Global Error handling in Flash Player 10.1

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

A few years back I had the need to write a global exception management framework in order to provide a means from which unhandled errors could be handled gracefully throughout an application. Initially, I assumed there must be a listener available which could be added to SystemManager or Application, and from there all unhandled errors could be caught; however, after spending many hours trying to find a solution, it seemed this wasn’t possible to achieve in the Flash Player API at the time.

Just recently I found myself once again in need of such an API, and thought there may be something new in Flash Player 10 that I wasn’t aware of. However, as it turns out the only thing I was able to find actually happened to be in the Adobe Bug database; specifically, issue FP-444. It was then that I referenced the feature set for the next revision of Flash Player – version 10.1, and learned that in addition to many other significant new enhancements Flash Player 10.1 will finally introduce the ability to manage exceptions globally!

This is an invaluable feature for all Flash based applications as it will allow for the ability to add a global listener from which you can catch any and all uncaught RTEs. The ability to provide a global exception management mechanism will undoubtedly improve Flash applications significantly as uncaught RTEs can then be handled gracefully by responding to the user accordingly.

This may be one of those new features that isn’t necessarily the main focal point in marketing campaigns. However, it is APIs like this that make life for developers (and QA) much easier and, equally as important, ultimateky have huge payoffs for users.

Coincidentally, this also just so happens to coincide with an open source Exception Framework I am planning to release. The framework will provide a foundation from which more robust exceptions can be defined (in comparison to the generic Error class), as well as common exception types which implement the framework. So if you are interested, check back soon as I plan to publish the framework this month.

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