muckdog12 muckdog12 - 26 days ago 7
Java Question

Illegal Character when trying to compile java code

I have a program that allows a user to type java code into a rich text box and then compile it using the java compiler. Whenever I try to compile the code that I have written I get an error that says that I have an illegal character at the beginning of my code that is not there. This is the error the compiler is giving me:

C:\Users\Travis Michael>"\Program Files\Java\jdk1.6.0_17\bin\javac" Test.java
Test.java:1: illegal character: \187
public class Test
^
Test.java:1: illegal character: \191
public class Test
^
2 errors

Answer

The BOM is generated by, say, File.WriteAllText() or StreamWriter when you don't specify an Encoding. The default is to use the UTF8 encoding and generate a BOM. You can tell the java compiler about this with its -encoding command line option.

The path of least resistance is to avoid generating the BOM. Do so by specifying System.Text.Encoding.Default, that will write the file with the characters in the default code page of your operating system and doesn't write a BOM. Use the File.WriteAllText(String, String, Encoding) overload or the StreamWriter(String, Boolean, Encoding) constructor.

Just make sure that the file you create doesn't get compiled by a machine in another corner of the world. It will produce mojibake.