Visual Studio error messages..or…lack of useful information

One of my colleagues at work has been talking about posting some of the more interesting errors that he’s received from Visual Studio.  Since I sit next to him, I’ve had a chance to see most of the messages, and I’ve received a few of them myself.

One of my favorites is “Unexpected Error”.  Well, of course it is unexpected, otherwise I would expect the program to handle more elegantly, provide more information or perhaps fix it!  A friend of mine that is a former Microsoft employee says that this message is one of his pet peeves, not just in Visual Studio mind, but in any application.  I met him ten years ago when we were both on contract to the same company and I can remember back then his disdain for a programmer who let one of these slip through.  Laziness, nothing more, is responsible.

You might ask, how can any developer anticipate every single exception that may occur?  They can’t of course, however even for those “unexpected” errors they should have something better to tell the user.  Unexpected error is almost a redundancy for goodness sake!

Thanks for the interested read Dave.

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