[Chicago-talk] Errors. And the reporting thereof.

Jim Thomason jthomasoniii at yahoo.com
Fri Nov 14 13:51:03 CST 2003

>1) foo checks the error message to see which error
occured. foo then >does x, y, or z depending on which
actual error occured.

>2) foo continues to do as it is currently coded to
when it receives >undef from bar and it really doesn't
care what actual error happened. >But you (the person,
not the code) want to find out what the real error
>was so you can fix it after the fact.

Right now, we just want #2. But eventually we may very
well want #1. BUT, we don't just want to log the
error, we want to know in the code explicitly which
error it was. Some errors are already logged for later
programmer review, but we need to worry about PEBKAC
stuff. If the user types in a string of letters when
we only want an integer, we want to return an error
along the lines of "Please give us an integer" instead
of "An error occurred, please try again."

Sure, we can log it ourselves so the programmers can
look at it later, but that doesn't make things easier
for the end user.

And we can't just log it and then read the log for
fear of violating my condition #2 - we may end up
reporting the wrong error.

Eventually, long term? etc. We may want to take
different action depending upon the actual error. But
it's not something we're actively looking at right now
(AFAIK), but it'd always be nice to have that option.


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