[racket-dev] highlighting function position with an underline.

From: John Clements (clements at brinckerhoff.org)
Date: Tue Oct 26 02:33:59 EDT 2010

I'm in the pit of despair... er, grading first-year exams, and I'm looking at code that has terrible paren-placement issues.  I don't take points off for this on exams, but I can only imagine how long it takes these poor kids to get their code to run.

After thinking about it for a while, I'm currently of the opinion that one serious shortcoming of our syntax is that we fail to distinguish the function position from that of the arguments, something that the traditional f(x) notation does pretty clearly.

... No, I'm not going to propose changing the syntax. We've got lots of other folks doing that.

Who thinks it would be helpful, though, if Check Syntax were to, say, underline the function position? In language levels other than beginner this could mean overlapping/nested underlines, but that could itself be a warning sign.  If there's any interest at all, I could at least do a mock-up to see whether the idea grabs people.


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