Talk About Quality

Tom Harris

Don’t get stuck

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Having a standalone consumer application get stuck or crash, requiring reboot, is not the worst thing that can happen. (Worse is incorrect behavior that causes data loss or physical harm.) But requiring a reboot is the most annoying failure in non-safety-critical systems.

If there’s any good news, it’s that the list of fault modes is short:

  • System resources exhausted
  • Mistakenly idling
  • Waiting for acknowledgement that never comes
  • Deadlock

Did I miss any?

Only exception-safe code can avoid these undesired end states.

Design by Contract (DbC) is one way to exception safety.

Failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) helps you plan a path to get there.


Written by Tom Harris

May 7, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Posted in Exception handling

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