Cryptic error messages–they are the bane of my existence.  I don’t know how much of my programming time has been taken up trying to trace down the meaning of an error message.

Now, I can’t say that I’m perfect.  The first project I worked on coming out of college had “Invalid Key” for just about every error message– without so much as a clue as to why the key pressed on the point of sale system was invalid.

Microsoft, however, has no excuse.  I mean, they have this whole complex exception system built into their development environments, but all they can tell me is “Value does not fall within the expected range,” and I’m left wondering:

  • What is the value?
  • What is the expected range?
  • What control threw the exception?
  • How do I fix it if I can’t even see it?

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