Error handling in swift – Abhimuralidharan – Medium

try, try! & try? what’s the difference, and when to use each?

Error Handling in Swift 3: Try, Try?, and Try! – Joyce Matos – Medium

Error Handling

Representing and Throwing Errors

In Swift, errors are represented by values of types that conform to the Error protocol. This empty protocol indicates that a type can be used for error handling.

Swift enumerations are particularly well suited to modeling a group of related error conditions, with associated values allowing for additional information about the nature of an error to be communicated.

enum VendingMachineError: Error {
   case invalidSelection
   case insufficientFunds(coinsNeeded: Int)
   case outOfStock

 You use a throw statement to throw an error. 

// 여기는 throw이고 throw가 발생할수 있는함수에 표시할때는 throws

throw VendingMachineError.insufficientFunds(coinsNeeded: 5)

Handling Errors

When an error is thrown, some surrounding piece of code must be responsible for handling the error.

There are four ways to handle errors in Swift. 1. You can propagate the error from a function to the code that calls that function,2. handle the error using a docatch statement, 3. handle the error as an optional value, or 4. assert that the error will not occur. Each approach is described in a section below.

When a function throws an error, it changes the flow of your program, so it’s important that you can quickly identify places in your code that can throw errors. To identify these places in your code, write the try keyword—or the try? or try! variation—before a piece of code that calls a function, method, or initializer that can throw an error. These keywords are described in the sections below.

Propagating Errors Using Throwing Functions

To indicate that a function, method, or initializer can throw an error, you write the throws keyword in the function’s declaration after its parameters. A function marked with throws is called a throwing function. If the function specifies a return type, you write the throws keyword before the return arrow (->).

// 여기는 throws이고 결과로 throw를 발생시킬때는 throw 

func canThrowErrors() throws -> String
func cannotThrowErrors() -> String

A throwing function propagates errors that are thrown inside of it to the scope from which it’s called.


Only throwing functions can propagate errors. Any errors thrown inside a nonthrowing function must be handled inside the function.

(함수에 throws가 표시되있지 않은 경우 상부로 propagate할수 없고 그 안에서 처리해야 한다는 의미)

struct Item {
   var price: Int
   var count: Int
class VendingMachine {
   var inventory = [
       "Candy Bar": Item(price: 12, count: 7),
       "Chips": Item(price: 10, count: 4),
       "Pretzels": Item(price: 7, count: 11)
   var coinsDeposited = 0
   func vend(itemNamed name: String) throws {

       // 참고 guard 구문

      // guard는 조건이 만족되지 않을 경우 else{} 안의 내용이 실행된다.
       guard let item = inventory[name] else {
           throw VendingMachineError.invalidSelection
       guard item.count > 0 else {
           throw VendingMachineError.outOfStock
       guard item.price <= coinsDeposited else {
           throw VendingMachineError.insufficientFunds(coinsNeeded: item.price – coinsDeposited)
       coinsDeposited -= item.price
       var newItem = item
       newItem.count -= 1
       inventory[name] = newItem
       print(“Dispensing (name)”)

Because the vend(itemNamed:) method propagates any errors it throws, any code that calls this method must either handle the errors—using a docatch statement, try?, or try!—or continue to propagate them. For example, the buyFavoriteSnack(person:vendingMachine:) in the example below is also a throwing function, and any errors that the vend(itemNamed:) method throws will propagate up to the point where the buyFavoriteSnack(person:vendingMachine:) function is called.

let favoriteSnacks = [
   "Alice": “Chips”,
   "Bob": “Licorice”,
   "Eve": “Pretzels”,
func buyFavoriteSnack(person: String, vendingMachine: VendingMachine) throws {


The nil-coalescing operator a ?? b is a shortcut for a != nil ? a! : b

   let snackName = favoriteSnacks[person] ?? “Candy Bar”
   try vendingMachine.vend(itemNamed: snackName)

In this example, the buyFavoriteSnack(person: vendingMachine:) function looks up a given person’s favorite snack and tries to buy it for them by calling the vend(itemNamed:) method. Because the vend(itemNamed:)method can throw an error, it’s called with the try keyword in front of it.

Throwing initializers can propagate errors in the same way as throwing functions. For example, the initializer for the PurchasedSnack structure in the listing below calls a throwing function as part of the initialization process, and it handles any errors that it encounters by propagating them to its caller.

struct PurchasedSnack {
   let name: String
   init(name: String, vendingMachine: VendingMachine) throws {
       try vendingMachine.vend(itemNamed: name) = name

Handling Errors Using Do-Catch

You use a docatch statement to handle errors by running a block of code. If an error is thrown by the code in the do clause, it is matched against the catch clauses to determine which one of them can handle the error.

Here is the general form of a docatch statement:

do {
   try expression
} catch pattern 1 {
} catch pattern 2 where condition {

You write a pattern after catch to indicate what errors that clause can handle. If a catch clause doesn’t have a pattern, the clause matches any error and binds the error to a local constant named error. For more information about pattern matching, see Patterns.

The catch clauses don’t have to handle every possible error that the code in its do clause can throw. If none of the catch clauses handle the error, the error propagates to the surrounding scope. However, the error must be handled by some surrounding scope—either by an enclosing docatch clause that handles the error or by being inside a throwing function. For example, the following code handles all three cases of the VendingMachineError enumeration, but all other errors have to be handled by its surrounding scope:

var vendingMachine = VendingMachine()
vendingMachine.coinsDeposited = 8
do {
   try buyFavoriteSnack(person: “Alice”, vendingMachine: vendingMachine)
} catch VendingMachineError.invalidSelection {
   print(“Invalid Selection.”)
} catch VendingMachineError.outOfStock {
   print(“Out of Stock.”)
} catch VendingMachineError.insufficientFunds(let coinsNeeded) {
   print(“Insufficient funds. Please insert an additional (coinsNeeded) coins.”)
// Prints “Insufficient funds. Please insert an additional 2 coins.”

Converting Errors to Optional Values

You use try? to handle an error by converting it to an optional value. If an error is thrown while evaluating the try? expression, the value of the expression is nil. (try 바로 뒤에 따라오는 함수 수행중에 error가 발생하면 optional 변수건 상수건 nil을 저장하고 수행중 error없이 수행이 마무리되면 함수에서 return 된 값을 저장한다. 이후에 nil인지 아닌지 확인하고 그에 맞는 작업을 수행 하면 된다.)

func someThrowingFunction() throws -> Int {
   // …
let x = try? someThrowingFunction()

// 결국 위의 예시와 같은 내용
let y: Int?
do {
   y = try someThrowingFunction()
} catch {
   y = nil

If someThrowingFunction() throws an error, the value of x and y is nil. Otherwise, the value of x and y is the value that the function returned. 

func fetchData() -> Data? {
   if let data = try? fetchDataFromDisk() { return data }
   if let data = try? fetchDataFromServer() { return data }
   return nil

Disabling Error Propagation

Sometimes you know a throwing function or method won’t, in fact, throw an error at runtime. On those occasions, you can write try! before the expression to disable error propagation and wrap the call in a runtime assertion that no error will be thrown. If an error actually is thrown, you’ll get a runtime error.

(runtime에서 error가 발생하지 않을 것을 확신하는 경우 try!를 통해 error propagation를 막을 수 있다. )

let photo = try! loadImage(atPath: “./Resources/John Appleseed.jpg”)

Specifying Cleanup Actions

You use a defer statement to execute a set of statements just before code execution leaves the current block of code. This statement lets you do any necessary cleanup that should be performed regardless of how execution leaves the current block of code—whether it leaves because an error was thrown or because of a statement such as return or break. For example, you can use a defer statement to ensure that file descriptors are closed and manually allocated memory is freed.(defer구문은 현재 블럭의 코드가 다수행 되면 수행된다. error가 발생하던 아니던 수행하게 된다.)

A defer statement defers execution until the current scope is exited. This statement consists of the defer keyword and the statements to be executed later. The deferred statements may not contain any code that would transfer control out of the statements, such as a break or a return statement, or by throwing an error. Deferred actions are executed in the reverse of the order that they’re written in your source code. That is, the code in the first defer statement executes last, the code in the second defer statement executes second to last, and so on. The last defer statement in source code order executes first.

func processFile(filename: String) throws {
   if exists(filename) {
       let file = open(filename)
       defer {
       while let line = try file.readline() {
           // Work with the file.
       // close(file) is called here, at the end of the scope.


You can use a defer statement even when no error handling code is involved.

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