Custom Exceptions in JavaScript

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.

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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()).

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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.