A cross-browser JavaScript error handling micro-framework.
Latest commit a6f6793 Sep 14, 2011 @jefferyto upgraded to jquery 1.6.4



A cross-browser JavaScript error handling micro-framework.


Error handling?

It seems like almost anything can happen in the user's browser, for example:

To catch these runtime errors, most would suggest setting window.onerror to an error handling and/or reporting function, though there are issues with this approach:

  • While browser support for window.onerror is good (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome 10+, Safari 5.1+, iOS 5+), it is not perfect. Most notably, window.onerror isn't supported in Opera and older WebKit-based browsers.

  • A window.onerror handler does not have access to the Error object. Some browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Opera 9+) include a stack trace on the Error object and so the handler isn't able to access this information.

Hello Glitch

Rather than relying on window.onerror, Glitch wraps functions in a try / catch block to catch errors. Error listeners can be registered with Glitch, which are called when an error occurs and passed the Error object or value that was thrown.

Which functions to wrap

jQuery plugin

Glitch also assigns a listener to window.onerror so that uncaught errors are also handled, although this is effective only in browsers that support window.onerror.

Based on ideas from the Cozi Tech Blog

Getting started

Using Glitch directly

  1. Include Glitch in your HTML:

    <script src="glitch.min.js"></script>
  2. Wrap your functions so that Glitch can catch any errors:

    • Event handlers (including Ajax handlers): Use Glitch.wrap() to wrap your handlers:

      window.onload = Glitch.wrap( function() {
          document.body.onclick = Glitch.wrap( function() {
              alert( "Why did you click my body?" );
          } );
      } );
    • Functions called asynchronously with window.setTimeout() or window.setInterval(): Use Glitch.wrap() to wrap your functions or use Glitch.setTimeout() and Glitch.setInterval() to save some typing:

      Glitch.setTimeout( function() {
          alert( "I hope you haven't been waiting for too long" );
      }, 5000 );
    • "Top-level / main" functions: Use Glitch.wrap() to wrap your top-level functions or use Glitch() to wrap immediate / self-executing functions:

      Glitch( function() {
          var my_private_variable = "I'm inside a closure!";
      } );
  3. Add an error handler with Glitch.bind() to do something (send an error report to your server, show a message to the user, etc.) if an error occurs:

    Glitch.bind( function( error ) {
        alert( "Oops, that wasn't support to happen (-_-;)" );
    } );

Using Glitch with jQuery


Glitch adds one object to the global namespace, Glitch, with a number of methods:

  • Glitch.wrap( function )

  • Glitch.bind( function(error) )

    Attach a handler to the error event. If an error occurs, the given function is called with the thrown Error object or value.

    If the handler returns false, the error will not be reported to the browser ("prevent default"). (To prevent all errors from reaching the browser, use Glitch.mute().)

    Returns the Glitch object.

  • Glitch.unbind( [function(error)] )

    Remove a previously-attached handler. If called with no arguments, all handlers are removed.

    Returns the Glitch object.

  • Glitch.trigger( error )

  • Glitch.setTimeout( function, delay )

    Convenience method that wraps the given function (with Glitch.wrap()) and calls window.setTimeout().

    Returns the timeout ID from window.setTimeout().

  • Glitch.setInterval( function, delay )

    Convenience method that wraps the given function (see Glitch.wrap()) and calls window.setInterval().

    Returns the timeout ID from window.setInterval().

  • Glitch.mute()

    Prevent all errors from being reported to the browser. Best used in production code so that the browser does not prompt the end user with error messages.

    Returns the Glitch object.

  • Glitch.unmute()

    Allow errors to be reported to the browser. (This is the default.) Error handlers can still prevent errors from reaching the browser by returning false.

    Returns the Glitch object.

  • Glitch.noConflict( [removeAll] )

    Restore window.Glitch to its original value, before we took it over. If called with true, window.onerror is also restored; this stops Glitch from handling uncaught errors in browsers that support window.onerror.

    Returns the Glitch object.

Glitch is also a function:

  • Glitch( function, [parameters] )

    Wrap (see Glitch.wrap()) and call the given function. Arguments for the function can be passed in the parameters array.

    This is primarily a convenience function to wrap immediate / self-executing functions. For example, we can wrap this immediate function:

    (function( $ ) {
        $.fn.awesomePlugin = function() { ... };
    })( jQuery );

    with Glitch.wrap():

    Glitch.wrap(function( $ ) {
        $.fn.awesomePlugin = function() { ... };
    })( jQuery );

    or we can use Glitch() directly:

    Glitch(function( $ ) {
        $.fn.awesomePlugin = function() { ... };
    }, [ jQuery ] );

    Returns the value (if any) returned by the given function.

Plugins for other libraries

jQuery plugin requires jQuery 1.3 or above

Ideas for features

  • Cross browser stack trace
  • Integrate with Google Analytics event tracking
  • Resolve traditional (return true) vs html5 (return false)


Copyright 2011, Jeffery To
Dual licensed under the MIT or GPL Version 2 licenses.