Why is 08 not a valid integer literal in Java?

In Java and several other languages, an integer literal beginning with 0 is interpreted as an octal (base 8) quantity.

For single-digit numbers (other than 08 and 09, which are not allowed), the result is the same, so you might not notice that they are being interpreted as octal. However, if you write numbers with more than one significant digit you might be confused by the result.

For example:

010 ==  8
024 == 20

Since octal literals are usually not what you want, you should always take care to never begin an integer literal with 0, unless of course you are actually trying to write zero by itself.

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