[racket] Behaviour with read-only files

From: Alexander Krimm (alexanderk at lavabit.com)
Date: Thu Nov 17 12:12:41 EST 2011

Hey there,

I have a question about how DrRacket handles read-only files. In any
other editor I know you can type along in read-only files and if you
try to save you are redirected to the "save as" dialog.

If i understood the DrRacket behaviour right it switches to a read-only
mode, where you can't change anything in the definitions window,
indicated by the small yellow box at the status line.

I can't think of any other application(from vi to huge IDEs) that does
it this was, which doesn't mean that it's wrong, of course. Sometimes it
can be good to break convention, to provide a more consequent user

Having said that, i want to tell a problem that someone encountered: He
told he wasnt able to write anything to the definitions window when he
opened a file from the internet (we are provided with templates for
exercies by our university). He also noticed the yellow "read only" but
he didn't find a way out of read-only mode. So he copied the content of
the file and pasted it to a new racket programm.
This works but I think its pretty inconvenient.(I know that the "right"
way would have been to "save as")

Another point is that it's inconsistent, as you can type in new non
saved programms, so you can't say you can only type in writeable

And last i think this mode is in your way if you just want to look at a
little programm from the web, play a little bit with it, without

possible improvements:

1) make the "read only" box klickable so you can get rid of this mode
by klicking on it. there could be a small dialog that racket is
incapable to write to the file and a button to "save as"
could also be shown if the user starts typing in the blocked
definitions window.
2) do as all the other editors do, definitions window
writeable, save as instead of save.
3) leave it as it is and explain me the advantages ;)

I really enjoy playing around with racket and I think it's a great way
to explain basic prinziples of programming. I appreciate the great work
that has been done by creating it. 


PS: is there any way to stop the stepper from continuing to execute the
programm while you are looking at steps in the beginning of the
programm? I had an infinite loop in one of my programms and while i was
trying to figure out why break condition didn't catch the stepper was
continuing infinitely slowing my system down to inuseability

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