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At the ACCU's JaCC conference in 1999 I presented on the subject of "Exception Safety in C++" and wrote on the same subject in Overload 40 ("Here be Dragons") and an updated version of this article appears in the March 2001 issue of C/C++ Users Journal.
Other good references for C++ techniques are:
"Exception-Safety in Generic Components" Dave Abrahams
"Exceptional C++: 47 Engineering Puzzles, Programming Problems, and Solutions" Herb Sutter ISBN 0-201-61562-2
Naturally my thoughts then turned to exception safety in Java – but many of the C++ techniques simply have no equivalent in Java and a naïve translation of my C++ article fails.
Over time I’ve kept coming back to the problem of mapping out the techniques needed to develop exception safe Java. However, despite bugging speakers at conferences and researching the literature I found very little prior art.
My findings appear in the March 2001 Java Report and in this presentation. I still don’t have a complete answer, and what I do have leans very heavily on the experience of C++. I hope that I at least open up the territory for future explorers.