[racket-dev] Language selection considered harmful

From: Eli Barzilay (eli at barzilay.org)
Date: Thu Aug 26 12:16:41 EDT 2010

On Aug 26, Neil Van Dyke wrote:
> Rename "Use the language declared in the source" option to
> "Declared" (if first-week CS students don't confuse that with
> "declarative language")?
> "Automatic" or "Detected" sound a little bit grandiose, but aren't
> too bad either.

That would be nice, but the problem is that it looks much less visible
than the options beneath it.  (Actually, another good point for a
single word is that with a *quick* glance at the dialog all I see is
some lots-of-text-mumbles, and the language names ("language" in the
drracket sense) are much more visible.)

> Ideally, only students ever have to change this setting, or even be
> told about it.

(Yes, that was my preference -- IMO the "no language" language is much
less needed.)

> Also, if nobody uses the legacy language options, removing those would 
> remove some confusion.

(I'm not sure about that one.)

On Aug 26, Jon Rafkind wrote:
> What about having some sub-options under "use language declared in
> source" for some common things people use? drracket could just
> insert the appropriate #lang line and use that language.
> * Use language declared in source
>     * racket
>     * r5rs
>     * r6rs
>     * typed-scheme
>     * ...

Something like that should eventually be there -- but if it happens
now, it will make things even more confusing since the two sets of
choices are very different from each other.  (Think about choosing
your r5rs vs the existing one, for example.)

          ((lambda (x) (x x)) (lambda (x) (x x)))          Eli Barzilay:
                    http://barzilay.org/                   Maze is Life!

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