A number of exported functions in modload call base.Errorf and base.Fatalf. Instead of printing to stderr and exiting, functions in this package should return errors (ideally structured errors). This will make commands with non-standard error handling like go list -e, go build -n, and go mod download -json easier to implement.
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@GrigoriyMikhalkin If you haven't contributed to cmd/go before, this is probably not a good issue to start with. It will be a significant refactoring across several core packages, and it involves a lot of design decisions about how errors should be structured and handled.
Maybe try searching for issues with the help wanted label? Most of those are small and self-contained. Many are good first issues.
Note that we're pretty deep into the 1.14 code freeze right now, so any CLs except documentation and small bug fixes will be held until the 1.15 development cycle, which should start some time in February.