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LinuxWorld.com: Open source programmers stink at error handling

Oct 26, 2001, 10:55 (12 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Nicholas Petreley)
"Nothing could be a better segue into the topic I had planned for this week. I'm thinking about starting a group called OLUG, the Obsessive Linux User Group. Although I know enough about psychology to know I don't meet the qualifications of a person with full-fledged OCD (Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder), I confess that I went back and rewrote my PHP code to use objects instead of arrays even there was no technical justification for doing so.

Certain things bring out the OCD in me. Warning messages, for example. It doesn't matter if my programs seem to work perfectly. If a compiler issues warnings when I compile my code, I feel compelled to fix the code to get rid of the warnings even if I know the code works fine. Likewise, if my program generates warnings or error messages at run time, I feel driven to look for the reasons and get rid of them.

Now I don't want you to get the wrong impression. My PHP and C++ code stand as testimony to the fact that my programming practices don't even come within light years of perfection. But just because I do not live up to the standards I am about to demand isn't going to stop me from demanding them. It's my right as a columnist. Those who can, do. Those who can't, write columns.

I'll be blunt. Open source programmers need to stop being so darned lazy about error handling. That obviously doesn't include all open source programmers. You know who you are."

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