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comment What are developer's problems with helpful error messages?
If you see such a mixed-up error message, it isn't because some arrogant morone wants to steal your precious time, but because it is practically, sometimes even theoretically impossible to give more precise informations. When information is gone, it is gone; that is the situation you face as a programmer when writing error recovery code. Of course, information is always "somehow" in the system, but coming back to your (didactical) example: how can we query about the column, if we don't know what data or what coulmn? Recall: we've lost track, thats why the error happened at first place ;-)
Jan
18
comment What are developer's problems with helpful error messages?
@Moo-Juice: You should really try to put the morale hammer asside for this concern. You're talking as if guys like me would be just lazy, arrogant and greedy, an would be stealing your precious time. Come on. Your argument shows that you're lacking even basic understanding of what a computer really is, and how demanding it is to get an enterprise grade system to work -- so you aren't in the position to judge about other peoples "mis design" and should be more humble
Jan
18
comment What are developer's problems with helpful error messages?
@Moo-Juice also no offence, but do you really think that because you want something it works this way in the real world? It is not you asking to lock the system, but it is a hard constraint of the current technology that you must aquire a lock before you can read even a simple state from another thread. And this is juse one example (there would be numerous other options but all to the same end). Point is: error messages are very often unsatisfactory, because of some fundamental limitations how computers are programmed.
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comment What are developer's problems with helpful error messages?
btw... this mechanism leads to a whole class of funny error messages -- along the lines of "Serious fault -567 in Module dwarf678: No error detected"
Jan
18
comment What are developer's problems with helpful error messages?
it is even worse: while you can trigger errors at very specific points, in order to handle errors you're forced to subsume several possibilities into a class of situations, and handle them with one single recovery. This act of generalisation frequently forces you to discard yet more of the scarce additional context info.
Jan
18
comment What are developer's problems with helpful error messages?
indeed, this error message is 100% accurate -- if you want a more friendly message with more conetxt, you need to build in some guesswork and heuristics; this way you add the possibility of misleading error messages..
Jan
18
comment What are developer's problems with helpful error messages?
you don't need a script for that -- many runtime systems can log the line number or some similar info. Unfortunately this doesn't help with the original problem, becaus this way we just know where an exception was detected but we don't know what went wrong. Finding out the latter is called debugging -- in practice this is an more or less tedious and work intensive task done by humans.
Jan
18
comment What are developer's problems with helpful error messages?
heh... you should base your argument on logic, not on whishful thinking. Since when does a computer know anything? This isn't Hollywood cinema. A program is a rigid, pre-arranged setup, and when your assumptions are broken, you've lost control. Is this really so difficult to grasp? A computer doesnt understand the program, and so he can't understand when its going wrong. Almost ever, when some consistency check triggers, the execution has already proceeded by thousands of statements and no one knows what data got already corrupted. All you can do is limit the damage
Jan
17
answered What are developer's problems with helpful error messages?
Jan
17
comment What are developer's problems with helpful error messages?
That example is indeed very instructive: Typically in such a catch handler, you can't even tell for sure which part in the try block failed (usually there are multiple parts which could cause an IOException). Besides that, it is very likely that at that location you can't tell the name of the file, lest you can tell which logical table corresponds to this file.
Jan
17
comment What are developer's problems with helpful error messages?
@Moo-Juice: what you propose sounds quite naive. In a massive multithreaded environment like a database you can't just reach out to some global service to get a list of "all xyz". Even to talk to some other service in another thread, you need a lock, which could lead to deadlock of the whole system at worse, it could corrupt other data or at least it could cause additional errors, which you need to handle then as well....
Jan
17
comment What are developer's problems with helpful error messages?
sorry, that's quite impractical. Who would be responsible for managing that index doc, for keeping it accurate. As any written documentation separate of the code, it would be outdated and start getting a source for new errors the very moment it is written.
Jan
17
comment What are developer's problems with helpful error messages?
of course I don't know the internals of SQL server -- but generally speaking, more often than not you don't have those informations at hand at the point the error situation is detected. A formulation like "string or binary data" quite clearly shows you that at the error site, it isn't even clear if the truncated value was a string or a number...
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17
answered What is the best way to do development with git?
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