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Re: error handling

On 13 Mar 2012, at 07:40, Raphael Proust wrote:

> On Tue, Mar 13, 2012 at 12:16 AM, Richard Mortier
> <Richard.Mortier@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
>> not the most exciting topic perhaps, but traditionally seems thorny.
>> i'm trying to fix up ocaml-dns to be both a bit more correct and a bit more 
>> robust.
>> aiui, standard ocaml exceptions must not be allowed to propagate up to the 
>> point where they hit an Lwt thread, as that is Bad.
>> but there are a number of places in ocaml-dns -- and i expect that this will 
>> not be uncommon -- where functions raise exceptions indicating things like 
>> unparseable data (for whatever reason) has been received off the wire.
>> what i'd normally do here would be to cause current processing to cease, to 
>> return the unparseable data that caused the error so it can be logged, and 
>> continue from some suitable point.
>> my question is- what's the best way to do that under Lwt?
>> i've tried the following but have some questions:
>> 1/ using raise_lwt instead of raise means that every function in question -- 
>> often these are subsidiary/helper functions  -- need to start returning 'a 
>> Lwt.t; does propagating the Lwt-ness all the way through matter at all, or 
>> do i just need to start doing lots of ">>" to chain things together, rather 
>> than using ";"?
> It is not that big a matter in that not all lwt monad binds are actual
> cooperation points (i.e. they don't always go through the scheduler,
> i.e. they sometime are just as cheap as function calls).

ah- thanks, i thought that might be the case :)

> It is a bit of a problem if someone wants to transform your code into
> non-lwt one (e.g. to preemptive code or to async) as the algorithmic
> and threading logics are mixed.

yup, true.  (would there be benefits of moving to async cf lwt other than that 
it's in core?)

>> 2/ making return types 'a option rather than 'a -- but this does not work to 
>> return the unparseable bits
> Or [('a, exn) either] if you prefer the exception monad to the option
> one. (See http://blog.dbpatterson.com/post/9528836599 on this topic.)

hm- interesting, thanks.

>> 3/ logging the error (via Lwt_json_logger no less!) -- but this does not let 
>> me indicate that processing should stop at the appropriate place
> IMHO this should be used additionally to exceptions. One is for
> control flow management, the other for sys-admin purpose.

yes, agree - i was just trying out a bunch of different things i came across :)

>> 4/ leaving the standard "raise" exceptions in and trying to be careful to 
>> catch them -- but this relies on me remembering all the entry points into 
>> the library
> This can be combined with the wrap function:
> wrap f calls f and transform the result into a monad. If f raise an
> exception, it is catched by Lwt.
> You can use wrap at the interface between non-lwt parts and lwt parts.
> It avoids the problem of 1/.

ok- that makes sense - will give it a go.



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