I have a program in which the previous programmer has used a flag (called AL_DEBUG) to specify whether a program is a debug or release version. When AL_DEBUG is set conditional compile statements include extra run time error handling code. Note this is not done by exception handling. Most of the code is for simply checking pointers to make sure they contain an object before continuing. I assume that this is easily done by exception handling but would it lead to unnecessary code bloat? I am quite happy with the fact that my AL_DEBUG flag is in no way compiler dependent and so my code is relatively portable at the moment. Also - does anyone know of a good book that covers exception handling in detail as I don't have one at the moment.