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Home » Courses » Starting Point » Runtime vs. Compiler Errors

Runtime vs. Compiler Errors

There is a difference between runtime errors and compiler errors: this is vital to understand so we won't get confused or frustrated when unexpected things happen. Unexpected things will happen: part of the fun comes from figuring out why!

Compiler errors are errors that Flash catches while it's trying to compile your application, preventing it from finishing compilation. On the other hand, runtime errors are warnings that Flash triggers to you after the application is compiled (and it's already running) that it didn't catch before. It is also important to know that these two panels are not visible to the end user.

What are compiling errors?

Compiling errors happen when you build your application, and there are mistakes that Flash knows are mistakes. For example, you assign something the wrong value, you type something incorrectly, you missed a parameter, or you added too many things. Flash will know that you made an error or did something that you didn't mean to do: it will give you a warning.

All of the errors are related to your mistakes in syntax (typing errors, wrong arguments or the like.) They will be put into your compiling errors panel as soon as Flash tries to compile your application into an .SWF file. Any such error will prevent you from completing your compiling.

What is a runtime error?

Run-time errors, on the other hand, happen after your application is compiled and running. If Flash hits an unexpected something (could be anything) as your application is running it will warn/announce it to you. For example, if it couldn't find a file that you tried to load, it triggers a runtime error letting you know about it in the output panel (well true only for us as we are working in the Flash editor.) So, on the fly, flash will output into the output panel warnings and errors that it didn't catch during compilation. Additionally, you can send messages to the output panel as you're trying to run your application. It is also important to know that the output panel and compiling error panels are not visible to the end user, but programmers will be able to see your output panel if you don't omit the capability.

Compile Errors vs. Runtime Errors Video Transcript 

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