Eric: The server is e-mailing me the message “WTF”.
Sandra: Ahh … I presume you programmed it to do that?
Eric: I presume so too.
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I assume that is coming from an exception handler that catches the exceptions that other handlers miss?
Turns out it’s from a log-monitor that tracks critical errors. And sends very unhelpful emails when it finds them.
One of the error messages that Lotus Domino servers generated was “PANIC”. Back when I was a Lotus administrator I still remember getting a panicked call from our data manager in Italy saying “the server, it is telling me to panic!!!”
Back in my first job, fresh out of school and before going to college, we used an econometrics analysis package which occasionally crashed with the unhelpful message “Error 001: you should never see this error.”
In my first job AFTER college, one of the user interface screens had some extra error handling code that would check if the user logged on at the time of the error was our team leader, and if so would display “I’m sorry, Dave. I can’t let you do that.”
Sounds like it the time to reprogram the server to be more helpful with error reports.
I remember in university classes always numbering all of the spots where an error might occur. I often didn’t have any code to mitigate, avoid or correct the error but at least the number would tell me where I needed to write some.
I once had an embedded device freak out and start spitting out an employee’s name (the head mechanical guy on the project) over the serial port over and over and over again. I have no idea why or how and never actually figured it out :P
It’s the dreaded Software Testing Corollary: Your error reporting code will never be sufficiently tested. :(