[erlang-questions] Never let it fail!

Ulf Wiger (TN/EAB) <>
Fri Nov 3 10:18:31 CET 2006


Richard A. O'Keefe wrote:
> 
> It takes guts to stand up in public and say
>     "Can achieve previously inconceivable levels of cluelessness (and
>      therefore functionality) in successful deployed systems"
> and
>     "Software should be [...] not correct"
> and
>     "If you want to reduce cost and difficulty of producing
>      acceptable software
>      * Make more errors acceptable
>      * Leave more errors in system"
> 
> (Or, "Everything would be fine if users would learn to love 
> the lash.")

A the Erlang Workshop in Pittsburgh, Mats Cronqvist gave a 
presentation about debugging a large Erlang system. One 
memorable quote was "the majority of errors were not 
programming errors, but rather a working implementation of
the wrong thing".

While the idea of masking errors ought to be applicable at 
some levels (e.g. error-correcting RAM), I agree with you 
that higher priority should be put on (1) eliminating the
possibility of the error happening, or (2) disallowing the
erroneous behaviour by throwing an exception.

Their examples are different from "self-healing hardware"
(EC RAM) in that their errors are caused by faulty program
logic. 

BR,
Ulf W




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