code review request: 7051946: Runtime.exec(String command) / ProcessBuilder command parsing issues

Alan Bateman Alan.Bateman at
Wed Sep 14 10:14:44 UTC 2011

Michael McMahon wrote:
> We could add a sentence to the existing  @throws clause for IAE.
> So it would say "If |command| is empty, or on some platforms, may be 
> thrown if command contains illegal characters".
> I'm reluctant to be more precise than that, since as far as I know, 
> there doesn't appear to be
> any illegal characters for filenames in Unix.
I agree that you can't be too specific. I'm not sure if "illegal 
characters" should be in the wording as it begs the question as to which 
characters are legal. An alternative to trying to come up with some 
wording is to just specify the long standing behavior which seems to be 
that IOException is thrown if an I/O errors or the command line is 
malformed. I see David's reply pointing out that there are similar 
issues with ProcessBuilder. That is only specified to throw 
IndexOutOfBoundException if the command line is empty so it would be 
good to check those cases too.


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