Error Handling in PHP 7
October 10, 2017 Comments 0 11 Views

Error Handling in PHP 7

The next feature we going to cover are the changes to Error Handling. Handling fatal errors in the past has been next to impossible in PHP. A fatal error would not invoke the error handler and would simply stop your script. On a production server, this usually means showing a blank white screen, which confuses the user and causes your credibility to drop. It can also cause issues with resources that were never closed properly and are still in use or even locked.

In PHP 7, an exception will be thrown when a fatal and recoverable error occurs, rather than just stopping the script. Fatal errors still exist for certain conditions, such as running out of memory, and still behave as before by immediately stopping the script. An uncaught exception will also continue to be a fatal error in PHP 7. This means if an exception thrown from an error that was fatal in PHP 5 goes uncaught, it will still be a fatal error in PHP 7.

I want to point out that other types of errors such as warnings and notices remain unchanged in PHP 7. Only fatal and recoverable errors throw exceptions.

In PHP 7, Error and Exception both implement the new Throwable class. What that means is that they basically work the same way. And also, you can now use Throwable in try/catch blocks to catch both Exception and Error objects. Remember that it is better practice to catch more specific exception classes and handle each accordingly. However, some situations warrant catching any exception (such as for logging or framework error handling). In PHP 7, these catch-all blocks should catch Throwable instead of Exception.

The Throwable interface is implemented by both Exception and Error. Under Error, we now have some more specific error. TypeError, ParseError, A couple arithmetic errors and an AssertionError.

Throwable Interface

If Throwable was defined in PHP 7 code, it would look like this

If you’ve worked with Exceptions at all, this interface should look familiar. Throwable specifies methods nearly identical to those of Exception. The only difference is that Throwable::getPrevious() can return any instance of Throwable instead of just an Exception.

Here’s what a simple catch-all block looks like:

To catch any exception in PHP 5.x and 7 with the same code, you would need to add a catch block for Exception AFTER catching Throwable first. Once PHP 5.x support is no longer needed, the block catching Exception can be removed.

Virtually all errors in PHP 5 that were fatal, now throw instances of Error in PHP 7.

Type Errors

A TypeError instance is thrown when a function argument or return value does not match a type declaration. In this function, we’ve specified that the argument should be an int, but we’re passing in strings that can’t even be converted to ints. So the code is going to throw a TypeError.

This could be used for adding shipping and handling to a shopping cart. If we passed a string with the shipping carrier name, instead of the shipping cost, our final total would be wrong and we would chance losing money on the sale.

Parse Errors

A ParseError is thrown when an included/required file or eval()’d code contains a syntax error. In the first try we’ll get a ParseError because we called the undefined function var_dup instead of var_dump. In the second try, we’ll get a ParseError because the required file has a syntax error.

Let’s say we check if a user is logged in, and if so, we want to include a file that contains a set of navigation links, or a special offer. If there is an issue with that include file, catching the ParseError will allow us to notify someone that that file needs to be fixed. Without catching the ParseError, the user may not even know they are missing something.

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Rio 34 posts

Expert web developer working in PHP, Wordpress, Joomla, Magento, Javascript etc.

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