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Better Java error messages

Chris Head
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DJ Majestik wrote:
> The more information given to a programmer, the more they are going to
> be successful at figuring out what is going on. My frustration is the
> lack of information a stack trace gives, and that it doesn't spit out
> any system out information. Although this is logged to a file on the
> server, there is no easy way for me to match the specific error in the
> stack trace to the system out to gather that information.


I guess a way you might try doing this is to use a Logger instead of
System.out on the server, and then to explicitly catch all Exceptions in
the client at the top level and reprint them with a timestamp. Then you
can match the timestamp up (at least to within a couple of minutes) with
the Logger messages coming from the server. The Logger automatically
adds a timestamp to every message it produces.

It's not perfect, but it'll certainly narrow things down a bit. Of
course, this also requires that you have access to the source of the
entire system to replace all the System.outs with Logger calls, but
that's neither here nor there - it's just a suggestion.

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John Currier
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> It's not perfect, but it'll certainly narrow things down a bit.

It'll narrow things down, but not by much if you've got several
thousand concurrent requests on your server/in your logs.


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John Currier
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You can usually look at the line that caused the NullPointerException
and figure out what was null. Normally many of the candidates will
have been referenced prior to the failing line and can therefore be
removed as a candidate. Ideally you'll end up with a single plausible


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