Sloppy error checking in MS code

Mike Jakubik mikej at
Sat Dec 16 21:09:45 GMT 2006

Julian Field wrote:
> Ken,
> Thanks for backing me up. Yes, I don't check the return value of every 
> single call I make, but show me a programmer who does? (No doubt someone 
> will at this point). The most common point that is made is "what if the 
> system runs out of space" at this point, and all sorts of things will be 
> failing at this time, there isn't any need to create more errors at this 
> point, they just create noise. Yes, I quite happily admit I don't check 
> the result from everything I do. But if you want a practical piece of 
> software that runs at a reasonable speed.

How much of a performance impact does a check for the return value of a 
system call produce? I believe what distinguishes good software from bad 
is how the software handles errors. What you are saying seems to 
contradict, as Matt Kettler stated that identical functions have error 
checking in the sendmail code, but not in postfix. No, i don't check to 
see if there is a floor when i wake up, but the chances of an I/O 
function failing because someone tampered with the directory/changed 
permissions/disk run out of space/some other OS/HW problem are MUCH 
greater than my floor disappearing. While i have not experienced any 
problems myself (AFAIK), it would at least shut up the postfix users/MS 

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