19th edition

of SFI IT Academic Festival


19th edition


Error Handling is Cancelling Operations

Edition: 18th SFI Academic IT Festival

Date: March 31, 2023, 2:20 p.m.

Type: Lectures

Category: software development

Language: English


When we first learn how to write programs, especially how to handle errors, we are given lots of advice saying do this, don't do that. Sometimes with rationale and sometimes not, but it is often difficult to make mental model that would make it easy to understand why we are doing it this way and not another, and why we have to follow this and this rule. In this talk I will share an important observation: error handling -- be it error codes, errno, exceptions, error monad -- is about cancelling dependent operations. If we understand this, lots of recommended practices immediately start to make sense and become intuitive.

60 min