Even though the target audience may be programmers, it can still be seen by users

Raymond Chen

The access violation error message erroneously reports execute errors as write errors, which is probably for the better, seeing as end users are not going to understand the technical term “execute”, and they may misinterpret it as referring to capital punishment.

While it’s true that the word “execute” is the correct term for the target audience, the fact remains that this message is shown to audiences beyond its target. You therefore have to be careful not to alarm them unnecessarily. (Insert stories about people who get all concerned about their computers performing illegal operations and wondering if they’re going to be arrested.)

Bonus chatter: Adam Rosenfield wonders whether this message was ever localized, or whether it got “un-localized” by Windows Vista. I went back through the history. The words “read” and “written” were never localized as far as I can tell.


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