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Debug Example : Setting conditional breakpoint in catch block

For this Debug example, we will be setting a breakpoint in the catch section of try-catch block. By doing this, we will only be triggering our breakpoint when an exception has been thrown.

There will be two examples shown: one without using the Condition field of the breakpoint, and one using this field to make it so the breakpoint only triggers for certain types of exceptions.

We will be using the following file for both examples

Object[] objects = { "1" , "2" , null , true , "9999999999999999", Long.MAX_VALUE , "1.3" };
for( Object object : objects ){
  try {
    Integer.parseInt( (String) object );
  } catch ( Exception e ) {
    out.print( "Exception thrown of type " + e.getClass().getName() + " for object of value " + object + "<br/>" );

When this file executes through normally, we get the following output:

Exception thrown of type java.lang.NumberFormatException for object of value null
Exception thrown of type java.lang.ClassCastException for object of value true
Exception thrown of type java.lang.NumberFormatException for object of value 9999999999999999
Exception thrown of type java.lang.ClassCastException for object of value 9223372036854775807
Exception thrown of type java.lang.NumberFormatException for object of value 1.3

As you can see, we regularly have 5 exceptions being caught, of which there are two alternating types: NumberFormatException and ClassCastException.

Unconditional Breakpoint in catch block

For this example, we will use a breakpoint with the following configuration:

Production Debugger Field Value Meaning
Breakpoint Trigger Location Source File/Line Number We are selecting to set a breakpoint within a specific source file and a specific line number.
Source Code Filename objectArrayExcep.jsp Name / location of the file where the code is stored.
Source Line Number 7 The number of the line we wish to pause on. Note: This line must have executable code on it, otherwise the breakpoint will be invalid.
"Trigger On" Condition
Trigger Fire Count Always This indicates that the breakpoint will always fire. If we set the Fire Count to a numeric value, e.g. 3 - then the breakpoint would fire 3 times before disabling itself.
Breakpoint Trigger Action Enable Interactive Debugger - Pause Thread This will tell FusionReactor to evaluate the condition and, if true (default true if not set) pause the currently executing thread on reaching the line number.
Thread Pause Time (in seconds) 60 This will pause the thread until 60 seconds has expired. If we enter Interactive Debugging on the thread, the thread will instead pause until resumed in Debugging.
Thread Pause Execution Only on one thread at a time. This will cause only one thread to be paused by the engine for this breakpoint condition.

Interactive Debugger View

When this breakpoint is triggered for the page with the code above, we will get 5 pauses on line 7 for each exception that is caught within the looped try-catch block.


for this example, there is a copy of objectArrayExcep.jsp in the /opt/ directory. I have configured this as a source, so FusionReactor displays that while viewing the paused thread's details.

Conditional Breakpoint in catch block

The caught exception variable must be called at some point in your code or may be optimized away during compilation, meaning the Exception variable may not exist.

Suppose that we do want to worry about debugging on ClassCastException but instead only want to pause in the catch block for NumberFormatException.

We can do this by adding a Condition to the breakpoint. Conditions are written in the Groovy scripting language (for .jsp and Java classes) or ColdFusion scripting language (for any ColdFusion file extension locations). For our objectArrayExcep.jsp example, we would do the following:

This means that the breakpoint will trigger on line 7 if the variable e is of class type NumberFormatException.

Therefore, for our new breakpoint we would only get 3 pauses, all for NumberFormatException cases.

This can be used in combination with any trigger type ( for example, emails ) to tailor the breakpoint to the cases you are more concerned about.