What is a Runtime Exception?
What is Runtime?
Before getting into what a runtime exception is, let’s look at each word independently. In the computer world, the term runtime refers to the operation of an application from the time it launches to the time it is terminated. For example, from the time you launch your e-mail application to the time you close it, the e-mail application is running its processes, sending and receiving messages, scanning for spam, and so on. Should an error occur during the e-mail application’s runtime, it would be called a runtime error.
What is an Exception?
The word exception has several meanings. In this case, exceptions are events that do not fit into a general rule or pattern. Sun Java in its Java Tutorials defines exceptions as events that occur during a program’s execution that disrupt the flow of the program’s instructions. Since the exceptions occur during runtime, the term “Runtime Exception” was coined and is used in many program languages.
Runtime Exceptions often terminate the program
Many runtime exceptions are not unexpected. For example, if the program’s code contains calculations, an exception would occur when dividing by zero. Programmers use specific methods to handle runtime exceptions. Within the program are blocks of code designed to catch the exception and address it. When the programmer identifies an exception and writes code to address it, you as a user may be completely unaware that a runtime exception has occurred. However, if an exception occurs that the programmer did not anticipate, the program may not have code available that can handle the problem. When this happens, the program will generate a runtime exception message and close.
How Exceptions are handled
The process outlined above is called “exception handling.” When something goes wrong during runtime, such as a division by zero, runtime exceptions look to the exception handler for additional instructions on how to deal with this particular exception. If the exception was anticipated and addressed by the programmer, then the exception will be dealt with by the software and you will be none the wiser. If not, then you’ll see an error.
Make sure you are running the latest program version
Since you’re the end user and not the developer, there won’t be much you can do about the underlying code. However, this doesn’t mean that you are necessarily out of luck. Developers regularly update their software, releasing updates that address known bugs in the software. As they discover more runtime exceptions, they add code to the exception handler. If a program on your computer regularly generates runtime exception errors, update the software with the latest updates to see if the underlying problem has been solved and a fix released.
Contribute your experience to the developer
In addition, if your software has an error reporting component, by all means, consider submitting your runtime exception error to the developer. This alerts the developer to a problem with their software that they may not have discovered during testing. After all, it’s impossible to anticipate every possible conflict. By reporting exceptions, you are helping the developer create a solution that may later solve your problem.
Runtime Error Types
How to Fix Runtime Errors
Mime Application Types