I developed a web application.

When users call my application, my application may failed and it will returns FAIL.

Some users will retry when they received FAIL.

Sometimes it works, but in some cases, my application knows the retry won't recover from that failure. So I want to it returns a new state to indicate a failure which can't recover from retries.

So which is the proper word for that case?

By the way, my application will returns [INIT,DOING,SUCC,FAIL], and means:

  • INIT: app is initializing
  • DOING: app is working for user's request
  • SUCC: user's request done successfully
  • FAIL: user's request failed
  • 1
    I'd just say it's an unrecoverable failure, personally. Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 8:51
  • How about UNAVAILABLE ? It means my app is not available for your request. @JohnClifford
    – Sayakiss
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 9:01
  • 1
    The problem there is that people might think that's just temporary unavailability and retry anyway. Specifying "unrecoverable" makes it clear that trying again won't work. Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 9:02
  • @JohnClifford Really thanks and I will use unrecoverable.
    – Sayakiss
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 9:24
  • @JohnClifford My merge request was rejected and we decide to use UNABLE... Because unrecoverable is too long for other developers...
    – Sayakiss
    Commented Mar 23, 2016 at 11:05

1 Answer 1


The corresponding value issued from the logging system commonly used in the Java world is FATAL. If the FATAL status occurs, you'll know for sure that the application won't recover from this final state..

  • Thanks your advice, but I think it's hard to let an ordinary user have a sense that FATAL means unrecoverable ...
    – Sayakiss
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 0:48
  • You think people don't know what a fatality is? Maybe you I right, it's difficult to guess Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 7:47
  • My web application is for Chinese users which English may be very poor..
    – Sayakiss
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 8:08

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