[racket-dev] [racket] Exploratory programming?

From: John Clements (clements at brinckerhoff.org)
Date: Wed Dec 1 18:11:06 EST 2010

On Dec 1, 2010, at 2:51 PM, <engineer at alum.mit.edu> wrote:

> 1.  I've been meaning for a long time to mention some things like this.
> Another example is "modulus" (modulo and remainder work).  It'd be nice to
> have a list of suggestions returned whenever certain words were typed or
> whenever no results are returned.
> 2.  Search Manuals breaks the browser's Back button.  Here's a simple
> example.
> a. Open http://docs.racket-lang.org/
> b. Type "modulus" in the "search manuals" box and hit Enter
> c. No matches found, so change the highlighted text to "modulo"
> d. Click on one of the results
> e. Click the browser's back button
> f. I'm not "back" at the list of results
> I have been very impressed with the level of documentation, but I (and my
> students) have often found frustration in searching.

This might be another good chance to mention work that a student of mine has done on a tool, ErrRecorder, that collects error messages automatically and allows users to suggest solutions for particular error messages.


The new piece here is that it now does some clustering of error messages based on levenshtein distances, so that errors can be grouped by frequency in some sensible way.  For the problem you mention, I see that you really want to split up that big first category that holds all of the "undefined identifier" messages generated in teaching languages.

This tool has been installed on local machines for about eight weeks, now, and has collected about 3900 errors.  It's not yet ready for download, but I'd be interested in hearing whether something like this could be useful for you.

John Clements

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