ExtUtils::XSpp::Exception - Map C++ exceptions to Perl exceptions


This class is both the base class for the different exception handling mechanisms and the container for the global set of exception mappings from C++ exceptions (indicated by a C++ data type to catch) to Perl exceptions. The Perl exceptions are implemented via croak().

The basic idea is that you can declare the C++ exception types that you want to handle and how you plan to do so by using the %exception directive in your XS++ (or better yet, in the XS++ typemap):

  // OutOfBoundsException would have been declared
  // elsewhere as:
  // class OutOfBoundsException : public std::exception {
  // public:
  //   OutOfBoundsException() {}
  //   virtual const char* what() const throw() {
  //     return "You accessed me out of bounds, fool!";
  //   }
  // }

If you know a function or method may throw MyOutOfBoundsExceptions, you can annotate the declaration in your XS++ as follows:

  double get_from_array(unsigned int index)

When get_from_array now throws an OutOfBoundsException, the user gets a Perl croak with the message "Caught exception of type 'OutOfBoundsException': You accessed me out of bounds, fool!". There may be any number of %catch directives per method.

Note: Why do we assign another name (outOfBounds) to the existing OutOfBoundsException? Because you may need to catch exceptions of the same C++ type with different handlers for different methods. You can, in principle, re-use the C++ exception class name for the exception map name, but that may be confusing to posterity.

Instead of adding %catch to methods, you may also specify exceptions that you wish to handle for all methods of a class:

  class Foo %catch{SomeException,AnotherException} {

The %catch{Foo,Bar,...} syntax is shorthand for %catch{Foo} %catch{Bar} .... If there are exceptions to be caught both from the class and attached to a method directly, the exceptions that are attached to the method only will be handled first. No single type of exceptions will be handled more than once, therefore it is safe to use this precedence to re-order the class-global exception handling for a single method.

If there are no %catch decorators on a method, exceptions derived from std::exception will be caught with a generic stdmessage handler such as above. Even if there are %catch clauses for the given method, all otherwise uncaught exceptions will be caught with a generic error message for safety.

Exception handlers

There are different cases of Perl exceptions that are implemented as sub-classes of ExtUtils::XSpp::Exception:


implements the most general case of simply throwing a generic error message that includes the name of the C++ exception type.


handles C++ exceptions that are derived from std::exception and which provide a char* what() method that will provide an error message. The Perl-level error message will include the C++ exception type name and the exception's what() message.


allows the user to supply custom C/C++/XS code that will be included in the exception handler verbatim. The code has access to the exception object as the variable e. Your user supplied code is expected to propagate the exception to Perl by calling croak().


maps C++ exceptions to throwing an instance of some Perl exception class.



Currently, this means just calling PerlClass->new() and then die()ing with that object in $@. There is no good way to pass information from the C++ exception object to the Perl object. Will change in future.


is the default exception handler that is added to the list of handlers automatically during code generation. It simply throws an entirely unspecific error and catches the type ... (meaning anything).

There is a special exception handler nothing which is always available:

  int foo() %catch{nothing};

It indicates that the given method (or function) is to handle no exceptions. It squishes any exception handlers that might otherwise be inherited from the method's class.



Creates a new ExtUtils::XSpp::Exception.

Calls the $self->init(@_) method after construction. init() must be overridden in subclasses.


Unimplemented in this base class, but must be implemented in all actual exception classes.

Generates the catch(){} block of code for inclusion in the XS output. First (optional) argument is an integer indicating the number of spaces to use for the first indentation level.


Given a piece of code and a number of spaces to use for global indentation, indents the code and returns it.


Fetches the C++ type of the exception from the type attribute and returns it.



Returns the name of the exception. This is the myException in %exception{myException}{char*}{handler}.


Returns the ExtUtils::XSpp::Node::Type C++ type that is used for this exception. This is the char* in %exception{myException}{char*}{handler}.



Given an ExtUtils::XSpp::Exception object, adds this object to the global registry, potentially overwriting an exception map of the same name that was in effect before.


Given the XS++ name of the exception map, fetches the corresponding ExtUtils::XSpp::Exception object from the global registry and returns it. Croaks on error.