Handling exceptions in JavaScript

Tram Ho

Like any language, Javascript will also encounter error situations such as: undefined, null, JSON.parse () fail …

This means that we have to handle these exceptions in a nutshell if we want to have a good user experience for our application.

The solution to this problem is to use try...catch blocks, which also helps our application not to crash when an error occurs.

Try … Catch

To use try...catch block, we use the following syntax:

An example to make it easier to imagine:

In the above example, when we took the attribute from undefined , an exception would be raised. In the catch block, we capture the error event and log it out, resulting in the following:

TypeError: Cannot read property ‘prop’ of undefined

When the application runs the undefined.prop command, we get the error message log out instead of crashing the application.

As in the comments above, the try block must have at least one handler followed by the catch block or finally block declared. This means we can have the following cases:

The catch block contains code snippets that specify what the app will handle when an exception is thrown in the try block. If the try block generates an error, the catch block will be run; if the try block does not generate an error, the catch block will be ignored.

The finally block will be run after all the code in the try block or catch block has finished running. It always runs whether or not an exception is raised.

The try block may be nested inside each other. If the internal try..catch block does not handle the error catch , the external try...catch block must do that. An example to make it easier to imagine:

When running the above code, we will see the log out:

Inner finally block runs

Outer catch block caught: TypeError: Cannot read property ‘prop’ of undefined ‘

It can be seen that when the internal try...catch block did not catch an error, the outer try...catch block had a catch declaration so it handled the error, and the inner finally block ran before the outer catch block. Try...catch...finally runs sequentially from top to bottom in order.

The above catch blocks are all in the unconditional manner, meaning they can catch all exceptions that occur. The Object error holds data about an exception error. It only holds data inside the catch block (it is of type variable scope), if you want to use error object outside the catch block, you must assign it to an external variable. After the catch block has finished running, the error object will be freed from memory.

The finally block contains the code that is run after the code in the try block or catch block runs, and it is executed regardless of the exception or not. So the finally block makes the user experience the least affected when our application fails (or maybe due to objective factors such as network connectivity loss …). For example, we can put clean code up, for example, close files when reading files, whether or not there are errors when reading. When running to the line that generates an exception error, the entire code after that line in the try block will not be executed anymore, so if we handle the close file at the end of the try block then it may not be executed ( if an error occurs). We can only set the code that will run without caring whether an error is generated, such as cleanup code, release memory … in the finally block, then we will not have to dupplicate the code when we have to handle things. there in the try and catch block. Illustration:

We can nest multiple try...catch blocks together:

In the above example we will not see the log out:

second finally runs

because the first try...catch block does not catch an exception, so when an error occurs, the error is passed and caught by the outer try...catch block. If we want the second try...catch block to be executed, we must add the catch block to the first try...catch block, as follows:

We can also rethrow the exception errors that are caught in the catch block. For example:

As the above example, we have 3 outputs

error error, finally block is run outer catch block caught error

because the catch block of the inner try...catch block throws the exception error again after logging it out, so the external catch block is still executed due to a rethrow error from the inner catch block.

Because the code runs sequentially, we can use the return expression at the end of the try block. For example, if we want to parse a JSON string into an object, we want to return an empty object if something goes wrong.

And we test the function above:

we will be empty on the first line and {a: 1} on the second line.

Try … Catch in asynchronous handling

We often use async – await for asynchronous processing in Javascript, and we can also use try...catch blocks to catch rejected promises and handle rejected promises gracefully. For example:

In the above code, because we reject the promise in the try block, the catch block catches the error in the rejected promise and logs out:

something wrong!

The above function looks similar to the normal try...catch block, but that is not true, since this is an async funcion.

An async function only returns promises, so we cannot return anything instead of promises in the try...catch block. The catch block in the async function is just an abbreviation for the catch function, which is chained with the then function. The above code is equivalent to the following writing in the promises world:

Similarly, the finally block of try...catch in async is equivalent to writing the finally function in the promise . We have the following 2 code is equivalent:

The above nested try...catch rule also applies to the async function, so we can write the following code:

This makes it easy to nest promises and handle errors according to their scope. This way the code is cleaner and more readable than chaining the hashes , catches and finally function of promises .


To handle exception errors in JavaScript, we use try...catch...finally block to catch the error. This method can be applied to both synchronous and asynchronous code. We let the code can generate errors in the try block, and write the exception handling code in the catch block. In the finally block, we write the executable code regardless of whether an error occurs or not. Async functions can use try...catch blocks but they return promises just like other async funciton, but try...catch blocks in normal functions can return anything.

Source: https://medium.com/javascript-in-plain-english/handling-exceptions-in-javascript-f14d855be11c

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