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Error - Error/exception handling in an OO-ish way


    use Error qw(:try);

    throw Error::Simple( "A simple error");

    sub xyz {
        record Error::Simple("A simple error")
            and return;
    unlink($file) or throw Error::Simple("$file: $!",$!);

    try {
        die "error!" if $condition;
        throw Error::Simple -text => "Oops!" if $other_condition;
    catch Error::IO with {
        my $E = shift;
        print STDERR "File ", $E->{'-file'}, " had a problem\n";
    except {
        my $E = shift;
        my $general_handler=sub {send_message $E->{-description}};
        return {
            UserException1 => $general_handler,
            UserException2 => $general_handler
    otherwise {
        print STDERR "Well I don't know what to say\n";
    finally {
        close_the_garage_door_already(); # Should be reliable
    }; # Don't forget the trailing ; or you might be surprised


The Error package provides two interfaces. Firstly Error provides a procedural interface to exception handling. Secondly Error is a base class for errors/exceptions that can either be thrown, for subsequent catch, or can simply be recorded.

Errors in the class Error should not be thrown directly, but the user should throw errors from a sub-class of Error.


Error exports subroutines to perform exception handling. These will be exported if the :try tag is used in the use line.


try is the main subroutine called by the user. All other subroutines exported are clauses to the try subroutine.

The BLOCK will be evaluated and, if no error is throw, try will return the result of the block.

CLAUSES are the subroutines below, which describe what to do in the event of an error being thrown within BLOCK.

catch CLASS with BLOCK

This clauses will cause all errors that satisfy $err->isa(CLASS) to be caught and handled by evaluating BLOCK.

BLOCK will be passed two arguments. The first will be the error being thrown. The second is a reference to a scalar variable. If this variable is set by the catch block then, on return from the catch block, try will continue processing as if the catch block was never found.

To propagate the error the catch block may call $err->throw

If the scalar reference by the second argument is not set, and the error is not thrown. Then the current try block will return with the result from the catch block.

except BLOCK

When try is looking for a handler, if an except clause is found BLOCK is evaluated. The return value from this block should be a HASHREF or a list of key-value pairs, where the keys are class names and the values are CODE references for the handler of errors of that type.

otherwise BLOCK

Catch any error by executing the code in BLOCK

When evaluated BLOCK will be passed one argument, which will be the error being processed.

Only one otherwise block may be specified per try block

finally BLOCK

Execute the code in BLOCK either after the code in the try block has successfully completed, or if the try block throws an error then BLOCK will be executed after the handler has completed.

If the handler throws an error then the error will be caught, the finally block will be executed and the error will be re-thrown.

Only one finally block may be specified per try block



The Error object is implemented as a HASH. This HASH is initialized with the arguments that are passed to it's constructor. The elements that are used by, or are retrievable by the Error class are listed below, other classes may add to these.


If -file or -line are not specified in the constructor arguments then these will be initialized with the file name and line number where the constructor was called from.

If the error is associated with an object then the object should be passed as the -object argument. This will allow the Error package to associate the error with the object.

The Error package remembers the last error created, and also the last error associated with a package. This could either be the last error created by a sub in that package, or the last error which passed an object blessed into that package as the -object argument.

throw ( [ ARGS ] )

Create a new Error object and throw an error, which will be caught by a surrounding try block, if there is one. Otherwise it will cause the program to exit.

throw may also be called on an existing error to re-throw it.

with ( [ ARGS ] )

Create a new Error object and returns it. This is defined for syntactic sugar, eg

    die with Some::Error ( ... );
record ( [ ARGS ] )

Create a new Error object and returns it. This is defined for syntactic sugar, eg

    record Some::Error ( ... )
        and return;


prior ( [ PACKAGE ] )

Return the last error created, or the last error associated with PACKAGE



If the variable $Error::Debug was non-zero when the error was created, then stacktrace returns a string created by calling Carp::longmess. If the variable was zero the stacktrace returns the text of the error appended with the filename and line number of where the error was created, providing the text does not end with a newline.


The object this error was associated with


The file where the constructor of this error was called from


The line where the constructor of this error was called from


The text of the error



A method that converts the object into a string. This method may simply return the same as the text method, or it may append more information. For example the file name and line number.

By default this method returns the -text argument that was passed to the constructor, or the string "Died" if none was given.


A method that will return a value that can be associated with the error. For example if an error was created due to the failure of a system call, then this may return the numeric value of $! at the time.

By default this method returns the -value argument that was passed to the constructor.



This class can be used to hold simple error strings and values. It's constructor takes two arguments. The first is a text value, the second is a numeric value. These values are what will be returned by the overload methods.

If the text value ends with at file line 1 as $@ strings do, then this infomation will be used to set the -file and -line arguments of the error object.

This class is used internally if an eval'd block die's with an error that is a plain string.


None, but that does not mean there are not any.


Graham Barr <>

The code that inspired me to write this was originally written by Peter Seibel <> and adapted by Jesse Glick <>.


Arun Kumar U <>