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Category Archives: Poor Error Msg

Context Error Reporting

One of the biggest mistakes I see programmers make when writing an error message is to forget to include details about the context into the message.  The message effectively “assumes” that the reader knows the context, but that assumption is not always valid, and the error message can fail communicate. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by on April 20, 2018 in Coding, Design, Poor Error Msg

 

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Two Kinds of Exceptions

An exception is a message from the system to the user about something that the program can not handle. There are a couple of main categories of exceptions: environmental and program logic. They warrant quite different treatment. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2016 in Coding, Design, Poor Error Msg, practice

 

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Error messages should be very literal

We all struggle with the correct wording for error messages. It is not easy. But I ran across an example today that should help understanding Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on December 12, 2015 in Coding, Poor Error Msg

 

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“Oops something failed” is NOT acceptable error message

I try to keep track of real-life situations where poor error messages appear. That happened again today. This message was displayed to the user: Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2014 in Coding, Poor Error Msg

 

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Error Message should be clear, plain, and direct

This post is about a real error message I received and puzzled through.  Luckily, because I was working with open source code, I was able to see a copy of the source, and only then did I understand what the message meant.  An error message should not require you to know and understand the source, in order to understand the message, and I think this is the root of the mistake that many programmers make. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2013 in Coding, Example Code, Poor Error Msg

 

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Usability Means Not Jumping Through Hoops

The image of being forced to jump through hoops is one of being required to take arbitrary actions in arbitrary orders just to satisfy some goals that are either unseen or at least not in the interest of the user. Some software is like that.  You have to perform functions that you don’t want to do, that you know you are going to get rid of, in order to satisfy some internal constraint of the software. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2013 in Design, Poor Error Msg

 

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Gathering Error Report Information

In the last post, I clarified the Purpose of Error Reporting is to give user/administrators information to solve the problem that they have encountered.  This post outlines a way to gather the best information together for that error message. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2013 in Coding, Poor Error Msg

 

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