Error-Reporting Mechanisms

There are several common strategies for propagating error information to client code. You’ll run into code that uses each of them, so you must know how to speak every dialect. Observe how these error-reporting techniques compare, and notice which situations call for each mechanism.

Each mechanism has different implications for the locality of error. An error is local in time if it is discovered very soon after it is created. An error is local in space if it is identified very close to (or even at) the site where it actually manifests. Some approaches specifically aim to reduce the locality of error to make it easier to see what’s going on (e.g., error codes). Others aim to extend the locality of error so that normal code ...

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