Exceptions are just a special kind of variant, thrown in exceptional cases (don't abuse them!).


ReScriptJS Output
let getItem = (item: int) =>
  if (item === 3) {
    // return the found item here
  } else {

let result =
  try {
  } catch {
  | Not_found => 0 // Default value if getItem throws

Note that the above is just for demonstration purposes; in reality, you'd return an option<int> directly from getItem and avoid the try altogether.

You can directly match on exceptions while getting another return value from a function:

ReScriptJS Output
switch list{1, 2, 3}->List.getExn(4) {
| item => Console.log(item)
| exception Not_found => Console.log("No such item found!")

You can also make your own exceptions like you'd make a variant (exceptions need to be capitalized too).

ReScriptJS Output
exception InputClosed(string)
// later on
raise(InputClosed("The stream has closed!"))

Catching JS Exceptions

To distinguish between JavaScript exceptions and ReScript exceptions, ReScript namespaces JS exceptions under the Js.Exn.Error(payload) variant. To catch an exception thrown from the JS side:

Throw an exception from JS:

// Example.js exports.someJsFunctionThatThrows = () => { throw new Error("A Glitch in the Matrix!"); }

Then catch it from ReScript:

// import the method in Example.js @module("./Example") external someJsFunctionThatThrows: () => unit = "someJsFunctionThatThrows" try { // call the external method someJSFunctionThatThrows() } catch { | Js.Exn.Error(obj) => switch Js.Exn.message(obj) { | Some(m) => Console.log("Caught a JS exception! Message: " ++ m) | None => () } }

The obj here is of type Js.Exn.t, intentionally opaque to disallow illegal operations. To operate on obj, do like the code above by using the standard library's Js.Exn module's helpers.

Raise a JS Exception

raise(MyException) raises a ReScript exception. To raise a JavaScript exception (whatever your purpose is), use Js.Exn.raiseError:

ReScriptJS Output
let myTest = () => {

Then you can catch it from the JS side:

// after importing `myTest`... try { myTest() } catch (e) { console.log(e.message) // "Hello!" }

Catch ReScript Exceptions from JS

The previous section is less useful than you think; to let your JS code work with your exception-throwing ReScript code, the latter doesn't actually need to throw a JS exception. ReScript exceptions can be used by JS code!

ReScriptJS Output
exception BadArgument({myMessage: string})

let myTest = () => {
  raise(BadArgument({myMessage: "Oops!"}))

Then, in your JS:

// after importing `myTest`... try { myTest() } catch (e) { console.log(e.myMessage) // "Oops!" console.log(e.Error.stack) // the stack trace }

Note: RE_EXN_ID is an internal field for bookkeeping purposes. Don't use it on the JS side. Use the other fields.

The above BadArgument exception takes an inline record type. We special-case compile the exception as {RE_EXN_ID, myMessage, Error} for good ergonomics. If the exception instead took ordinary positional arguments, l like the standard library's Invalid_argument("Oops!"), which takes a single argument, the argument is compiled to JS as the field _1 instead. A second positional argument would compile to _2, etc.

Tips & Tricks

When you have ordinary variants, you often don't need exceptions. For example, instead of throwing when item can't be found in a collection, try to return an option<item> (None in this case) instead.

Catch Both ReScript and JS Exceptions in the Same catch Clause

try { someOtherJSFunctionThatThrows() } catch { | Not_found => ... // catch a ReScript exception | Invalid_argument(_) => ... // catch a second ReScript exception | Js.Exn.Error(obj) => ... // catch the JS exception }

This technically works, but hopefully you don't ever have to work with such code...