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Error Handling

I am error.

Syntax Errors

The first errors you are likely to run into are syntax errors. These include simple bugs where your code doesn't following Ghost's grammar, like:

1 + * 2

Ghost detects these errors as soon as it tries to read your code. When it hits one, you get a friendly error message, like:

[line 1] Error at '*': Expect expression.

Some slightly more "semantic" errors fall into this bucket too, like using a variable that hasn't been defined:


Ghost tells you:

1:7:repl.ghost: runtime error: unknown identifier: message

Note that it does this before it executes any code. Unlike some other scripting languages, Ghost tries to help you find your errors as soon as possible when it can.

If it starts running your code, you can be sure you don't have any errors related to syntax or variable scope.

Runtime Errors

There is one more round of errors that Ghost will emit. Your program may still have errors that can't be detected statically. Since they can't be found until your code is run, they're called "runtime" errors.

Most runtime errors come from the evaluation of your code itself. They arise from code trying to perform an operation that Ghost can't do. The most common error is a "method not found" one. If you call a method on an object and its class doesn't define that method, there's nothing Ghost can do:

class Foo
    function bar()

foo =


If you run this, Ghost will print:

1:4:repl.ghost: runtime error: undefined method someRandomMethod for class Foo

Then it stops executing code. Unlike some other languages, Ghost will not keep plugging away after a runtime error has occured.

This is just one example of a runtime error, but there are others. A runtime error implies there's a bug in your code and it wants to draw your attention to it.

Creating Runtime Errors

Most runtime errors come from within the Ghost evaluator, but you may want to be able to cause your own runtime errors to occur. This can be done by calling the ghost.abort() function:

ghost.abort("Something bad happened")

You must pass in an error message, and it must be a string. If the provided message is null, no runtime error is raised.