ehandling.rdoc

Path: rdoc/ehandling.rdoc
Last Update: Sun Nov 14 14:53:48 -0800 2010

Error Handling

Error codes

The GSL routines report an error whenever they cannot perform the task requested of them. For example, a root-finding function would return a non-zero error code if could not converge to the requested accuracy, or exceeded a limit on the number of iterations. Situations like this are a normal occurrence when using any mathematical library and you should check the return status of the functions that you call.

Whenever a routine reports an error the return value specifies the type of error. The return value is analogous to the value of the variable errno in the C library. The caller can examine the return code and decide what action to take, including ignoring the error if it is not considered serious.

The error code numbers in GSL as GSL_EDOM are defined in Ruby/GSL as Ruby constants under the GSL module. Here are some of them:

  • GSL::EDOM - Domain error; used by mathematical functions when an argument value does not fall into the domain over which the function is defined (like EDOM in the C library)
  • GSL::ERANGE - Range error; used by mathematical functions when the result value is not representable because of overflow or underflow (like ERANGE in the C library)
  • GSL::ENOMEM - No memory available. The system cannot allocate more virtual memory because its capacity is full (like ENOMEM in the C library). This error is reported when a GSL routine encounters problems when trying to allocate memory with malloc.
  • GSL::EINVAL - Invalid argument. This is used to indicate various kinds of problems with passing the wrong argument to a library function (like EINVAL in the C library).

Error handler

In Ruby/GSL, the default GSL error handler is replaced by an other one which calls rb_raise(). Thus whenever a GSL routine reports a fatal error, a Ruby Exception is generated.


  • GSL::set_error_handler(proc)
  • GSL::set_error_handler { |reason, file, line, errno| … }

    This replaces the Ruby/GSL default error handler by a user-defined handler given by a Proc object proc or a block.

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