Rust’s commitment to reliability extends to error handling. Errors are a fact of life in software, so Rust has a number of features for handling situations in which something goes wrong. In many cases, Rust requires you to acknowledge the possibility of an error and take some action before your code will compile. This requirement makes your program more robust by ensuring that you’ll discover errors and handle them appropriately before you’ve deployed your code to production!
Rust groups errors into two major categories: recoverable and unrecoverable errors. For a recoverable error, such as a file not found error, it’s reasonable to report the problem to the user and retry the operation. Unrecoverable errors are always symptoms of bugs, like trying to access a location beyond the end of an array.
Most languages don’t distinguish between these two kinds of errors and handle
both in the same way, using mechanisms such as exceptions. Rust doesn’t have
exceptions. Instead, it has the type
Result<T, E> for recoverable errors and
panic! macro that stops execution when the program encounters an
unrecoverable error. This chapter covers calling
panic! first and then talks
Result<T, E> values. Additionally, we’ll explore
considerations when deciding whether to try to recover from an error or to stop