The effect of a try-catch-rethrow

on under c++

A try-catch-rethrow with an empty handler does more than a standard block. Here’s what I mean:

    //Some code which may throw
try {
    //Some code which may throw
} catch(...) {

Under some circumstances, these two forms are different. Specifically, the latter necessitates stack unwinding, whereas for the former it is implementation-defined whether or not the stack is unwound. The relevant standards quotes:

As control passes from a throw-expression to a handler, destructors are invoked for all automatic objects constructed since the try block was entered. The automatic objects are destroyed in the reverse order of the completion of their construction.

The process of calling destructors for automatic objects constructed on the path from a try block to a throw-expression is called “stack unwinding.” […]

The above paragraphs mandate stack unwinding when control passes to the handler (the catch block).

In some situations exception handling must be abandoned for less subtle error handling techniques. [Notes]

In such cases, std::terminate() is called (18.8.3). In the situation where no matching handler is found, it is implementation-defined whether or not the stack is unwound before std::terminate() is called. […]

As such, if you want to guarantee that your automatic objects have their destructors run in the case of an unhandled exception (e.g. some persistent storage must be mutated on destruction) then try {/*code*/} catch (...) {throw;} will do that, but {/*code*/} will not.

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