O’Reilly news

O'Reilly Releases First Guide to Developing Windows Error Messages

March 31, 1998

Although the computer industry has made enormous advances in the last 25 years, the development of error messages has somehow been left behind. Once merely numerical codes, reporting errors are now simple (but often misleading) text messages. Most error messages are written by programmers, for programmers, with little thought to the end-user who will be receiving the error message.

Developing Windows Error Messages, the only book of its kind on the market, focuses on the three important elements of an effective error message: notification, explanation, and solution.

Developing Windows Error Messages shows how to write effective error messages that notify the user of an error, clearly explain the error, and most important, offer a solution. Throughout the book the author uses examples that illustrate incomplete error messages and then describes how to make them more effective. The book also discusses methods for preventing and trapping errors before they occur and tells how to create flexible input and response routines to keep unnecessary errors from happening.

The accompanying CD-ROM provides the necessary tools, including ErrorMessage.DLL (for C, C++, and MFC programmers) and ErrorShell.DLL (for Visual Basic programmers). These libraries support a variety of informational and error displays and present their messages in a standard format, improving the quality of error messages and reducing the time programmers must spend creating and calling error dialogs.

This is an invaluable guide to a key element of software design for Windows programmers, whether they're programming in C, C++, or Visual Basic.

About the Author:

Ben Ezzell is a consultant and software engineer, as well as the author of more than 20 books on computer programming. His books include the first titles that introduced both object-oriented Pascal and C++ and the complete guide to Windows NT in HELP! Windows NT.


Developing Windows Error Messages
by Ben Ezzell
March 1998 (US)
254 pages, 1-56592-356-1, $39.95 ($US) Includes CD-ROM

About O’Reilly

O’Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O’Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying “faint signals” from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

Email a link to this press release