Have you ever wanted to call
exit() with an error condition,
but weren’t sure what exit status to use? No? Maybe it’s just me, then.
Anyway, I was reading manpages late one evening before retiring to bed in
my palatial estate in rural Oregon, and I stumbled across
sysexits(3). Much to my chagrin, I couldn’t find a
sysexits for Ruby! Well, for the other 2 people that actually
style(9) as it applies to Ruby code, now there is
Sysexits is a completely
awesome collection of human-readable constants for the
standard (BSDish) exit codes, used as arguments to
indicate a specific error condition to the parent process.
It’s so fantastically fabulous that you’ll want to fork it right away to
avoid being thought of as that guy that’s still using Webrick for his blog.
exit(1) is so passé! This is like the 14-point font of
Like the C header file from which this was derived (I mean forked,
naturally), error numbers begin at
is way more cool than plain old
64) to reduce the possibility
of clashing with other exit statuses that other programs may already
The codes are available in two forms: as constants which can be imported
into your own namespace via
include Sysexits, or as
Sysexits::STATUS_CODES, a Hash keyed by Symbols derived from
the constant names.
Allow me to demonstrate. First, the old way:
exit( 69 )
Whaaa…? Is that a euphemism? What’s going on? See how unattractive and… well, 1970 that is? We’re not changing vaccuum tubes here, people, we’re building a totally-awesome future in the Cloud™!
include Sysexits exit EX_UNAVAILABLE
Okay, at least this is readable to people who have used
more than twice, but you could do so much better!
include Sysexits exit :unavailable
Holy Toledo! It’s like we’re writing Ruby, but our own made-up dialect in which variable++ is possible! Well, okay, it’s not quite that cool. But it does look more Rubyish. And no monkeys were patched in the filming of this episode! All the simpletons still exiting with icky numbers can still continue blithely along, none the wiser.
At some point, Apple started including their own
vendor_ruby, so to load the gem version on a MacOS
X 10.7+ box, you need to do:
gem 'sysexits' require 'sysexits'
It’s a bit ugly, but there isn’t a whole lot I can do about it. Sorry.
You can clone the source with Mercurial, submit bug reports, suggestions, etc., via the project page:
Or if you prefer Git, you can clone the source via its Github mirror:
After checking out the source, run:
$ rake newb
This task will install any missing dependencies, run the tests/specs, and generate the RDoc.
You can read more super-exited pointless marketing at:
Or maybe not.
Copyright © 2010-2012, Michael Granger All rights reserved.
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