Break promise chain and call a function based on the step in the chain where it is broken (rejected)

Update:

To help future viewers of this post, I created this demo of pluma's answer.

Question:

My goal seems fairly straightforward.

  step(1)
  .then(function() {
    return step(2);
  }, function() {
    stepError(1);
    return $q.reject();
  })
  .then(function() {

  }, function() {
    stepError(2);
  });

  function step(n) {
    var deferred = $q.defer();
    //fail on step 1
    (n === 1) ? deferred.reject() : deferred.resolve();
    return deferred.promise;
  }
  function stepError(n) {
    console.log(n); 
  }

The problem here is that if I fail on step 1, both stepError(1) AND stepError(2) are fired. If I don't return $q.reject then stepError(2) won't be fired, but step(2) will, which I understand. I've accomplished everything except what I'm trying to do.

How do I write promises so that I can call a function on rejection, without calling all of the functions in the error chain? Or is there another way to accomplish this?

Here's a live demo so you've got something work with.

Update:

I kind of have solved it. Here, I am catching the error at the end of the chain and passing the data to reject(data) so that I will know what issue to handle in the error function. This actually doesn't meet my requirements because I don't want to depend on the data. It would be lame, but in my case it would be cleaner to pass an error callback to the function rather than to depend on the returned data to determine what to do.

Live demo here (click).

step(1)
  .then(function() {
    return step(2);
  })
  .then(function() {
    return step(3);
  })
  .then(false, 
    function(x) {
      stepError(x);
    }
  );
  function step(n) {
    console.log('Step '+n);
    var deferred = $q.defer();
    (n === 1) ? deferred.reject(n) : deferred.resolve(n);
    return deferred.promise;
  }
  function stepError(n) {
    console.log('Error '+n); 
  }

Answers:

Answer

The reason your code doesn't work as expected is that it's actually doing something different from what you think it does.

Let's say you have something like the following:

stepOne()
.then(stepTwo, handleErrorOne)
.then(stepThree, handleErrorTwo)
.then(null, handleErrorThree);

To better understand what's happening, let's pretend this is synchronous code with try/catch blocks:

try {
    try {
        try {
            var a = stepOne();
        } catch(e1) {
            a = handleErrorOne(e1);
        }
        var b = stepTwo(a);
    } catch(e2) {
        b = handleErrorTwo(e2);
    }
    var c = stepThree(b);
} catch(e3) {
    c = handleErrorThree(e3);
}

The onRejected handler (the second argument of then) is essentially an error correction mechanism (like a catch block). If an error is thrown in handleErrorOne, it will be caught by the next catch block (catch(e2)), and so on.

This is obviously not what you intended.

Let's say we want the entire resolution chain to fail no matter what goes wrong:

stepOne()
.then(function(a) {
    return stepTwo(a).then(null, handleErrorTwo);
}, handleErrorOne)
.then(function(b) {
    return stepThree(b).then(null, handleErrorThree);
});

Note: We can leave the handleErrorOne where it is, because it will only be invoked if stepOne rejects (it's the first function in the chain, so we know that if the chain is rejected at this point, it can only be because of that function's promise).

The important change is that the error handlers for the other functions are not part of the main promise chain. Instead, each step has its own "sub-chain" with an onRejected that is only called if the step was rejected (but can not be reached by the main chain directly).

The reason this works is that both onFulfilled and onRejected are optional arguments to the then method. If a promise is fulfilled (i.e. resolved) and the next then in the chain doesn't have an onFulfilled handler, the chain will continue until there is one with such a handler.

This means the following two lines are equivalent:

stepOne().then(stepTwo, handleErrorOne)
stepOne().then(null, handleErrorOne).then(stepTwo)

But the following line is not equivalent to the two above:

stepOne().then(stepTwo).then(null, handleErrorOne)

Angular's promise library $q is based on kriskowal's Q library (which has a richer API, but contains everything you can find in $q). Q's API docs on GitHub could prove useful. Q implements the Promises/A+ spec, which goes into detail on how then and the promise resolution behaviour works exactly.

EDIT:

Also keep in mind that if you want to break out of the chain in your error handler, it needs to return a rejected promise or throw an Error (which will be caught and wrapped in a rejected promise automatically). If you don't return a promise, then wraps the return value in a resolve promise for you.

This means that if you don't return anything, you are effectively returning a resolved promise for the value undefined.

Answer

What you need is a repeating .then() chain with a special case to start and a special case to finish.

The knack is to get the step number of the failure case to ripple through to a final error handler.

  • Start: call step(1) unconditionally.
  • Repeating pattern: chain a .then() with the following callbacks:
    • success: call step(n+1)
    • failure: throw the value with which the previous deferered was rejected or rethrow the error.
  • Finish: chain a .then() with no success handler and a final error handler.

You can write the whole thing out longhand but it's easier to demonstrate the pattern with named, generalised functions :

function nextStep(n) {
    return step(n + 1);
}

function step(n) {
    console.log('step ' + n);
    var deferred = $q.defer();
    (n === 3) ? deferred.reject(n) : deferred.resolve(n);
    return deferred.promise;
}

function stepError(n) {
    throw(n);
}

function finalError(n) {
    console.log('finalError ' + n);
}
step(1)
    .then(nextStep, stepError)
    .then(nextStep, stepError)
    .then(nextStep, stepError)
    .then(nextStep, stepError)
    .then(nextStep, stepError)
    .then(null, finalError);});

see demo

Note how in step(), the deferred is rejected or resolved with n, thus making that value available to the callbacks in the next .then() in the chain. Once stepError is called, the error is repeatedly rethrown until it is handled by finalError.

Answer

When rejecting you should pass an rejection error, then wrap step error handlers in a function that checks whether the rejection should be processed or "rethrown" until the end of the chain :

// function mocking steps
function step(i) {
    i++;
    console.log('step', i);
    return q.resolve(i);
}

// function mocking a failing step
function failingStep(i) {
    i++;
    console.log('step '+ i + ' (will fail)');
    var e = new Error('Failed on step ' + i);
    e.step = i;
    return q.reject(e);
}

// error handler
function handleError(e){
    if (error.breakChain) {
        // handleError has already been called on this error
        // (see code bellow)
        log('errorHandler: skip handling');
        return q.reject(error);
    }
    // firs time this error is past to the handler
    console.error('errorHandler: caught error ' + error.message);
    // process the error 
    // ...
    //
    error.breakChain = true;
    return q.reject(error);
}

// run the steps, will fail on step 4
// and not run step 5 and 6
// note that handleError of step 5 will be called
// but since we use that error.breakChain boolean
// no processing will happen and the error will
// continue through the rejection path until done(,)

  step(0) // 1
  .catch(handleError)
  .then(step) // 2
  .catch(handleError)
  .then(step) // 3
  .catch(handleError)
  .then(failingStep)  // 4 fail
  .catch(handleError)
  .then(step) // 5
  .catch(handleError)
  .then(step) // 6
  .catch(handleError)
  .done(function(){
      log('success arguments', arguments);
  }, function (error) {
      log('Done, chain broke at step ' + error.step);
  });

What you'd see on the console :

step 1
step 2
step 3
step 4 (will fail)
errorHandler: caught error 'Failed on step 4'
errorHandler: skip handling
errorHandler: skip handling
Done, chain broke at step 4

Here is some working code https://jsfiddle.net/8hzg5s7m/3/

If you have specific handling for each step, your wrapper could be something like:

/*
 * simple wrapper to check if rejection
 * has already been handled
 * @param function real error handler
 */
function createHandler(realHandler) {
    return function(error) {
        if (error.breakChain) {
            return q.reject(error);
        }
        realHandler(error);
        error.breakChain = true;
        return q.reject(error);    
    }
}

then your chain

step1()
.catch(createHandler(handleError1Fn))
.then(step2)
.catch(createHandler(handleError2Fn))
.then(step3)
.catch(createHandler(handleError3Fn))
.done(function(){
    log('success');
}, function (error) {
    log('Done, chain broke at step ' + error.step);
});
Answer
var s = 1;
start()
.then(function(){
    return step(s++);
})
.then(function() {
    return step(s++);
})
.then(function() {
    return step(s++);
})
.then(0, function(e){
   console.log(s-1); 
});

http://jsbin.com/EpaZIsIp/20/edit

Or automated for any number of steps:

var promise = start();
var s = 1;
var l = 3;
while(l--) {
    promise = promise.then(function() {
        return step(s++);
    });
}
promise.then(0, function(e){
   console.log(s-1); 
});

http://jsbin.com/EpaZIsIp/21/edit

Answer

If you want to solve this issue using async/await:

(async function(){    
    try {        
        const response1, response2, response3
        response1 = await promise1()

        if(response1){
            response2 = await promise2()
        }
        if(response2){
            response3 = await promise3()
        }
        return [response1, response2, response3]
    } catch (error) {
        return []
    }

})()
Answer

Attach error handlers as separate chain elements directly to the execution of the steps:

        // Handle errors for step(1)
step(1).then(null, function() { stepError(1); return $q.reject(); })
.then(function() {
                 // Attach error handler for step(2),
                 // but only if step(2) is actually executed
  return step(2).then(null, function() { stepError(2); return $q.reject(); });
})
.then(function() {
                 // Attach error handler for step(3),
                 // but only if step(3) is actually executed
  return step(3).then(null, function() { stepError(3); return $q.reject(); });
});

or using catch():

       // Handle errors for step(1)
step(1).catch(function() { stepError(1); return $q.reject(); })
.then(function() {
                 // Attach error handler for step(2),
                 // but only if step(2) is actually executed
  return step(2).catch(function() { stepError(2); return $q.reject(); });
})
.then(function() {
                 // Attach error handler for step(3),
                 // but only if step(3) is actually executed
  return step(3).catch(function() { stepError(3); return $q.reject(); });
});

Note: This is basically the same pattern as pluma suggests in his answer but using the OP's naming.

Answer

Try ro use this like libs:

https://www.npmjs.com/package/promise-chain-break

    db.getData()
.then(pb((data) => {
    if (!data.someCheck()) {
        tellSomeone();

        // All other '.then' calls will be skiped
        return pb.BREAK;
    }
}))
.then(pb(() => {
}))
.then(pb(() => {
}))
.catch((error) => {
    console.error(error);
});
Answer

Use a SequentialPromise Module

Intention

Provide a module whose responsibility is to execute requests sequentially, while tracking the current index of each operation in an ordinal manner. Define the operation in a Command Pattern for flexibility.

Participants

  • Context: The object whose member method performs an operation.
  • SequentialPromise: Defines an execute method to chain & track each operation. SequentialPromise returns a Promise-Chain from all operations performed.
  • Invoker: Creates a SequentialPromise instance, providing it context & action, and calls its execute method while passing in an ordinal list of options for each operation.

Consequences

Use SequentialPromise when ordinal behavior of Promise resolution is needed. SequentialPromise will track the index for which a Promise was rejected.

Implementation

clear();

var http = {
    get(url) {
        var delay = Math.floor( Math.random() * 10 ), even = !(delay % 2);
        var xhr = new Promise(exe);

        console.log(`REQUEST`, url, delay);
        xhr.then( (data) => console.log(`SUCCESS: `, data) ).catch( (data) => console.log(`FAILURE: `, data) );

        function exe(resolve, reject) {
            var action = { 'true': reject, 'false': resolve }[ even ];
            setTimeout( () => action({ url, delay }), (1000 * delay) );
        }

        return xhr;
    }
};

var SequentialPromise = new (function SequentialPromise() {
    var PRIVATE = this;

    return class SequentialPromise {

        constructor(context, action) {
            this.index = 0;
            this.requests = [ ];
            this.context = context;
            this.action = action;

            return this;
        }

        log() {}

        execute(url, ...more) {
            var { context, action, requests } = this;
            var chain = context[action](url);

            requests.push(chain);
            chain.then( (data) => this.index += 1 );

            if (more.length) return chain.then( () => this.execute(...more) );
            return chain;
        }

    };
})();

var sequence = new SequentialPromise(http, 'get');
var urls = [
    'url/name/space/0',
    'url/name/space/1',
    'url/name/space/2',
    'url/name/space/3',
    'url/name/space/4',
    'url/name/space/5',
    'url/name/space/6',
    'url/name/space/7',
    'url/name/space/8',
    'url/name/space/9'
];
var chain = sequence.execute(...urls);
var promises = sequence.requests;

chain.catch( () => console.warn(`EXECUTION STOPPED at ${sequence.index} for ${urls[sequence.index]}`) );

// console.log('>', chain, promises);

Gist

SequentialPromise

Answer

If at any point you return Promise.reject('something') you will be thrown in the catch block ot the promise.

promiseOne
.then(result => {
if (!result) {
return Promise.reject('No result');
}
return;
})
.catch(err => {
console.log(err);
})

If the first promise does not return any result you will only get 'No result' in the console.

Answer

Bit late to the party but this simple solution worked for me:

function chainError(err) {
  return Promise.reject(err)
};

stepOne()
.then(stepTwo, chainError)
.then(stepThreee, chainError);

This allows you to break out of the chain.

Answer

If I understand correctly, you want only the error for the failing step to show, right?

That should be as simple as changing the failure case of the first promise to this:

step(1).then(function (response) {
    step(2);
}, function (response) {
    stepError(1);
    return response;
}).then( ... )

By returning $q.reject() in the first step's failure case, you're rejecting that promise, which causes the errorCallback to be called in the 2nd then(...).

Answer

Found Promise.prototype.catch() examples on MDN below very helpful.

(The accepted answer mentions then(null, onErrorHandler) which is basically the same as catch(onErrorHandler).)

Using and chaining the catch method

var p1 = new Promise(function(resolve, reject) {
  resolve('Success');
});

p1.then(function(value) {
  console.log(value); // "Success!"
  throw 'oh, no!';
}).catch(function(e) {
  console.log(e); // "oh, no!"
}).then(function(){
  console.log('after a catch the chain is restored');
}, function () {
  console.log('Not fired due to the catch');
});

// The following behaves the same as above
p1.then(function(value) {
  console.log(value); // "Success!"
  return Promise.reject('oh, no!');
}).catch(function(e) {
  console.log(e); // "oh, no!"
}).then(function(){
  console.log('after a catch the chain is restored');
}, function () {
  console.log('Not fired due to the catch');
});

Gotchas when throwing errors

// Throwing an error will call the catch method most of the time
var p1 = new Promise(function(resolve, reject) {
  throw 'Uh-oh!';
});

p1.catch(function(e) {
  console.log(e); // "Uh-oh!"
});

// Errors thrown inside asynchronous functions will act like uncaught errors
var p2 = new Promise(function(resolve, reject) {
  setTimeout(function() {
    throw 'Uncaught Exception!';
  }, 1000);
});

p2.catch(function(e) {
  console.log(e); // This is never called
});

// Errors thrown after resolve is called will be silenced
var p3 = new Promise(function(resolve, reject) {
  resolve();
  throw 'Silenced Exception!';
});

p3.catch(function(e) {
   console.log(e); // This is never called
});

If it is resolved

//Create a promise which would not call onReject
var p1 = Promise.resolve("calling next");

var p2 = p1.catch(function (reason) {
    //This is never called
    console.log("catch p1!");
    console.log(reason);
});

p2.then(function (value) {
    console.log("next promise's onFulfilled"); /* next promise's onFulfilled */
    console.log(value); /* calling next */
}, function (reason) {
    console.log("next promise's onRejected");
    console.log(reason);
});
Answer

The best solution is to refactor to your promise chain to use ES6 await's. Then you can just return from the function to skip the rest of the behavior.

I have been hitting my head against this pattern for over a year and using await's is heaven.

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