Sunday, January 3

If you do this... well, there's no fixing you.

I can't believe it took me over a year to write about exceptions given the name of this blog, but here we go. From the "really? *facepalm*" department.

Ron White has a saying that I mostly agree with. "You can't fix stupid." To make this technically correct, and what I think he meant to say is, "You can't fix stupid people." Stupid things you can certainly fix. Developers make stupid mistakes all the time... that's one reason we have statically typed code, checking at compiler time, and static code analysis. Then there's stuff like this where you just have to shake your head. (This is actual code, not a contrived example.)

try {
   //contents that throw an exception
} catch (LocalException e) {
} catch (SystemException e) {
) catch (Exception e) {

I'm sorry, but there is no other way to say it, that is stupid and it should require no explanation why. There's absolutely no reason for that, even in test code or sandbox/mess around code. Does it have a major impact? Not really.  If it's not high volume and it's unlikely that an exception will be thrown inside the try then no one will probably notice. Most importantly, it doesn't fail... but to say it works is like saying a flat tire "works".  Make no mistake, this is broken.

Besides the fact that you should NEVER print a stack trace into nothing, in the event an exception is actually thrown you will force the program to perform three operations where the output is exactly the same [wrong] thing.

I'm a big fan of writing code as simply as possible. I have been known to over-complicate things before and I've usually paid for it. But this isn't simple, it's either lazy or stupid; it might be both. I'm not sure which is worse... and I don't think there's a fix for either.

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