Use fmt.Errorf instead of new errors with Sprintf

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ID: go-best-practices/errors-new-errorf

Language: Go

Severity: Info

Category: Best Practices


However, it is preferable to use fmt.Errorf("something %s", foo) instead of errors.New(fmt.Sprintf("something %s", foo)).

Here are a few reasons why:

  1. Simplicity: The fmt.Errorf function simplifies the error message creation by combining the formatting and error wrapping in one function call. It automatically prefixes the error message with the location information, including the file name and line number, which aids in debugging. In contrast, using errors.New(fmt.Sprintf("something %s", foo)) requires an extra step of formatting the string separately before creating the error.
  2. Consistency: By consistently using fmt.Errorf, developers maintain a uniform approach to error handling and can easily recognize and handle errors throughout the codebase. Using a single idiomatic method rather than mixing different styles ensures consistency and improves code readability and maintainability.
  3. Improved error messages: fmt.Errorf provides additional context information for debugging purposes by including the file name and line number where the error was generated. This context can be invaluable in identifying the source of an error quickly and accurately. The errors.New approach lacks this valuable context information.
  4. Error wrapping: Go 1.13 introduced error wrapping functionality with the errors package, allowing for richer error handling. By using fmt.Errorf, you can take advantage of this feature, which allows you to wrap errors with additional contextual information. This information provides a hierarchical error structure, which is useful for understanding error causes and propagation.

To summarize, utilizing fmt.Errorf over errors.New(fmt.Sprintf("something %s", foo)) is preferred due to its simplicity, consistency, improved error messages, and the ability to leverage error wrapping capabilities introduced in Go 1.13. By conforming to best practices, developers can write cleaner and more maintainable error handling code.

Non-Compliant Code Examples

func myFunc() error {
	foo := "foo"
	return errors.New(fmt.Sprintf("error: %s", foo))

Compliant Code Examples

func myFunc() error {
	foo := "foo"
	return fmt.Errorf("error: %s", foo)
} jetbrains

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