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Writing Apache Modules with Perl and C by Lincoln Stein, Doug MacEachern

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4.6. Handling Errors

Errors in Apache modules do occur, and tracking them down is significantly trickier than in standalone Perl or C programs. Some errors are due to bugs in your code, while others are due to the unavoidable hazards of running in a networked environment. The remote user might cancel a form submission before it is entirely done, the connection might drop while you're updating a database, or a file that you're trying to access might not exist.

A virtuous Apache module must let at least two people know when a problem has occurred: you, the module's author, and the remote user. You can communicate errors and other exception conditions to yourself by writing out entries to the server log. For alerting the user when a problem has occurred, you can take advantage of the simple but flexible Apache ErrorDocument system, use CGI::Carp, or roll your own error handler.

4.6.1. Error Logging

We talked about tracking down code bugs in Chapter 2 and will talk more about C-language specific debugging in Chapter 10. This section focuses on defensive coding techniques for intercepting and handling other types of runtime errors.

The most important rule is to log everything. Log anything unexpected, whether it is a fatal error or a condition that you can work around. Log expected but unusual conditions too, and generate routine logging messages that can help you trace the execution of your module under normal conditions.

Apache versions 1.3 and higher offer syslog-like log ...

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