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From: Warner Losh <>
Subject: [COFF] Re: [TUHS] Re: Conditions, AKA exceptions. (Was: I can't drive 55: "GOTO considered harmful" 55th anniversary)
Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2023 10:34:57 -0700	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

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On Fri, Mar 10, 2023 at 6:15 AM Ralph Corderoy <>

> Hi Noel,
> > > if you say above that most people are unfamiliar with them due to
> > > their use of goto then that's probably wrong
> >
> > I didn't say that.
> Thanks for clarifying; I did know it was a possibility.

Exception handling is a great leap sideways. it's a supercharged goto with
steroids on top. In some ways more constrained, in other ways more prone to


I diagnosed performance problems in a program that would call into
'waiting' threads that would read data from a pipe and then queue work.
Easy, simple, straightforward design. Except they used exceptions to then
process the packets rather than having a proper lockless producer /
consumer queue.

Exceptions are great for keeping the code linear and ignoring error
conditions logically, but still having them handled "somewhere" above the
current code and writing the code such that when it gets an abort, partial
work is cleaned up and trashed.

Global exception handlers are both good and bad. All errors become
tracebacks to where it occurred. People often don't disambiguate between
expected and unexpected exceptions, so programming errors get lumped in
with remote devices committing protocol errors get lumped in with your
config file had a typo and /dve/ttyU2 doesn't exist. It can be hard for the
user to know what comes next when it's all jumbled together. In-line error
handling, at least, can catch the expected things and give a more
reasonable error near to where it happened so I know if my next step is vi
prog.conf or email

So it's a hate hate relationship with both. What do I hate the least?
That's a three drink minimum for the answer.


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  parent reply	other threads:[~2023-03-10 17:35 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 13+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
     [not found] <>
     [not found] ` <>
2023-03-10 14:20   ` Larry Stewart
2023-03-10 18:09     ` Steffen Nurpmeso
2023-03-10 17:34   ` Warner Losh [this message]
2023-03-10 17:11 Bakul Shah
2023-03-10 17:28 ` segaloco via COFF
2023-03-10 17:34   ` Larry McVoy
2023-03-10 17:35   ` Bakul Shah
2023-03-10 17:42     ` Larry McVoy
2023-03-10 17:43     ` segaloco via COFF
2023-03-10 18:03     ` Dan Cross
2023-03-10 18:57       ` Bakul Shah
2023-03-10 19:57         ` Marshall Conover
2023-03-10 17:47   ` Bakul Shah

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