[kepler-dev] [Bug 2015] - Provide more meaningful error messages

bugzilla-daemon@ecoinformatics.org bugzilla-daemon at ecoinformatics.org
Wed Mar 16 15:08:16 PST 2005


------- Additional Comments From cxh at eecs.berkeley.edu  2005-03-16 15:08 -------
It would be nice if we provided a way to more effectively hide
the stack traces.  Usually, when there is an error, a dialog box
with a meaningful message should come up.  One of the buttons
should bring up a window that shows the stack trace.

One problem is that because we use exception chaining, the
exception is actually thrown does not always provide useful information
about what caused the exception, instead there is an earlier
exception that has the real cause.

Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine when to show just
the top exception and when to show one or more cause exceptions.

I feel that it is a bug if:
1) I have to get out the debugger to figure out where the exception
occurred.  This happens when we rethrow exceptions without
using a cause argument or when exceptions are ignore.
2) If the error message goes to stderr or stdout

I see the point of providing cleaner exceptions to users, but this
should be balanced with the needs of developers who want to find
out where the exception is occurring.

I suspect that the way to provide better error messages would
be to track new users and see what errors they are seeing and 
clean those up.  We could either observe users or else instrument
the code and gather reports.

BTW - Edward and I discuss this issue quite a bit.  I want
useful messages that might have too much info because I fix lots
of bugs and I provide end supports to users who usually do not
supply enough info.  Edward wants a clean interface.

Perhaps by using preferences to manage the output we can provide both.
However, cleaning up the error messages one by one requires time.


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