Fabulous Adventures In Coding
Eric Lippert is a principal developer on the C# compiler team. Learn more about Eric.
and Ned are having a spirited debate over the merits of exception handling. Oddly
enough, I agree with both of them.
only time I do programming in C++ is to write COM code, and COM and exceptions do
not mix. The only way to make COM and
C++ exceptions mix is to use smart pointers, and as I've already discussed, that only
makes the situation worse by introducing subtle, impossible-to-find-and-debug bugs
in the error handling. When I write COM
code every function call returns an HRESULT and I carefully ensure that if there is
an error, then everything gets cleaned up properly. COM
is fundamentally an environment which is based on error return values for error handling. Any
additional error state can be provided by stateful objects.
the .NET CLR is a completely different environment, one with an exception model built
deep into the runtime itself and into the framework. You'd
be crazy to not use the exception model
in a fully garbage-collected environment like the CLR. I
write a lot of C++ and C# code that has to work together via Interop; ALL of my C++
functions returns an error code, and NONE of my C# functions do. That
is not to say that there is no error handling in my C# code -- far from it! My
code is chock full of try-catch-finally blocks to deal with errors.
languages and object frameworks are tools that afford different styles of
programming -- attempting to mix the style appropriate to one in another
is a recipe for unmaintainable code.