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Thread: Assertion

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Post Assertion

    When should you use assertions in your programs?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Norm's Avatar
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    Default Re: Assertion

    Moved from What's wrong section.

    Have you asked this with an internet Search engine?
    If you don't understand my answer, don't ignore it, ask a question.

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Norm For This Useful Post:

    jamesh (January 3rd, 2014)

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Assertion

    When to use assertions:
    • To prove a state, or to prove a state doesn't exist.
    • To check preconditions/postconditions in internal code (eg private methods of a library)
    • To provide feedback to the developers as changes are made to a programs structure
    • As part of the unit tests.

    When not to use assertions:
    • To prove correctness in a given state.
    • To resolve run time problems.
    • To check parameters or null objects
    • In a deployed product.

    All of this is debatable but a rule of thumb I read years ago is that assertions prove correctness during development whilst exceptions prove robustness during use. Much like logging they are designed to be turned off for deployment and I generally use them for pretty ridiculous sanity checks in case I happen to break something critical.

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    jamesh (January 3rd, 2014)

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