Understanding exception specification for functions

Share the Article

In C++, The exception specification is part of function signature and it tells which type of exceptions the function is allowed to throw.

void myfunc() throw(double) //Specification is double { throw 5.2; //Throws double }

The above function is allowed to throw only exception of double type.

If this function tries to throw any other type, then the program will terminate.


void myfunc() throw(double) //Specification is double { throw 5; //Throws int type }


terminate error as function is throwing wrong exception

Functions to throw multiple types of exceptions

If the function wants to throw multiple types of exception, then the specification may look like as in below code. The function myfunc can throw an int or a double or a std::string.

#include <iostream> //main header using namespace std; //for namespace void myfunc(int avar) throw(double, int, std::string) { if(avar == 1) throw 5; else if(avar == 2) throw 5.3; throw "random excption"; } int main() { try { myfunc(2); } catch(...) //catch anytype { cout << "Catch()" << endl; } return 0; }

In above code, the catch block is capable of catching all types of exceptions therefore, it shall print following output


Function not throwing any exception

In this case, specification will have no types in the brackets, the program will terminate if the function now tries to throw any exception. Even if there are catch blocks available, then also the execution will abort.

#include <iostream> //main header using namespace std; //for namespace void myfunc() throw() //shall not throw anything { throw 5; //still throwing an int } int main() { try { myfunc(); } catch(...) { cout << "Catch()" << endl; } return 0; }

The output is:

terminate error as the function throws exception when it should not throw

In C++11, there is a new keyword ‘noexcept’ to denote the scenario that function will not throw exception

void myfunc() noexcept { throw 5; //Still throwing an exception }

In such case, the compiler will generate warning

warning in case of noexcept in C++11

Any type Specification to indicate that function which can throw any type of exception

In this case, there will be nothing written after the function brackets

void myfunc() //This function may throw or may not throw { throw 5; }

Main Funda: The exception specification tells a compiler what kind of exception can be thrown, it is also good for readability of the code

Related Topics:

Why a destructor should never throw exception?
What is the problem with setjmp( ) & longjmp( ) ?
Basics of throwing and catching exception
Why should we catch an exception object, using reference-parameter?
What happens when exception thrown from a constructor?
Re-throwing an exception
What are function level try-catch blocks
Understanding exception specification for functions
Explaining C++ casts
How pointer to class members are different ?
What is reference collapsing?
How to make a class object un-copyable?

Share the Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *