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Handling errors with simplexml_load_file

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 I have an application that loads several xml files, and then outputs some of the data from the file.  The problem is that every once in a while, the service that provides the xml file does maintenance (or has an error in the file), and my application gives a "Fatal error:  Call to a member function children() on a non-object in..."


I would like to handle the error differently, by displaying "unavailable" instead of the error.  I know that this is usually not the appropriate way of handling errors, because there is a reason for a fatal error.


Any ideas on how to appropriately handle this error?

// Node 217 (GGB)
$xml = simplexml_load_file("http://services.my511.org/traffic/API_KEY_REMOVED_FOR_EXAMPLE");
foreach($xml->children() as $traveltime)
    $ggb = "$traveltime->currentTravelTime";
​echo "GGB:" , $ggb , " Minutes";

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As Barand is suggesting, some simple error-checking can - and will - go a long way.

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