Python style: exceptions vs. sys.exit()

Larry Bates larry.bates at
Tue Sep 23 23:15:26 CEST 2008

Drake wrote:
> I have a general question of Python style, or perhaps just good
> programming practice.
> My group is developing a medium-sized library of general-purpose
> Python functions, some of which do I/O. Therefore it is possible for
> many of the library functions to raise IOError Exceptions. The
> question is: should the library function be able to just dump to
> sys.exit() with a message about the error (like "couldn't open this
> file"), or should the exception propagate to the calling program which
> handles the issue?
> Thanks in advance for anyone who can either answer my question or
> point me to where this question has already been answered.

IMHO libraries should always just let the exception propagate up to the caller. 
  That allows the caller the option of taking the appropriate action.


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