Python Exceptions

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Exception Overview

Exception handling is a concept used in Python to handle the exceptions and errors that occur during the execution of any program. Exceptions are unexpected errors that can occur during code execution. 

Well, yes, exception occur, there can be errors in your code, but why should we invest time in handling exceptions?

The answer to this question is to improve User Experience. When an exception occurs, following things happen:

  • Program execution abruptly stops.
  • The complete exception message along with the file name and line number of code is printed on console.
  • All the calculations and operations performed till that point in code are lost.

Now think that one day you are using codeshunger website, you click on some link to open a tutorial, which, for some unknown reason, leads to some exception. If we haven’t handled the exceptions then you will see exception message while the webpage is also not loaded. Will you like that?

Hence, exception handling is very important to handle errors gracefully and displaying appropriate message to inform the user about the malfunctioning.

Handling Exceptions using try and except

For handling exceptions in Python we use two types of blocks, namely, try block and except block.

In the try block, we write the code in which there are chances of any error or exception to occur.

Whereas the except block is responsible for catching the exception and executing the statements specified inside it.

				
					# try block
try:
    a = 10
    b = 0
    print("Result of Division: " + str(a/b))
except:
    print("You have divided a number by zero, which is not allowed.")

				
			

Code Execution continues after except block

Another important point to note here is that code execution is interrupted in the try block when an exception occurs, and the code statements inside the try block after the line which caused the exception are not executed. The execution then jumps into the except block. And after the execution of the code statements inside the except block the code statements after it are executed, just like any other normal execution. Let’s take an example:
				
					# try block
try:
    a = 10
    b = 0
    print("Result of Division: " + str(a/b))
    print("No! This line will not be executed.")
except:
    print("You have divided a number by zero, which is not allowed.")

# outside the try-except blocks
print("Yo! This line will be executed.")

				
			

Catching Multiple Exceptions in Python

There are multiple ways to accomplish this. Either we can have multiple except blocks with each one handling a specific exception class or we can handle multiple exception classes in a single except block. Multiple except blocks If you think your code may generate different exceptions in different situations and you want to handle those exceptions individually, then you can have multiple except blocks. Mostly exceptions occur when user inputs are involved. So let’s take a simple example where we will ask user for two numbers to perform division operation on them and show them the result. We will try to handle multiple possible exception cases using multiple except blocks.
				
					# try block
try:
    a = int(input("Enter numerator number: "))
    b = int(input("Enter denominator number: "))
    print("Result of Division: " + str(a/b))
# except block handling division by zero
except(ZeroDivisionError):
    print("You have divided a number by zero, which is not allowed.")
# except block handling wrong value type
except(ValueError):
    print("You must enter integer value")
				
			

Try running the above code, provide 0 as value for the denominator and see what happens and then provide some string(non-integer) value for any variable. We have handled both the cases in the above code.

Handling Multiple Exceptions with on except block

As you can see in the above example we printed different messages based on what exception occured. If you do not have such requirements where you need to handle different exception individually, you can catch a set of exceptions in a single exception block as well. Here is above the above code with a single except block:
				
					# try block
try:
    a = int(input("Enter numerator number: "))
    b = int(input("Enter denominator number: "))
    print("Result of Division: " + str(a/b))
# except block handling division by zero
except(ValueError, ZeroDivisionError):
    print("Please check the input value: It should be an integer greater than 0")

				
			

Generic except block to Handle unknown Exceptions

Although we do try to make our code error free by testing it and using exception handling but there can be some error situation which we might have missed.

So when we use except blocks to handle specific exception classes we should always have a generic except block at the end to handle any runtime excpetions(surprise events).

				
					# try block
try:
    a = int(input("Enter numerator number: "))
    b = int(input("Enter denominator number: "))
    print("Result of Division: " + str(a/b))
# except block handling division by zero
except(ZeroDivisionError):
    print("You have divided a number by zero, which is not allowed.")
# except block handling wrong value type
except(ValueError):
    print("You must enter integer value")
# generic except block
except:
    print("Oops! Something went wrong!")

				
			

In the code above the first except block will handle the ZeroDivisionError, second except block will handle the ValueError and for any other exception that might occur we have the third except block.

Python finally

The finally code block is also a part of exception handling. When we handle exception using the try and except block, we can include a finally block at the end. The finally block is always executed, so it is generally used for doing the concluding tasks like closing file resources or closing database connection or may be ending the program execution with a delightful message.
				
					# try block
try:
    a = int(input("Enter numerator number: "))
    b = int(input("Enter denominator number: "))
    print("Result of Division: " + str(a/b))
# except block handling division by zero
except(ZeroDivisionError):
    print("You have divided a number by zero, which is not allowed.")
finally:
    print("Code execution Wrap up!")
    
# outside the try-except block
print("Will this get printed?")
				
			

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