Custom Exceptions in JavaScript

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Custom Exceptions in JavaScript

Can I define custom types for user-defined exceptions in JavaScript? If I can, how would I do it?

Solutions/Answers:

Solution 1:

From WebReference:

throw { 
  name:        "System Error", 
  level:       "Show Stopper", 
  message:     "Error detected. Please contact the system administrator.", 
  htmlMessage: "Error detected. Please contact the <a href=\"mailto:sysadmin@acme-widgets.com\">system administrator</a>.",
  toString:    function(){return this.name + ": " + this.message;} 
}; 

Solution 2:

You should create a custom exception that prototypically inherits from Error. For example:

function InvalidArgumentException(message) {
    this.message = message;
    // Use V8's native method if available, otherwise fallback
    if ("captureStackTrace" in Error)
        Error.captureStackTrace(this, InvalidArgumentException);
    else
        this.stack = (new Error()).stack;
}

InvalidArgumentException.prototype = Object.create(Error.prototype);
InvalidArgumentException.prototype.name = "InvalidArgumentException";
InvalidArgumentException.prototype.constructor = InvalidArgumentException;

This is basically a simplified version of what disfated posted above with the enhancement that stack traces work on Firefox and other browsers. It satisfies the same tests that he posted:

Usage:

throw new InvalidArgumentException();
var err = new InvalidArgumentException("Not yet...");

And it will behave is expected:

err instanceof InvalidArgumentException          // -> true
err instanceof Error                             // -> true
InvalidArgumentException.prototype.isPrototypeOf(err) // -> true
Error.prototype.isPrototypeOf(err)               // -> true
err.constructor.name                             // -> InvalidArgumentException
err.name                                         // -> InvalidArgumentException
err.message                                      // -> Not yet...
err.toString()                                   // -> InvalidArgumentException: Not yet...
err.stack                                        // -> works fine!

Solution 3:

You could implement your own exceptions and their handling for example like here:

// define exceptions "classes" 
function NotNumberException() {}
function NotPositiveNumberException() {}

// try some code
try {
    // some function/code that can throw
    if (isNaN(value))
        throw new NotNumberException();
    else
    if (value < 0)
        throw new NotPositiveNumberException();
}
catch (e) {
    if (e instanceof NotNumberException) {
        alert("not a number");
    }
    else
    if (e instanceof NotPositiveNumberException) {
        alert("not a positive number");
    }
}

There is another syntax for catching a typed exception, although this won’t work in every browser (for example not in IE):

// define exceptions "classes" 
function NotNumberException() {}
function NotPositiveNumberException() {}

// try some code
try {
    // some function/code that can throw
    if (isNaN(value))
        throw new NotNumberException();
    else
    if (value < 0)
        throw new NotPositiveNumberException();
}
catch (e if e instanceof NotNumberException) {
    alert("not a number");
}
catch (e if e instanceof NotPositiveNumberException) {
    alert("not a positive number");
}

Solution 4:

Yes. You can throw anything you want: integers, strings, objects, whatever. If you want to throw an object, then simply create a new object, just as you would create one under other circumstances, and then throw it. Mozilla’s Javascript reference has several examples.

Solution 5:

function MyError(message) {
 this.message = message;
}

MyError.prototype = new Error;

This allows for usage like..

try {
  something();
 } catch(e) {
  if(e instanceof MyError)
   doSomethingElse();
  else if(e instanceof Error)
   andNowForSomethingCompletelyDifferent();
}

Solution 6:

Here is how you can create custom errors with completely identical to native Error‘s behaviour. This technique works only in Chrome and node.js for now. I also wouldn’t recommend to use it if you don’t understand what it does.

Error.createCustromConstructor = (function() {

    function define(obj, prop, value) {
        Object.defineProperty(obj, prop, {
            value: value,
            configurable: true,
            enumerable: false,
            writable: true
        });
    }

    return function(name, init, proto) {
        var CustomError;
        proto = proto || {};
        function build(message) {
            var self = this instanceof CustomError
                ? this
                : Object.create(CustomError.prototype);
            Error.apply(self, arguments);
            Error.captureStackTrace(self, CustomError);
            if (message != undefined) {
                define(self, 'message', String(message));
            }
            define(self, 'arguments', undefined);
            define(self, 'type', undefined);
            if (typeof init == 'function') {
                init.apply(self, arguments);
            }
            return self;
        }
        eval('CustomError = function ' + name + '() {' +
            'return build.apply(this, arguments); }');
        CustomError.prototype = Object.create(Error.prototype);
        define(CustomError.prototype, 'constructor', CustomError);
        for (var key in proto) {
            define(CustomError.prototype, key, proto[key]);
        }
        Object.defineProperty(CustomError.prototype, 'name', { value: name });
        return CustomError;
    }

})();

As a reasult we get

/**
 * name   The name of the constructor name
 * init   User-defined initialization function
 * proto  It's enumerable members will be added to 
 *        prototype of created constructor
 **/
Error.createCustromConstructor = function(name, init, proto)

Then you can use it like this:

var NotImplementedError = Error.createCustromConstructor('NotImplementedError');

And use NotImplementedError as you would Error:

throw new NotImplementedError();
var err = new NotImplementedError();
var err = NotImplementedError('Not yet...');

And it will behave is expected:

err instanceof NotImplementedError               // -> true
err instanceof Error                             // -> true
NotImplementedError.prototype.isPrototypeOf(err) // -> true
Error.prototype.isPrototypeOf(err)               // -> true
err.constructor.name                             // -> NotImplementedError
err.name                                         // -> NotImplementedError
err.message                                      // -> Not yet...
err.toString()                                   // -> NotImplementedError: Not yet...
err.stack                                        // -> works fine!

Note, that error.stack works absolutle correct and won’t include NotImplementedError constructor call (thanks to v8’s Error.captureStackTrace()).

Note. There is ugly eval(). The only reason it is used is to get correct err.constructor.name. If you don’t need it, you can a bit simplify everything.

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