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Indiana Jones and the Crypt of Cryptic Error Messages: Real-World Examples

Error message examples for https://thoughtbot.com/blog/indiana-jones-and-the-crypt-of-cryptic-error-messages

Here's a compilation of actual error messages I ran into while writing this blog post, followed by a quick analysis of how I approached each one and the search terms I used to find solutions.

Many of these (or portions of them) are included in the above post to demonstrate specific points; some have been combined in the post to demonstrate multiple approaches.


Error Message:

*** Terminating app due to uncaught exception 'NSInvalidArgumentException', reason: 
'NSHealthUpdateUsageDescription must be set in the app's Info.plist in order to request write 
authorization for the following types: HKWorkoutTypeIdentifier'

(0x1e79ed80 0x29246884 0x1e6a3274 0x254b7550...0x254b7014 0x254b6870 0xf31f10 0xf64c48 0xf643cc)

libc++abi: terminating with uncaught exception of type NSException
*** First throw call stack:

There's a lot to unpack here. Try just the keywords, and then a keyword with a phrase excerpt:

Search term 1: NSInvalidArgumentException NSHealthUpdateUsageDescription HKWorkoutTypeIdentifier

Search term 2: HKWorkoutTypeIdentifier must be set in the app's Info.plist


Error Message:

Value of type 'List<Never, ForEach<FetchedResults<HeartRateData>, 
FetchedResults<HeartRateData>.Element, HStack<Text>>>' 
(aka 'List<Never, ForEach<FetchedResults<HeartRateData>, HeartRateData, 
HStack<Text>>>') has no member 'onDelete'

This is super verbose! Excluded the pieces that look like your objects and simplify it to the human-readable part:

Search term: Value of type List has no member onDelete


Error Message:

HKLiveWorkoutBuilder_1273 [EE52]

Huh! This one is really short. Try looking for all of the text, and if that doesn't work, shorten it, but add a helper word:

Search term 1 (no results): HKLiveWorkoutBuilder_1273 [EE52]

Search term 2 (no results): HKLiveWorkoutBuilder_1273

Search term 3 (success!): HKLiveWorkoutBuilder errors


Error Message:

Cannot use mutating member on immutable value: 'self' is immutable

This is short and generic; search by itself in full quotes, or without quotes, and optionally add your tech stack term in front:

Search term: swift cannot use mutating member on immutable value: 'self' is immutable


Error Message:

WKExtendedRuntimeObject was dealloced while running. Invalidating the session 
AA09BAF8-E552-47BB-8828-77A71D52435A

This is short-ish, but exclude the giant ID and try a shorter version:

Search term: WKExtendedRuntimeObject was dealloced while running


Error Message:

paired device unavailable for development

This one feels a little too generic to find the right thing. Add a tech stack and the hardware in question to add specificity:

Search term: xcode apple watch paired device unavailable for development


Error Message:

Retrying fetcher due to error (4/4): Bundler::HTTPError Could not fetch specs from 
https://rubygems.org/ due to underlying error <Errno::EHOSTUNREACH: Failed to open 
TCP connection to rubygems.org:443 (No route to host - connect(2) for "rubygems.org" 
port 443) (https://rubygems.org/specs.4.8.gz)>

Could not fetch specs from https://rubygems.org/ due to underlying error 
<Errno::EHOSTUNREACH: Failed to open TCP connection to rubygems.org:443 (No route to 
host - connect(2) for "rubygems.org" port 443) (https://rubygems.org/specs.4.8.gz)>

There's a lot of repeated text there. Try the core message with a little detail:

Search term: Could not fetch specs from https://rubygems.org due to underlying error Errno::EHOSTUNREACH


Error Message:

Exit status: 128
Error cloning certificates repo, please make sure you have read access to the 
repository you want to use
Run the following command manually to make sure you're properly authenticated:
$ git clone https://github.com/company-name/some-long-url 
/var/folders/rc/g8r7l3zj75v1424j1tbt2k_80000gn/T/e20210505-13476-7habc4

This error message has a suggestion in it that you can try. If you want to read about the error first, list the program that showed the error message, use the part that describes the error, and add the error number:

Search term: fastlane match Error cloning certificates repo 128


Error Message:

Fatal error: Uncaught Error: Cannot use object of type stdClass as array in 
/home/customer/www/example.org/public_html/wp-content/themes/panoramic/functions.php:201 Stack trace: #0 
/home/customer/www/example.org/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php(292): panoramic_admin_notice('') #1 
/home/customer/www/example.org/public_html/wp-includes/class-wp-hook.php(316): WP_Hook->apply_filters(NULL, Array) #2
/home/customer/www/example.org/public_html/wp-includes/plugin.php(484): WP_Hook->do_action(Array) #3
/home/customer/www/example.org/public_html/wp-admin/admin-header.php(288): do_action('admin_notices') #4
/home/customer/www/example.org/public_html/wp-admin/plugins.php(603): require_once('/home/customer/...') #5
{main} thrown in /home/customer/www/example.org/public_html/wp-content/themes/panoramic/functions.php on line 201

Another super-wordy one. Again, grab the human readable part and add some relevant keywords to describe where the problem is happening:

Search term 1: cannot use object of type stdclass as array in wordpress

Search term 2: cannot use object of type stdclass "panoramic" theme

Search term 3: Error Panoramic theme | WordPress.org

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