Error Reporting


To understand Dendron application behavior, certain error analytics are uploaded to a backend service. All executing code paths should report error data in the event of crashes or any error event that is not a direct result of invalid input. For example in the context of HTTP, all 500 Internal Error code errors should be reported, whereas generally client 400's errors do not need to reported.

Implementation Considerations

There are several stand alone processes involved with Dendron. Each one must have an active Sentry client in order for data to be reported.


Getting full reporting coverage in the Plugin is tricky. VS Code extensions run in a Node.JS environment within an Extension Host sandbox. There is no way to intercept all exceptions thrown by plugin code in one callback (see this issue). Therefore, all extension invocation points must be wrapped in a try block with the error reported in the catch block. There are many different invocation points in the VSCode API for an extension; all must be wrapped in order to have complete coverage. Currently, Dendron has the following entry points:

  • activate()
  • Commands
  • Window Events
    • window.onDidChangeActiveTextEditor()
    • window.onDidChangeVisibleTextEditors()
  • Workspace Events
    • workspace.onWillSaveTextDocument()
    • workspace.onDidChangeTextDocument()
    • workspace.onDidOpenTextDocument()
  • File System Watchers
    • onDidChange()
  • Language Features
    • CodeActionProvider
    • HoverProvider
    • CompletionProvider
    • DefinitionProvider
    • FoldingRangeProvider

All callback invocation points in the plugin extension should be wrapped with a sentryReportingCallback:

      sentryReportingCallback((editors: TextEditor[]) => {
        const ctx = "WindowWatcher:onDidChangeVisibleTextEditors";

There are two kinds of errors being reported in the plugin:

  1. Unhandled Exceptions - any exception thrown in a block wrapped by sentryReportingCallback
  2. Logger.error() - logging a message at the error level will also upload an event.

Dendron Engine

The Dendron express server is configured to forward all errors to a special error handler that will upload error data to Sentry. However, special consideration is required for all async handlers. By default, if an asynchronous handler throws an exception resulting in a rejected promise, express will not handle this automatically (see here). Therefore, all asynchronous handlers need to be wrapped with an asyncHandler that will forward exceptions to the error handler:"/render", asyncHandler(async (req: Request, res: Response) => {
  const resp = await NoteController.instance().render(
    req.body as RenderNoteOpts & { ws: string }
  ExpressUtils.setResponse(res, resp);


Error Reporting has not yet been implemented in the Dendron command line interface. See Plugging Existing Gaps (Private) below.

User Privacy

Dendron takes user privacy very seriously. Dendron will observe user's telemetry settings - if telemetry is disabled for the client, error data will not be uploaded.

Furthermore, special care must be taken to ensure that error messages do not include any Personal Identifiable Information or otherwise data that may be sensitive to a user.

Future Enhancements

Plugging Existing Gaps

There are some areas in the code that do not currently upload error reporting. These gaps are intended to be filled with future iterations:

  • Dendron CLI
  • Webviews (TreeView V2, Preview V2, Calendar View, Seed Browser)
  • logger.error() occurrences on the Server side.

Additional Data

There are also additional data points we can add to improve diagnostics and insights:

  • Add Typescript Source Mapping for better callstack information.
  • Give each thrown DendronError a unique ID for deterministic error bucketing and traceability
  • Add Performance Metrics

RFC 19: Error Reporting