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question regarding scanw errors

From: Ruslan Nabioullin
Subject: question regarding scanw errors
Date: Wed, 11 Dec 2013 16:54:10 -0500
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux i686; rv:17.0) Gecko/20131104 Icedove/17.0.10

Hello, the man page of scanw states "vwscanw returns ERR on failure..."; because scanw is an IO function, obviously failure implies "system" errors. However, based on superficial testing, scanw returns ERR in case of the input, before the newline, being "blank" (empty or consisting of merely whitespace), instead of the intuitively-expected 0.

My question is, how does one distinguish whether a "system" error occurred or the input was "blank", upon return of ERR?

Thanks in advance,

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