One thing we all hate are unhelpful error messages, and we certainly see a few of them on element14 Community. If you've seen this kind of error before, you may have wondered why it's so poor at explaining what went wrong.




There a whole host of reasons why you might see an error like this, but the underlying cause isn't displayed because;


  • It wouldn't mean much to most people
  • It could contain information that exposes security holes / exploits
  • You can't do anything about it


From the development team point-of-view, it's also frustrating because we then have to somehow work out why you got the error.. often by asking you lots of questions about what you did before you saw it. We also find it difficult to locate in the error logs (where the full error is output) because we don't exactly know when the problem occurred.


In our latest update to the site, we've altered the 'Unexpected error' page to include a special number, which as developers, we can narrow down the issue a lot more easily. It'll also allow you to hit a link to create a new Feedback & Support ticket (which automatically includes the special number).


Here's how it now looks (click to see a larger version):