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error(+EventId, ?Culprit)

An error or event EventId is raised and the corresponding error handler is executed
Atom, integer or structure with functor default/1.
Prolog term.


The event or error EventId with Culprit as its culprit goal is raised. EventId is either an integer error number, or an atomic event name. The error handler which is associated with EventId is invoked, with its first argument set to EventId, its second argument to Culprit, and its third argument and fourth argument are the context module in which error/2 is invoked. If the handler has less than four arguments, the extra information is lost.

This simulates an occurrence of the error EventId inside a call to Culprit. The valid error numbers are those returned by current_error/1. Event names can be any atom as long as an event handler has been defined for them.

If EventId is a structure with functor default/1, the structure's argument is taken as the error number and the default handler is executed, even if the error handler has been redefined using set_event_handler/2. This is useful for writing user error handlers.

If the event handler succeeds, possibly binding some variables inside Culprit, then error/2 succeeds as well. If the handler fails or calls throw/1, then so does error/2.


This predicate is sensitive to its module context (tool predicate, see @/2).

Fail Conditions

Fails if the handler fails


Resatisfiable if the handler is resatisfiable


(4) instantiation fault
EventId is not instantiated.
(5) type error
EventId is not an error specification.
(6) out of range
EventId is a number but not a valid error number.
(32) no handler for event
No handler is associated to EventId



   % Writing a predicate with type checking
    ?- [user].
     is_positive(N) :-
            N >= 0.
     is_positive(N) :-
            error(5, is_positive(N)).
     user compiled 244 bytes in 0.02 seconds

    ?- is_positive(a).
    type error in is_positive(a)

   % changing the behaviour of a built-in by redefining a handler
    ?- //(1,0,X).       % change this behaviour
    arithmetic exception in //(1, 0, X)

    ?- [user].        % define the new handler
     my_handler(_, //(_,_,Result)) :-
            Result = infinity.
     my_handler(Err, Goal) :-
            error(default(Err), Goal).
     user compiled 212 bytes in 0.00 seconds

    ?- set_event_handler(20, my_handler/2).

    ?- //(1,0,X).      % check if it works
    X = infinity

    ?- sqrt(-1,X).   % other culprits: as before
    arithmetic exception in sqrt(-1, _g36)

      error(N,dummy(1)).    (Error 4).
      error(5.0,dummy(1)).  (Error 5).
      error(-2,dummy(1)).   (Error 6).

See Also

error / 3, event / 1, current_error / 1, error_id / 2, get_event_handler / 3, reset_event_handler / 1, reset_error_handlers / 0, set_event_handler / 2