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Rasmus Larsson
Rasmus Larsson

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Error Handling Responsibility Principles

Principle 1

The code closest to the source of the error is responsible for providing as much detail about the error and if possible classifying it if such is needed.

Motivation: The further you get from the error the harder this becomes.

Principle 2

Code further up in the call stack is responsible for deciding on how to act on the error given the current context.

Motivation: Called code has no idea of the context.


A DB error is thrown. The code closest to the error classifies it as a socket time out. This is bubbled up in the call stack which then decides to not retry because a user has decided that the query is no longer relevant.

Special Note

These principles apply not only within an in-memory call stack but also across e.g. micro-service boundaries.

Do you disagree? I would love your input.

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