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TIOBE - Java Coding Standard

Rule:  Design8Checked automatically with code checker

Synopsis:Don't call overridable methods during object construction
Severity Level:1

Calling overridable methods during construction poses a risk of invoking methods on an incompletely constructed object and can be difficult to discern. It may leave the sub-class unable to construct its superclass or forced to replicate the construction process completely within itself, losing the ability to call super(). If the default constructor contains a call to an overridable method, the subclass may be completely uninstantiable. Note that this includes method calls throughout the control flow graph - i.e., if a constructor Foo() calls a private method bar() that calls a public method buz(), this denotes a problem.
public class SeniorClass {
  public SeniorClass(){
      toString(); //may throw NullPointerException if overridden
  public String toString(){
    return "IAmSeniorClass";
public class JuniorClass extends SeniorClass {
  private String name;
  public JuniorClass(){
    super(); //Automatic call leads to NullPointerException
    name = "JuniorClass";
  public String toString(){
    return name.toUpperCase();