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Error handling in go language!

Maheshwar Ligade's photo
Maheshwar Ligade
·Apr 19, 2023·

3 min read

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Table of contents

  • Introduction to Error Handling in Go
  • The Error Interface in Go
  • Creating Custom Errors in Go
  • Error Handling with Panic and Recover
  • Best Practices for Error Handling in Go
  • Conclusion

Introduction to Error Handling in Go

Error handling is an essential part of software development in any programming language. In Go, error handling is a first-class citizen, and the language provides a robust set of tools and idioms for handling errors. This article will provide an in-depth look at error handling in Go, including:

  1. The error interface in Go

  2. Creating custom errors in Go

  3. Error handling with panic and recover

  4. Best practices for error handling in Go

The Error Interface in Go

In Go, errors are represented as values that implement the built-in error interface. The error interface is defined as follows:

type error interface {
    Error() string
}

Any value that has an Error method that returns a string can be used as an error in Go. This means that error handling in Go is not limited to predefined error types; any type can be used as an error, as long as it implements the error interface.

Creating Custom Errors in Go

Go provides a simple way to create custom error types. To do so, you can define a new type that implements the error interface:

type MyError struct {
    Msg string
}

func (e *MyError) Error() string {
    return e.Msg
}

In this example, the MyError type has a single field, Msg, which is a string that contains the error message. The type also has an Error method that returns the error message as a string. You can then create an instance of the MyError type and use it as an error:

func doSomething() error {
    // ...
    if somethingBadHappened {
        return &MyError{"something bad happened"}
    }
    // ...
    return nil
}

Error Handling with Panic and Recover

Go also provides two built-in functions for handling errors: panic and recover. The panic function is used to signal that a program has encountered an unexpected error and cannot continue. When panic occurs, the program immediately stops executing, and any deferred functions are executed before the program terminates. The recovery function is used to catch and handle panics in a controlled way.

func doSomething() {
    defer func() {
        if r := recover(); r != nil {
            log.Println("recovered from panic:", r)
        }
    }()
    // ...
    if somethingBadHappened {
        panic("something bad happened")
    }
    // ...
}

In this example, the doSomething function uses the defer keyword to register a function that will be executed when the function returns. If a panic occurs in the doSomething function, the registered function will catch the panic and log an error message.

Best Practices for Error Handling in Go

When it comes to error handling in Go, there are several best practices to keep in mind:

  1. Always check for errors: Go makes it easy to handle errors, but it's up to the developer to actually check for errors and handle them appropriately.

  2. Return errors as values: Go's error handling model is based on returning errors as values, rather than using exceptions or other control flow mechanisms.

  3. Use custom error types: Creating custom error types can help make error messages more informative and easier to understand.

  4. Use the errors package: The errors package provides a simple way to create errors with stack traces, making it easier to debug errors.

  5. Handle errors at the appropriate level: Error handling should be done at the appropriate level of abstraction, whether that's at the top level of an application or at a lower level, such as in a function.

Conclusion

Error handling is an essential part of software development, and Go provides a robust set of tools and idioms for handling errors.

I hope this helps, you!!

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