Exceptional Conditions: Regular Toronto Python User's group on Tuesday

Mike C. Fletcher mcfletch at vrplumber.com
Wed Aug 12 06:25:32 CEST 2009

We'll have our regular Toronto Python User's Group (PyGTA) meeting on
Tuesday the 18th of August.  This month's topic:

    Exceptional Conditions: when to ignore, assert, raise, log, except,
    or email?

    When programming in Python, we often run into situations which are
    not "normal" or expected.  Python allows you to deal with these
    situations in any number of different ways:

        * ignoring the error (letting a lower-level library raise an
        * asserting an assumption (raising a generic error that says
          something shouldn't have happened)
        * raising an explicit error
        * returning a "success" flag with your "real" return value
        * providing finally/context-manager operations (unconditional
        * logging the exceptional condition and continuing
        * logging the condition into a database
        * sending a syslog message
        * catching a particular error and ignoring
        * catching all errors and ignoring
        * displaying a nice error message to the user
        * emailing a user

    In our round-table on Tuesday we'll try to hash out when/where/why
    you would choose any or all of these approaches.  Do you have coding
    standards that make exceptional conditions un-exceptional?  Do you
    have tools you use to make logs more useful?  Do you have a
    rule-of-thumb you apply to choose an approach?  Are there different
    requirements for GUI versus Web applications?  What about
    embedded/appliance applications?  How much information should a user
    be given about a failure condition?  We'll look at the various tools
    available and how to use them as well.

We'll meet at our regular time and location, Linux Caffe at 7:10pm.


BTW, we're looking for speakers and/or topics for September, October and
beyond.  We're particularly interested in new-user friendly topics that
can help the (large) new crop of Pythonistas advance quickly.  Email me
with your suggestions or ideas, or bring them up at the meeting.

Hope to see you on Tuesday,

  Mike C. Fletcher
  Designer, VR Plumber, Coder

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