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Subject: Re: [boost] Reforming Boost.System and <system_error> round 2
From: Andrey Semashev (andrey.semashev_at_[hidden])
Date: 2018-01-16 23:29:34

On Wed, Jan 17, 2018 at 1:16 AM, Andrzej Krzemienski via Boost
<boost_at_[hidden]> wrote:
> 2018-01-16 19:58 GMT+01:00 Andrey Semashev via Boost <boost_at_[hidden]>
> :
>> There's nothing ambuguous about the conversion operator, as it is
>> specified in the standard, and I find the syntax quite intuitive.
> You say you find the syntax quite intuitive. But do you also find the
> semantics intuitive? When you type or read `if(ec)` do you interpret it as
> "if operation failed" or as "if operation returned code of numeric value
> zero, regardless of the domain and regardless of whether in this domain
> zero means success or failure"?

The two interpretations are equivalent for me, because in my code
error code of zero always means "success". Why? Because I pick the
error values that way (or map them that way, if the values come from
an external API) so that they play nicely with `error_code` design and
the rest of the code.

If we support multiple "success" values or non-zero success values, I
would expect "if (err)" to mean "if some error happened". Why? Because
that "if" controls error handling, not an arbitrary non-zero result
handling. I've never seen or written code that does otherwise.

If I want to test for a particular error code, I would write "if (err
== x)" or "if (err != x)" - that's the syntax that communicates the
intent to check for the particular value, including when `x` happens
to be zero (which doesn't really matter, because `x` is always an enum
value and never a magic number). You may ask the what is the
difference between "if (err)" and "if (err != success)" and it is that
the latter only tests for failure in the particular domain. Now, this
difference may not be obvious, and that is why I generally avoid
writing "if (err != success)".

Maybe I'm missing some crucial experience, but so far the convention I
described above worked well for me.

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