Write Pythonic Code Like a Seasoned Developer Transcripts
Chapter: Foundational Concepts
Lecture: Care enough to send an exit code

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0:01 The next Pythonic tip I want to cover
0:02 is about sending an exit code to indicate
0:05 whether your application succeeded or failed.
0:09 Let's have a look, so here I have a little utility app,
0:11 meant to run on Windows and its job is to format the main drive C:
0:15 and of course you don't want to just do that,
0:18 just because the app was run, the script was run,
0:21 you'd like a little confirmation, so here we ask the user
0:23 "are you sure you want to format your main hard drive?"
0:25 "Yes" or "no", you can see the default is "no"
0:28 but if for some reason they type in "yes",
0:31 and they come down here, we are going to simulate a little work,
0:34 we are not actually going to format anyone's hard drive,
0:37 and then we'll say "format completed".
0:39 So let's run this.
0:41 "Are you sure you want to format drive C?" Let's say "no", format canceled,
0:46 now notice, exit code zero.
0:49 Let's come down here and say "yes", I would love to format drive C,
0:53 so we do a little bit of work, you can't format it immediately, it's hard job here,
0:58 and then boom, formatted successfully, enjoy the new hard drive space.
1:01 Now, we also got code zero,
1:04 if I was trying to run this as a subprocess,
1:06 or I was trying to orchestrate this by chaining it together,
1:09 there is no way for me to know as a user of this script
1:13 whether or not the user canceled or they actually formatted the hard drive.
1:17 We can easily come up here before a return, we don't technically need to return,
1:22 because this is going to actually stop executing immediately;
1:26 anyway, I can go over here and I can import "sys",
1:29 now I was already importing "sys" so that I could use this little flush command
1:32 that normally I wouldn't have been there,
1:34 so I'll say "sys.exit" and we are going to exit here with let's say 1,
1:39 down here, we can do this, we can say "sys.exit(0)" of course,
1:46 you saw if we don't do anything at all, "exit(0)" is what is going to happen,
1:49 so maybe I'll leave this one off.
1:51 Now, we also know that this is going to throw an exception
1:54 so this "return" is actually unreachable, PyCharm told us that,
1:57 OK so let's try again;
2:00 "are you sure you want to format your main hard drive?"
2:02 No. Exit code 1.
2:05 Do you want to format your hard drive - oh please do, exit code 0.
2:09 Again, canceled, exit code 1, perfect.
2:14 So if there is any chance that your script is going to be called
2:17 by other script or other applications
2:19 you want to make sure that you indicate some kind of exit code
2:22 so that they can use that information to determine
2:25 whether or not they can continue whatever they are doing afterwards,
2:27 whether or not your script succeeded.
2:30 So if we just let our app, our script exit, well it's always code zero,
2:34 but we can use "sys.exit" and give some kind of code,
2:38 typically the convention is if it's non-zero
2:41 there was some kind of either failure or abnormal exit
2:44 whereas zero is "all systems nominal".
2:48 Everything is good.