[erlang-questions] Human readable errors in lists module

Ulf Wiger ulf@REDACTED
Tue Feb 10 17:13:39 CET 2009

2009/2/10 Raimo Niskanen <raimo+erlang-questions@REDACTED>:
> But if we change zipwith/2,3 we must in the name of consistency
> do it for all functions in the lists module, and for all other
> modules in stdlib, and kernel, and erts. ...

Hmm... isn't this a case where "the better is the enemy of the good"* ?

No one in their right mind would try to write code that traps a
function_clause exception from inside a library module.
In other words, you have an exception that is unusable *and*
hard to debug. So, in the name of consistency...  ;-)

Ulf W

* Often quoted as "The best is the enemy of the good", and attributed to
Voltaire, but according to http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Voltaire, the above
stems from "Le mieux est l'ennemi du bien", or "Il meglio è l'inimico del
bene" - for whatever reason, Voltaire apparently felt obliged to express it
in Italian too.

While we're abusing Voltaire quotes, here are a few more:

"It is dangerous to be right in matters where established men are wrong."
(also a famous erlang proverb)

and indeed,

"A witty saying proves nothing."

(And I'm struggling with submitting expense reports and sorting receipts,
in case you're wondering why this sudden interest in trivia.)

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