[plt-dev] language dialog

From: Carl Eastlund (carl.eastlund at gmail.com)
Date: Fri Jan 29 14:39:24 EST 2010

On Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 2:32 PM, Robby Findler
<robby at eecs.northwestern.edu> wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 1:29 PM, Carl Eastlund <carl.eastlund at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 2:22 PM, Robby Findler
>> <robby at eecs.northwestern.edu> wrote:
>>> On Fri, Jan 29, 2010 at 1:17 PM, Carl Eastlund <carl.eastlund at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>> Could we populate the Language dialog with popular choices (PLT
>>>> Scheme, R6RS Scheme, etc.) that all just dump the user into what we
>>>> know as the Module language, but with the right first line provided?
>>>> It seems like what users want is split up differently from how we've
>>>> implemented it, so why not present a menu split up the way users want
>>>> and keep the implementation split up the way we find convenient.
>>> I considered this, but am afraid that it may be too big of a change
>>> for some of our users at this point. Also, I'm afraid that we don't
>>> yet have (up to snuff) #lang-based versions of all of our languages.
>> I'm not proposing removing any of our current options, nor using the
>> "bait and switch" technique for any language except the ones that we
>> only support via #lang.  The student languages should stay separate
>> from Module, and anyone who wants Module should be able to get it (by
>> that or another descriptive name).  But some languages people are
>> looking for, that they might not think fall under "Module", I don't
>> see any reason not to provide by name: PLT Scheme, Typed Scheme, R6RS,
>> etc.
> The only language I see in the language dialog that appears to meet
> your criterion is Lazy Scheme. How about we just remove it from the
> language dialog instead? Or are there others?

You certainly can, but that is the opposite of my suggestion.  It
seems like the source of confusion is that people are used to
different languages being different "modes", rather than different
source programs in one "multiple-language" grammar.  The new dialog is
a partial step toward helping them out, by making it clearer that "no,
really, you can get any language you want with #lang".

But I am suggesting, for those who don't immediately "get it", why not
provide them with what they expect.  Add options for Typed Scheme, PLT
Scheme, R6RS, Lazy Scheme, and any other #lang-based languages we can
think of, that we implementers think of as "part of the Module
language", but users prefer to think of as "a language level".
There's no reason to force them to think our way about it.  Is there?


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