> The advantages are :
> A. Easy bug reporting by users. (e.g. "I have error 2398423")
> B. I18N error messages
Let me just say, as someone who's done "escalation tech support" for
major ISVs (the people who get called whenever front-line tech support
is confronted with a "I have error 2398423" question), that this can
also be a tremendous pain in the butt when done wrong.
Done wrong, a message catalog-using program will emit cryptic numeric
errors whenever a message catalog file cannot be found or is
corrupted. Done right, the program is written in such a way as to
contain a default message which can also be overridden from the
message catalog file if some different text is found in the
appropriate language. I believe this is the way that catgets(3)
currently works, but you'd be amazed how many programmers just skip
providing a default message since the appropriate message catalog is
always found on *their* system.
There's also nothing more unreadable than code which tests a failure
condition and then calls a message catalog routine with some numeric
constant, the actual text of the error message being an aid to the
programmer as well as the user when reading someone else's code and
trying to figure out what varioups parts of it are trying to do.
This isn't meant as a general criticism of your points at all, just
a cautionary note.
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