Maybe I should title this post ‘How to write a better error message’ instead.
I just went on a wild goose chase trying to find the solution to an error I kept seeing in SQL Server Management Studio every time I tried to run a query or open a table for editing (or anything else that would end up executing a SQL query). The error message?
The file exists
Not exactly useful.
It turns out my temp directory was ‘full’. The message sort of makes sense, now that I know what the problem was, but it isn’t really possible to draw the correct conclusion from that error message.
So two takeaways (for me):
- Craft error messages carefully. The whole reason for showing/logging error messages in the first place is to create some kind of traceability to a problem. The information contained in an error message should lead the user to a better understanding of the problem and possibly an indication of if they might be able to fix it.
- The file exists means clear your temp directory first, before chasing that goose.