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IP.Board 3 Error Handling Improvements

It is necessary in any application to handle error situations. The most common method of handling such a situation is to issue an alert to the user so that they know an error has occurred. While this is sufficient in most cases to resolve the problem, we wanted to address IP.Board's error handling routines a little bit with the upcoming release to try to make them a little more useful.

Firstly, we've gone through all of the errors that are issued, and clarified and separated them. No more obscure "Sorry, some required files are missing" error messages when doing something as simple as visiting a topic that has been deleted. The error messages should be much easier for the end user to understand with the upcoming release.

In addition to updating the error messages themselves, we've added unique error codes to each and every message. The error codes follow a defined format so that in the event you need to submit a ticket and reference an error message you received, by providing the error code our technicians can look up more information on the error and easily find where and how it was triggered. This should help make technical support more efficient for all of us.

At some point following the release of IP.Board 3.0, we intend to make public this error codes database so that users can easily look up more information on errors when they need to by themselves.

Further to this, we've added error logging. By default, certain errors will trigger a log to be generated. Generally, these logs are only generated when an error has occurred that could indicate a user is attempting to bypass security restrictions. Some administrators may want to trap more errors, however (perhaps even all generated errors), and as such we've added a setting that allows you to force IP.Board to log all errors above a given level (levels range from 1 through 5). Additionally, you can opt to be notified of all errors triggered above a certain level. For instance, if you want to know about all level 5 (serious) errors encountered right away, you can have the board email you when such an error is generated. This can help you administrate your board more effectively and securely by identifying issues you didn't know existed (for instance, in a custom modification), and can help our technical support drill down on issues that are unique to your site.

The log pruning task has been updated to support the new error log tables so you can prevent it from growing too large.

We have some more ideas for improvements to the error system in general to provide more value and assistance for you and your users. Errors are a necessary part of application development, but we are doing our part to make them as friendly and manageable as possible.

If you have more ideas for improvements to the error management system in IP.Board 3 please share them with us below!

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