Variable Assignments: If a static variable assignment throws a runtime exception, consider adding checks or handling mechanisms to prevent the exception from occurring. For example, you could check for null references before assigning or use try-catch blocks to handle potential exceptions gracefully.
  4. Review Class Loading Order: In rare cases, the order in which classes are loaded might influence this error. While the JVM usually manages this, you can sometimes influence the loading order using classloaders (though this is an advanced technique). However, focusing on fixing the root cause of the exceptions is generally a better approach.

Handle And Recover

Let's learn how to handle and recover from Java.lang.ExceptionInInitializererror. 

To fix a ‘ClassNotFoundException’ in Java we need to make sure that the class we are trying to use is in the class path of our application.

We can solve the issue with the following ways:

  1. Adding missing class to our class path.
     
  2. Check if class name is spelled correctly.
     
  3. Check if class is in the right package.

Fixing a NullPointerException

Initially we had initialised the string with a null value and invoked the .length() method which is inapplicable for null values so now we actually initialise the value.

  • Java

Java

public class error2 {
   private static String ninjaString = "Ninja";
   private static int length;

   static {
       length = ninjaString.length();
   }
   public static void main(String[] args) {
     
       System.out.println("The length is "+length);
   }
}
Ouput for null pointer exception

We can also implement any of the below codes:

String str = null;
if (str != null) {
    int length = str.length();
}


OR

String str = null;
if (str == null) {
    str = "Hello";
}
int length = str.length();


Using the above techniques will prevent NullPointerException.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to fix exception in initializer error in Java?

Fix the error causing the exception in static initializer blocks or handle runtime exceptions during static variable assignments.

What is the error initializer exception?

java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError indicates a problem initializing a class, often due to exceptions in static initializer code.

What is the init exception in Java?

"Init exception" is an informal term for java.lang.ExceptionInInitializerError. It signifies an error during class initialization in Java.

How does ExceptionInInitializeError differ from other exceptions in Java, such as NullPointerException or ArrayOutOfBoundException?

ExceptionInInitializerError differs from other Java exceptions, such as NullPointerException and ArrayIndexOutOfBoundsException, in that it is not produced directly by mistake in the code and is executed at runtime. ExceptionInInitializerError is instead thrown when an exception occurs during a class's initialization.

Are there any real-world scenarios where ExceptionInInitializeError has occurred and how was it resolved?

Yes, ExceptionInInitializerError has occurred in real-world settings. One example is when a programe uses a third-party library or API with a flaw in its static initializer block or variable initializer.

How can I debug and troubleshoot ExceptionInInitializeError in my Java Application?

To debug and troubleshoot, use the following steps: Analyse the stack trace, inspect the code, debug it, check dependencies, validate class path settings, and update libraries.

What is the impact of ExceptionInInitializeError on the performance and reliability of a Java application?

This issue might prohibit the programme from beginning or operating correctly since it happens during the static initialization of a class. This error can lead to decreased speed and dependability and the programe crashing.

Conclusion

In conclusion 'Java.Lang.ExceptionInInitializerError' is an error that occurs when an exception is thrown during the initialization of a static block or variable in Java. It is a subclass of Errors and can be caused by several difficulties, including class loading issues, resource loading issues, or runtime errors in the static block.

To learn more about exception handling checkout our articles. Also, learn more about interview questions related to exception handling.

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