C. Error Codes

It has been discussed above, that some of the PyCLIPS functions can raise a CLIPS specific exception, namely ClipsError. Some of the exceptions of this type (in fact, the ones raised by the underlying CLIPS engine and caught at the lower level), come with an error code in the accompanying text. A brief description of exceptions that arise at low level follows:

Code Description
P01 An object could not be created, due to memory issues
C01 The engine could not create a system object
C02 The referred object could not be found in subsystem
C03 An attempt was made to modify an unmodifiable object
C04 A file could not be opened
C05 The current environment could not be retrieved
C06 The engine was unable to return the required value
C07 Parse error in the passed in CLIPS file
C08 Syntax or parse error in the passed in CLIPS expression
C09 Syntax or parse error in the passed in argument
C10 Expression could not be evaluated, maybe because of syntax errors
C11 An object could not be removed from the CLIPS subsystem
C12 A fact could not be asserted, maybe because of missing deftemplate
C13 Iteration beyond last element in a list
C14 A CLIPS function has been called unsuccessfully
C15 Attempt to modify an already asserted fact was made
C16 Cannot destroy environment while it is current
C90 Other errors: specific description given
C97 The feature is present when a higher version of CLIPS is used
C98 An attempt was made to use an unimplemented feature (see below)
C99 Generic CLIPS error, last operation could not be performed
C00 Generic CLIPS error, no specific cause could be reported
S01 Attempt to access a fact that is no longer valid or has been deleted
S02 Attempt to access an instance that is no longer valid or has been deleted
S03 Clear operation on an environment has failed
S04 Attempt to access an environment that has been deleted
S05 Attempt to operate on alias of current environment
S06 Attempt to create more environments than allowed
S00 Generic internal system error
R01 The logical buffer (I/O Stream) has been misused
R02 The logical buffer with given name could not be found
R03 Could not write to a read-only logical buffer

These codes can be extracted from the exception description and used to determine errors - for instance, in an if ... elif ... control statement. Some of these errors are caught by the PyCLIPS high-level layer and interpreted in different ways (e.g. the C13 error is used to generate lists or to return None after last element in a list).

There are also some CLIPS specific exceptions that can be thrown at the higher level: they are identified by a code beginning with the letter M. A list of these exceptions follows, along with their description:

Code Description
M01 A constructor could not create an object
M02 An object could not be found in the CLIPS subsystem
M03 An attempt was made to pickle an object
M99 Wrong Python version, module could not initialize

Finally, there is a particular error that occurs in case of fatal memory allocation failures, which is identified by a particular exception, namely ClipsMemoryError. This excepion is raised with the following code and has the following meaning:

Code Description
X01 The CLIPS subsystem could not allocate memory

In this case the calling program must exit, as the underlying engine has reached an unstable state. An exception different from the standard ClipsError has been provided in order to allow quick and effective countermeasuresC.1.


... countermeasuresC.1
Please note that in some cases, and depending on how the operating system treats memory allocation failures, the Python interpreter too could loose stability in case of memory shortage.