Skip to content


Kdb+ supports error trapping of functions (also called protected evaluation) to handle exceptions gracefully. It allows developers to specify default values or log errors in case an operation fails. However a limitation of this approach is that it can make debugging an issue more difficult, especially where there are multiple nested functions. The error might be logged but the user can’t locate in the stack where the operation failed.

KX Control provides a set of APIs to support different modes of error trapping. The Trapping module is described in the Process Template API and implements error trapping with configurable modes. The trapping function is .trp.execute, which takes a statement to evaluate, and an error expression used in case of a failure.

mode effect
Trapped Evaluates error expression in case of a failure
Debug No protected evaluation used. If a terminal is attached to the process and error trapping (-e 1) is enabled, the session will enter debug mode and developer can examine the stack. Error expression is unused
Stack trace Evaluates the error expression and prints a stack trace.

The stack-trace mode uses stack-trace functionality introduced in kdb+ V3.5. This should give an indication of where an error occurred, including a caret pointing at the exact operation that failed.


q).trp.execute[(`g; 50; 100); {-1"Error executing: ",x; 0n}]

q).trp.execute[(`g; `50; 100); {-1"Error executing: ",x; 0n}]
<->2017.09.11D15:04:17.924 ### Trap         ### warn.. ### (23414): Error during execution, printing stack trace ###
  [4]  /home/dcore/test.q:1: f:{100*x%y}
  [3]  /home/dcore/test.q:2: g:{f[x;y]}
  [2]  (.Q.trp)

  [1]  /home/dcore/core/svn/control/shared/q/utils.q:2276: .trp.i.executeTrace:
  res:.Q.trp[value; statement; i.catch[catch]]
  [0]  .trp.execute[(`g; `50; 100); {-1"Error executing: ",x; 0n}]

Error executing: type

OEM example

For OEM customers, the stack trace will show function names but no source code or failing operations.

.trp.execute[(`g; `50; 100); {-1"Error executing: ",x; 0n}]
<->2017.09.11D14:59:52.957 ### Trap         ### warn.. ### (23204): Error during execution, printing stack trace ###
  [4]  (f)

  [3]  (g)

  [2]  (.Q.trp)

  [1]  (.trp.i.executeTrace)

  [0]  .trp.execute[(`g; `50; 100); {-1"Error executing: ",x; 0n}]

Error executing: type
Stack traces can also be printed by setting the error-trap mode to 2 (-e 2). If an async call to a process fails in this mode, the stack trace will be printed to the screen.

Back to top