[Haskell-cafe] New Hackage category: Error Handling

Michael Snoyman michael at snoyman.com
Sat Dec 5 17:23:03 EST 2009

On Sun, Dec 6, 2009 at 12:17 AM, Henning Thielemann <
lemming at henning-thielemann.de> wrote:

> On Sat, 5 Dec 2009, Michael Snoyman wrote:
>  On Sat, Dec 5, 2009 at 7:41 PM, Ross Paterson <ross at soi.city.ac.uk>
>> wrote:
>>      On Sat, Dec 05, 2009 at 05:52:11PM +0200, Michael Snoyman wrote:
>>      > For the record, I find this pedanticism misplaced, ...
>>      I think you'll find that's "pedantry".
>> Hoped someone would comment exactly that ;).
> :-)
> Nonetheless: Although there might be cases, where it is not immediately
> clear what is "error" and what is "exception" (not to mention, that
> different people prefer to use the words for the corresponding concepts in a
> different way, if they would do so consistently, it would be ok), in most
> cases it is clear. Have you ever tried to handle an "array index out of
> range" situation at run-time? I think, it cannot be sensibly handled by the
> program automatically. Thus there is no other way than terminating the
> program. Thus I'd call this situation an "error" not an "exception". Of
> course, people like to throw in here a web server as counterexample. So to
> speak: With respect to exceptions web servers are an exception.
> I think there are plenty of examples like web servers. A text editor with
plugins? I don't want to lose three hours worth of work just because some
plugin wasn't written correctly. For many classes of programs, the
distinction between error and exception is not only blurred, it's fully
irrelevant. Harping on people every time they use error in the "wrong" sense
seems unhelpful.

Hope my commenting on this subject doesn't become my own form of *pedantry*.

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