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:

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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.

  • 1
    Agreed, can be changed to generic "Error occurred, please try again later". Feb 19, 2015 at 15:18
  • 1
    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


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.

  • 1
    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
  • 1
    @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.
    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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