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Tiny JavaScript library that simplifies subclassing and inheriting from Error while keeping the correct name and stack. Also supports constructing from an object of properties. Saves you from boilerplate.

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![NPM version][npm-badge] [npm-badge]:

StandardError.js is a tiny JavaScript library that simplifies creating subclasses of Error for custom error classes with the correct name and stack property. Saves you from writing a few lines of boilerplate.


  • Create custom error classes and add new behavior to them while keeping the standard Error behavior in tact.
  • Add extra properties to the error by just passing in an object.
  • StandardError.js sets the error's stack trace correctly, even if your error class subclasses/inherits from StandardError.
    Just inheriting from Error with Object.create breaks the stack trace.
  • Every StandardError instance is also an instance of Error.
  • Serializes all expected properties when passing it to JSON.stringify.
    Did you know that the default Error object serializes to an empty object ({})?
  • Works both in Node.js and browsers and sets the stack trace via Error.captureStackTrace where available.


npm install standard-error


Just require StandardError.js and either use it directly or inherit from it for your custom error class.

Throwing StandardError

Like Error, StandardError takes a message argument, but in addition to that, you may give it an object with other properties to be set:

var StandardError = require("standard-error")
throw new StandardError("Not Found", {code: 404})

The thrown instance of StandardError will then have both the message and the code property.
It'll also also have a name property set to "StandardError".

You can skip the explicit message argument and give everything as an object of properties:

new StandardError({message: "Not Found", code: 404})

Note: All properties besides stack will be enumerable for easier serialization with JSON.stringify. That includes the name property which will be set from the constructor's name (defaults to "StandardError").

Subclassing and inheriting from StandardError

The real benefit of StandardError.js comes from subclassing it to create new error classes and adding custom behavior to them.

Let's create an HttpError that we can instantiate with the HTTP status code (new HttpError(404)) and have it set the message automatically based on that:

var Http = require("http")
var StandardError = require("standard-error")

function HttpError(code, msg) {, msg || Http.STATUS_CODES[code], {code: code})

HttpError.prototype = Object.create(StandardError.prototype, {
  constructor: {value: HttpError, configurable: true, writable: true}

Note that you must set the constructor property like in the above example. First, that's the proper way to subclass in JavaScript and second, StandardError.js depends on that to know which functions to skip in the stack trace.


StandardError.js finds out the name ( of your subclassed error from its constructor function. However, if you minify your code, you can also set or change it explicitly: = "FallacyError"

Adding behavior to your subclass of StandardError

Now that you've inherited, you can, for example, customize stringifying by overwriting toString on your subclass. To get new HttpError(404) to print itself as 404 Not Found:

HttpError.prototype.toString = function() {
  return this.code + " " + this.message


StandardError.js is released under a Lesser GNU Affero General Public License, which in summary means:

  • You can use this program for no cost.
  • You can use this program for both personal and commercial reasons.
  • You do not have to share your own program's code which uses this program.
  • You have to share modifications (e.g. bug-fixes) you've made to this program.

For more convoluted language, see the LICENSE file.


Andri Möll typed this and the code.
Monday Calendar supported the engineering work.

If you find StandardError.js needs improving, please don't hesitate to type to me now at or create an issue online.


Tiny JavaScript library that simplifies subclassing and inheriting from Error while keeping the correct name and stack. Also supports constructing from an object of properties. Saves you from boilerplate.







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