Currently our application is spewing out a lot of instance inconsistencies in its user-access logging, depending on the file input.

Many of these are expected, but currently we tend to get bug reports about them. I want to append a line in the log after these 'error messages' regarding the fact that they are in this instance expected.

Currently, I am using the phrasing

The above exception is expected in this instance, and is not a bug.

but this eems wrong somehow. What phrasing can I use to get the message across without talking down to the user?

  • who are the users and what is the task? – Midas Sep 25 '17 at 10:42
  • @Midas The task is validation and transformation of xml instances. The users are mid-level config experts. – Weckar E. Sep 25 '17 at 10:45
  • Sounds like this message shouldn't be logged... or at least not shown to the user – Hagai Sep 25 '17 at 11:58
  • @Hagai Unfortunately due to government standards we are not allowed to subtract from the log, only add. – Weckar E. Sep 25 '17 at 12:01

The first solution in my mind would be to make the message look less like an error, e.g. instead of Error: An exception occurred in blah blah blah Simply substituting Warning: An exception occurred in blah blah blah is often enough.

In some cases it's not viable to modify the original log output, and in those cases I've sometimes seen developers append messages on the same line or the next line like -- This message is harmless

  • It is such an appending I want to do yes, and the phrasing of it is the crux here. You think saying "harmless" is the right way to go? – Weckar E. Sep 25 '17 at 12:08
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    I think any phrasing that operates on the message would work, for example: Ignore me, Trying plan b... <Success message from another operation here>, This message is a warning, the operation probably completed You know your audience best, so in the end you should go with your gut. :) – Tristan Shelton Sep 25 '17 at 15:31

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