The poster of Why isn't my app running on my device? java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: com.example.spaceyspace.BaseActivity seems to be determinedly fixated on an irrelevant, generic error message

error opening trace file: No such file or directory (2)

And insists on disregarding the actual cause of their problems:

Caused by: java.lang.ClassNotFoundException: com.example.spaceyspace.BaseActivity

despite it's being repeatedly explained in comments and in an answer.


  • the title was edited by a 3rd party (myself) to replace the reference to the spurious error with a reference to the meaningful one, and the poster twice reverted this

  • after repeated requests, the poster briefly provided incomplete source which was insufficient to diagnose the problem (specifically as the first line of the source file, with the package declaration, was missing). During their edit reverts, they then removed the source, so the question is currently without any source at all.

What is the correct way to handle this? It seems that:

  1. If the poster insists on "error-opening-trace-file" as a title, then the question should be closed as a duplicate of error opening trace file: No such file or directory (2) - which has 39 upvotes but is utterly useless as that is a generic factory-configuration fault of the crash reporting system which provides no clues to the actual problem with a program being developed, and has only answers which are wildly inaccurate and misleading speculation.

  2. Given the lack of source sufficient to diagnose the problem, the poster's insistence on reverting to a version without any source when 3rd parties revert it to a version with, the question could simply be closed as unanswerable.

  3. The poster could somehow be persuaded by a better argument to focus their attention on the actual missing class issue, and drop their fixation on the spurious generic error message. Any takers?

More generally, this is an interesting example of an error message which experienced programmers will immediately disregard as spurious, yet inexperienced programmers may fixate on. As a result, almost all of the SO activity on such a topic may come from posters who really don't understand what they are commenting on, effectively giving bad (at times even harmful) advice to each other. Here's another example - with an absurdly upvoted, grossly incorrect leading answer: Unable to open stack trace file '/data/anr/traces.txt': Permission denied


Vote to close as "Unclear What You are Asking," or "Insufficient information to diagnose problem."

Worth noting: cast your close vote immediately. There's no point in waiting to see if an underspecified question is going to get rehabilitiated to cast your close vote. The whole point of closing is to give the OP the opportunity to rehabilitate their question without wasting everyone's time.

  • See how easy that was?
    – user102937
    Apr 1 '14 at 4:14
  • I'd already done that after their second revert to unanswerable form. Apr 1 '14 at 4:17
  • Good deal. I've unlocked the question and closed it. See the additional note in my answer.
    – user102937
    Apr 1 '14 at 4:18
  • For the record I strongly disagree with close voting early. People who do this really ignore the profoundly negative psychological effects on newer posters. However, when effort to move a question towards improvement fails, then I'd agree closing it may be a necessary object lesson. Apr 1 '14 at 4:20
  • 2
    There's no lesson being taught with closing, other than there are actual tangible consequences for ignoring the community's advice (beyond the use of harsh language).
    – user102937
    Apr 1 '14 at 4:22

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