runtime hook for Crash on Error

Jens Mueller jens.k.mueller at
Fri Jun 1 00:45:03 PDT 2012

Walter Bright wrote:
> On 5/31/2012 3:22 AM, Dmitry Olshansky wrote:
> >On 31.05.2012 13:06, deadalnix wrote:
> >>This is called failing gracefully. And this highly recommended, and you
> >>KNOW that the system will fail at some point.
> >
> >Exactly. + The point I tried to argue but it was apparently lost:
> >doing stack unwinding and cleanup on most Errors (some Errors like stack
> >overflow might not recoverable) is the best thing to do.
> This is all based on the assumption that the program is still in a
> valid state after an assert fail, and so any code executed after
> that and the data it relies on is in a workable state.
> This is a completely wrong assumption.
> It might be ok if the program is not critical and has no control
> over important things like delivering insulin, executing million
> dollar trades, or adjusting the coolant levels in a nuclear reactor.
> If the code controls anything that matters, then it is not the best
> thing to do, not at all.
> The right thing to do is to take the shortest path to stopping the
> program. A critical system would be monitoring those programs, and
> will restart them if they so fail, or will engage the backup system.
> [When I worked on flight critical airplane systems, the only
> acceptable response for a self-detected fault was to IMMEDIATELY
> stop the system, physically DISENGAGE it from the flight controls,
> and inform the pilot.]

This is perfectly valid when developing such critical systems. But
limiting D to effectively only allow developing such particular systems
cannot be the appropriate response. There are plenty of other systems
that do not operate in such a constrained environment.


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