Definition

error handling

Error handling refers to the anticipation, detection, and resolution of programming, application, and communications errors. Specialized programs, called error handlers, are available for some applications. The best programs of this type forestall errors if possible, recover from them when they occur without terminating the application, or (if all else fails) gracefully terminate an affected application and save the error information to a log file.

In programming, a development error is one that can be prevented. Such an error can occur in syntax or logic. Syntax errors, which are typographical mistakes or improper use of special characters, are handled by rigorous proofreading. Logic errors, also called bugs, occur when executed code does not produce the expected or desired result. Logic errors are best handled by meticulous program debugging. This can be an ongoing process that involves, in addition to the traditional debugging routine, beta testing prior to official release and customer feedback after official release.

A run-time error takes place during the execution of a program, and usually happens because of adverse system parameters or invalid input data. An example is the lack of sufficient memory to run an application or a memory conflict with another program. On the Internet, run-time errors can result from electrical noise, various forms of malware or an exceptionally heavy demand on a server. Run-time errors can be resolved, or their impact minimized, by the use of error handler programs, by vigilance on the part of network and server administrators, and by reasonable security countermeasures on the part of Internet users.

This was last updated in February 2007
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

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