Exception handling idioms

Tim Bates tim@REDACTED
Fri Aug 26 13:44:37 CEST 2005

Ulf Wiger wrote:
> My preference is to do this:
> handle_call({Atom, Int, List}, _, State)
>          when is_atom(Atom), is_integer(Int), is_list(List) ->
>      ...
>      {reply, Result, State};
>  handle_call(_, _, State) ->
>      {reply, badarg, State}.
> and then a custom call/1 function:
> call(Request) ->
>    case gen_server:call(?SERVER, Request) of
>       badarg ->
>          erlang:error(badarg);
>       Reply ->
>          Reply
>    end.

That is nice, but what if the error is generated deep in a function 
called by handle_call? And if I want to return an error code to the 
calling process without crashing it or the server? Then I have to do 
lots of explicit {error, ...} kind of stuff which the exception handling 
mechanisms are supposed to help me avoid, or I have to wrap the contents 
of every clause of handle_call in a try. Perhaps I could extend 
gen_server to catch non-local returns, ie throw(), and re-raise them in 
the calling process. But that still doesn't work for gen_server:cast(). 
Any ideas?


Tim Bates

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