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The other day, when the site went into readonly mode, I was playing around in the data explorer, which failed to complete any of the tasks (which I assume was due to the downtime).

Two of the error messages I recieved were:

enter image description here

and

enter image description here

These messages seem more like log messages that help the devs deal with errors, not the user.

I'd suggest making them more user friendly.

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    Agreed, can be changed to generic "Error occurred, please try again later". Feb 19, 2015 at 15:18
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    Hmm, yeah, we can probably handle this specific kind of scenario.
    – Tim Stone
    Feb 19, 2015 at 20:02
  • @bluet fair enough but as Tim said we can catch errors that are not related directly to the user's query. Feb 20, 2015 at 6:40

1 Answer 1

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No, that might not be a good idea.

That box shows any exception message that occurs. That includes screw-ups in your own Sql-syntax, or in your parameter type conversion, or in your mis-use of permissions.

If those exceptions gets filtered to a general user friendly message you have no way to know if you made a mistake. For example this or this one.

In case the UX people win be prepared to get a lot of false-positive bug-reports here for the data explorer simply because the sql-query or the added features contain an error while SEDE works.

There might be some clear cut cases as indicated by Tim that can be handled differently but I wonder if it is really needed given the type of application SEDE is and its users.

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    These errors are likely thrown when we open the connection, so we can handle them distinct from errors that occur during query execution (the ones you're referring to)
    – Tim Stone
    Feb 19, 2015 at 20:03
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    @TimStone Ok, it might be worth some investigation but you'll always end-up with exception that are beyond normal use. I don't consider it as a bad user experience if a query developer gets an raw exception shown based on his own attempts. And I really think the bug reports are more useful this way.
    – rene
    Feb 19, 2015 at 20:13
  • I agree with @rene. Leave the messages how they are. It's not helpful to post bug reports if you receive the same generic error message for multiple errors. Even though I didn't know what either of the two messages were talking about as shown in the OP, it helped differentiate between a resolved bug and new bug that started like a day after the previous different bug.
    – CRABOLO
    Feb 20, 2015 at 2:52
  • I guess the proposal from Tim needs some love. We could take a look if there is a clear way to shield let's say infrastructure exceptions from normal use exceptions as long as we agree that exceptions being thrown is part of the normal operation/required functionality for SED and it's raw unshielded message being displayed to the SEDE user.
    – rene
    Feb 20, 2015 at 10:15

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