[racket-dev] Language selection considered harmful

From: Eli Barzilay (eli at barzilay.org)
Date: Thu Aug 26 11:33:20 EDT 2010

It's getting to be difficult to tell people what to do wrt choosing a
language.  There are several things that contribute to this:

* I can't use "default language" to refer to the module language,
  since it's not the default.

* I can't use "module language" to refer to it since it's not known by
  that name -- and "module" is no longer something that newbies know

* I can't even refer to some sane label in the language dialog, since
  there is only a description instead of a name -- unlike other

* The term "language" itself is very confusing -- no easy way to
  distinguish a language in the "#lang" sense and language in the
  "entry in the language selection dialog" sense.

When I'm answering such questions, it is getting extremely difficult
to tell people what to do, and often leads to some confusingly broken
dialog.  See for example:

This is mostly a rant since I don't see any easy way to improve it,
especially given the problem of dealing with htdp based classes.

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

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