"False exceptions?" (was Re: theme of the week: tools

John J. Lee jjl at pobox.com
Tue Sep 28 22:23:56 CEST 2004

"Dan Perl" <danperl at rogers.com> writes:

> "Marco Aschwanden" <PPNTWIMBXFFC at spammotel.com> wrote in message 
> news:mailman.3996.1096354841.5135.python-list at python.org...
> > On Mon, 27 Sep 2004 12:04:47 -0400, Dan Perl <danperl at rogers.com> wrote:
> >
> > I myself felt disturbed by your comments on WingIDE. But yes, I do 
> > understand your nagging on "false exceptions" which can be turned off. You 
> > turned it down because of this and because the short trial period (which 
> > can be prolonged with 1 button click)... well, it didn't seem fair towards 
> > the tool. It has its shortcomings but the ones you mention are ridiculous.
> To be fair again to Wing, I gave up on it based on the false positives 
> before finding out that I could have switched to another debug mode.  But 
> that's their fault too because the widget that came up with the false 
> positive just says you can ignore the exception and then there was something 
> else just praising the tool, but there was no mention of the different debug 
> modes.  I found that option only once I searched the manual.  Maybe it's 
> just me, but I'm not reading the manuals when I'm trying out several tools.
> My "nagging" on the false positives is mostly on the spin that Wingware puts 
> in their explanations.  It's one thing to explain it the way that Stephan 
> did, that it was better to offer something imperfect if that was also 
> providing some important advantages and then also offer the other 
> alternative ("We weighed having a necessarily imperfect but useful feature 
> with not having the feature at all.").  And it's another thing to insist 
> that this is not a problem and it is actually good for you.  This doesn't 
> seem to bother other people as much as it bothered me, but I do have a beef 
> with it.

Dan, I suspect that (though perhaps their marketing may have room for
improvement here ;-) there may have been an unstated assumption on the
part of the Wing IDE people that, "obviously", the false-positives
issue is only a "nit" if one has a hard debugging problem on one's
hands, and that "obviously", one turns this feature off under all
other circumstances.  Not necessarily obvious at all, of course.

Perhaps, like many of the rest of us, they only wheel out their
debugger when they hit a really *nasty* problem, so the exception
issue simply never arises as anything other than a minor wart in what
I can see could be a very handy feature.  That would explain why this
feature is on by default.  Another explanation is that it's turned on
by default just to advertise the feature -- if you don't bump into it
like this, you might never realise it existed.


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