We need a Stack Exchange site for error messages. Imagine every error message under the sun documented in detail.
Compare a question I asked earlier with:
svn: Can't replace 'X' with a node of a differing type; the deletion must be committed and the parent updated before adding 'X'
I'm using --- to manage our repository. In trunk, file X has been replaced a directory. When trying to merge this to a branch, I get the error ---.
Why this is a good idea:
- every application in the world is under-documented,
- most error messages just result in out-of-date forum postings (the problem Stack Overflow was built for),
- very few application authors have done the legwork,
- (open source is especially bad at this)
- just using existing sites probably won't work (see below).
Why other solutions are worse:
Having a simple error-message tag on each site is simple, but:
- The tag exists on Stack Overflow, and is practically unused (it may seem like this is an argument that no-one needs it, but I don't think that's the case).
- Setting up a workable system — and getting people to use it — would be hard.
- People would object to error messages showing up amongst "proper questions."
- The directions on each site seem to be against this.