PHP: Simple Try Catch Example CodeUnit 16 JAN 2010

With object orientated languages came the concept of the try-catch block to better manage exceptions and application crashes, and from PHP 5 onwards, the popular web server-side scripting language too adopted this ideology.

By placing code which stands a possible chance of failing within a try block, you are alerting PHP to the fact that should it fail to correctly process that chunk of code, it needs to pass control over to the code sitting within the catch block definition and then continue running after that backup code has been executed.

To see this in action, consider the code below:

try {
    $error = 'Throw this error';
    throw new Exception($error);
    echo 'Never get here';
catch (Exception $e)
    echo 'Exception caught: ' . $e->getMessage() . "\n";

Now admittedly in the above code block we are cheating a little by forcing the script to ‘crash’ by throwing an exception, but in the usual case we’d have pretty normal code in there like opening a file perhaps. Should it execute correctly, the application would simply continue to run, but had it failed, like we’re forcing it to do in the example above, PHP passes control over the exception handler code sitting in the catch code block, this time performing a simple echo out of the trapped error message.

So in other words, a simple but powerful tool that any current era developer should be making use of in order to better ensure the stability of their scripts.

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About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.

  • rayleyva

    Thanks! Glad this was the first page that popped up! BTW, you should fix your ads from adbrite on the right sidebar!

  • Craig Lotter

    no prob rayleyva. yeah, wish big old stupid google adsense didn't boot me out. adbrite really not a great replacement at all :(

  • rayleyva

    Thanks for the heads up! Have you tried anything else? I'm looking to test out some ad networks to see if there's any difference in user response.

  • Craig Lotter

    Using Project Wonderful over on my other site at – so far not too bad

  • Cesar

    Very interesting, thanks! BTW, with JavaScript is the same syntax!

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