TIP #337: Make TclBackgroundException() Public

Title:Make TclBackgroundException() Public
Version:$Revision: 1.6 $
Author:Don Porter <dgp at users dot sf dot net>
Created:Tuesday, 21 October 2008


This TIP proposes to make the TclBackgroundException routine available in the public interface so that extensions may notify Tcl about all return codes that occur during background operations.


When background operations in Tcl result in a non-TCL_OK return code, it has been recommended practice to call Tcl_BackgroundError() so that Tcl can arrange for background error handlers to react to the exceptional situation. The prototype of that routine is:

void Tcl_BackgroundError(Tcl_Interp *interp)

In Tcl 8.5, the new interp bgerror command permits registration of handlers that receive the full return options dictionary as an argument TIP #221. This means that such handlers can respond differently to different exceptions. At the same time a new internal routine TclBackgroundException with prototype:

void TclBackgroundException(Tcl_Interp *interp, int code)

and the implementation of Tcl_BackgroundError became:

void Tcl_BackgroundError(Tcl_Interp *interp) {
    TclBackgroundException(interp, TCL_ERROR);

The new TclBackgroundException routine is a more general routine suitable for announcing any exceptional code returned by background operations, not limited to TCL_ERROR like Tcl_BackgroundError has been. The new TclBackgroundException routine is used throughout the internal portions of Tcl so that full exception information gets reliably passed through to background exception handlers, when the background processing is governed by things which are built in to Tcl, such as after and chan event.

The oversight of TIP #221 was not proposing to make TclBackgroundException public at the same time, so that extensions which govern background operations, notably Tk, have access to the same full expressive power.


Rename the internal routine TclBackgroundException to Tcl_BackgroundException and place it in the public stubs table.

Apply Tk Patch 1789752 [1] to make use of the new facility.


No compatibility concerns from a new public routine.


This document has been placed in the public domain.

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