Removing function names from errors (PR 9058)

Richard Levitte levitte at
Thu Jun 13 10:18:57 UTC 2019

On Thu, 13 Jun 2019 12:01:46 +0200,
Matt Caswell wrote:
> >  The
> > additional information you're talking about is something we currently
> > provide the ERR_add_error_data() function for, and that together with
> > the reason text (derived from the reason code) is the data the end
> > user can reasonably get.  It's up to whoever writes the error raising
> > code to provide enough useful information.
> Yes, although in practice we don't currently do this (we very rarely add
> additional explanatory text). Not sure if that is a problem with the API, our
> coding standards, or our culture.

This is partly historical...  ERR_add_error_data() has been around
since the beginning of time, and it looks to me like it was designed
in a time where varargs hadn't universally caught on yet (yes, there
was a time before varargs, and it's appropriate to call that "the
stone age").

In today's coding practices, I personally find ERR_add_error_data()
clumsy to deal with, so I seldom use it.  Also, being a separate
function, it's easy to forget that it's there and useful.  That's a
reason to think that having all integrated in one function call that
includes the flexibility of BIO_printf() probably would encourage
producing better information.


Richard Levitte         levitte at
OpenSSL Project

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