Simple way of handling errors

TomF tomf.sessile at
Wed May 6 19:40:19 EDT 2009

As a relative newcomer to Python, I like it a lot but I'm dismayed at 
the difficulty of handling simple errors.  In Perl if you want to 
anticipate a file-not-found error you can simply do:

open($file)  or die("open($file): $!");

and you get an intelligible error message.  In Python, to get the same 
thing it appears you need at least:

except IOError, err:
    print "open(%s): got %s" % (file, err.strerror)

Is there a simpler interface or idiom for handling such errors?  I 
appreciate that Python's exception handling is much more sophisticated 
but often I don't need it.


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