c++ exception : throwing std::string


I would like to throw an exception when my C++ methods encounter something weird and can't recover. Is it OK to throw a std::string pointer?

Here's what I was looking forward to doing:

void Foo::Bar() {
    if(!QueryPerformanceTimer(&m_baz)) {
        throw new std::string("it's the end of the world!");

void Foo::Caller() {
    try {
        this->Bar(); // should throw
    catch(std::string *caught) { // not quite sure the syntax is OK here...
        std::cout << "Got " << caught << std::endl;
8/21/2015 10:10:29 AM

Accepted Answer

Yes. std::exception is the base exception class in the C++ standard library. You may want to avoid using strings as exception classes because they themselves can throw an exception during use. If that happens, then where will you be?

boost has an excellent document on good style for exceptions and error handling. It's worth a read.

10/20/2012 9:18:22 PM

A few principles:

  1. you have a std::exception base class, you should have your exceptions derive from it. That way general exception handler still have some information.

  2. Don't throw pointers but object, that way memory is handled for you.


struct MyException : public std::exception
   std::string s;
   MyException(std::string ss) : s(ss) {}
   ~MyException() throw () {} // Updated
   const char* what() const throw() { return s.c_str(); }

And then use it in your code:

void Foo::Bar(){
    throw MyException("it's the end of the world!");

void Foo::Caller(){
    this->Bar();// should throw
  }catch(MyException& caught){
    std::cout<<"Got "<<caught.what()<<std::endl;

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