Three ways I see here:
1) make function return that value explicitly
2) add additional argument to the function's argument list and pass string holder as that parameter. After the function completes its execution, that string holder will contain the result of the function.
3) throw an exception from that function that will contain the result.
I for myself see first choice more preferable because it's simple, intuitive and straight.
On the other hand, when execution of the function goes in a wrong way there may be additional choices like throw an exception or use a variable passed through parameter to save errors if any happen.
Intuitively, I see that ideal choice is to have explicit return value and throws declaration. So return value is used for normal execution and caught exception will signal about abnormal situation. But I myself don't like exceptions too much if only it is not the completely unpredictable error, so I'd use explicit return value and additional parameter to hold some extra-situation logs or errors.
Please advise books or articles on the subject (it shouldn't necessary talk about Java, any other languages with similar mechanisms are also suitable). Are you talking about returning a "value" object? And BTW "its" has no apostrophe in "completes its execution"
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