Exceptions or not (Was: RE: ModSAX (SAX 1.1) Proposal)

David Brownell db at Eng.Sun.COM
Fri Feb 19 23:16:38 GMT 1999

Jarle Stabell wrote:
> True. I love exceptions and find that they greatly improves the robustness
> of applications, but the reason I'm not convinced about whether it is good
> to be forced to specify what will be thrown is that this in many cases seem
> to require psychic powers of the designer

Nah, just a moderately mature design, proven in some real systems.  I use
the rule of thumb that three different (!) layers must use an interface
before it's realistic to call it "stable". 

>	 (or that the "real" exceptions
> must be catched and converted into an "acceptable" one, which looses
> information).

Converting to an "acceptable" one can encapsulate:  SAXException does
this, as does InvocationTargetException.  A stack of "this error caused
that one caused that one ..." is often much more helpful when diagnosing a
problem than an root cause. 

Converting often actually _adds_ information ... like why the error
couldn't be recovered.  Keep in mind that a normal behavior for
exceptions is catching and recovering!

- Dave

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