Category Archives: code

Better error messages

When programming, I tend to quickly dash off error messages such as: Invalid date: '28-Ap' which is hardly useful from a user’s perspective. The user may not know what do to fix the problem

A better error message should give the user enough information to fix the error. A message like the one below should be more appropriate:
Error: Invalid date format
Change to DD-MMM format: '28-Ap'

A better error message has two parts: 1) state the error precisely and 2) describe how the user can correct the error.

Better error messages, happier users…

simple programming interfaces documentation

Background: Was helping my brother-in-law with some adobe illustrator scripting yesterday and we happily discovered Javascript scripting in AI. In the comments of this post, gdav provided some links to AI documentation (thanks gdav). The links are reproduced below mostly for my own reference.

1. Scripting Guide:

2. The JavaScript Reference:

The JavaScript Reference is of particular interest. It has a nice clean format to it which I find very suitable for JSON API documentation (something i’ve been meaning to get to for some services I’ve written). Below is a screenshot from the document:


First, the header specifies the object : Artboards – with a short description of what it is. Followed by the properties of the object: Artboards properties; which is documented in a table listing the properties, value type and a short description of the properties. Then the section on methods follow with an equally relevant set of documentation – method signature, parameter type, type of return object and a short description of what the method does.

Nice and neat.