[plt-scheme] running an MzScheme debugger in Emacs?

From: Matthias Felleisen (matthias at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Sat Apr 26 20:57:20 EDT 2008

On Apr 26, 2008, at 8:30 PM, Felix Klock's PLT scheme proxy wrote:

> 1.) Are we talking about SICP, or the added sample course-work that  
> someone has put up from a previous semester of 6.001?

Correct, we need to distinguish those two. My reference is to the  
"SICP course atmosphere" not the book itself in this message.

> 2.) This tendency of novices to ignore the error messages (and the  
> control flow information, etc) happens in every introductory class  
> I have taught.  I have had to explicitly tell beginners: "Hey, use  
> the feedback that the programming environment is handing to you."
> This is a general principle that extends beyond instruction in how  
> to use a particular debugger.  I do not remember how much time, if  
> any, is devoted to this principle in SICP or in HtDP.

You are absolutely, 100% correct on this point. You are one of the  
rare people who have TAed in an SICP and in an HtDP culture. I will  
claim the following though:

  -- students are conditioned not to study the error message when  
they arrive
  (-- I will leave it to others to speculate on the why)
  -- because DrScheme's messages are somewhat more helpful than those of
     a general Scheme implementation, we do have more success re- 
  -- but there is a lot more to be done.

-- Matthias

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