[erlang-questions] gen_server call "failure"

Edwin Fine <>
Tue Mar 31 02:20:54 CEST 2009

On Fri, Mar 27, 2009 at 4:00 PM, tsuraan <> wrote:

> According to the documentation, a gen_server call function may fail if
> the process in question exits before the call returns.  What exactly
> does fail mean in this context?  Does gen_server:call raise an
> exception?  If so, is the format of that exception documented
> anywhere?

I assume you mean the sentence in the gen_server ref man that states, "The
call may fail for several reasons, including timeout and the called
gen_server dying before or during the call. "

The answer seems to be that if the gen_server dies before the call is
complete, the calling function receives an exit:

{'EXIT', {Reason, {gen_server, call, [Module, Function]}}}

I played around with some throwaway code to get the above results. It's
attached if you're interested.

[gscaller:<0.133.0>:{1238,457700,76877}] Calling

[gsfail:<0.131.0>:{1238,457700,76951}] Received slow call, starting
[gscaller:<0.134.0>:{1238,457701,78177}] Killing
[gscaller:<0.133.0>:{1238,457701,78274}] slow_call() returned, result =





** exception error:


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