[racket-dev] guidelines on error messages -- please send feedback

From: Carl Eastlund (cce at ccs.neu.edu)
Date: Fri Jun 3 15:17:19 EDT 2011

I think that falls under the "don't make suggestions" heading.  For
the full Racket language, that would be fine -- like you say, you as a
professional computer scientist find it useful.  But for novice
programmers, if they didn't in fact mean "foobar" they may "fix" it to
be "foobar" instead, and assume that must be correct because DrRacket
said so.

Carl Eastlund

On Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 3:12 PM, Jon Rafkind <rafkind at cs.utah.edu> wrote:
> Somewhat offtopic but could the *SL languages use levenshtien distances to
> find symbolically related variables? clang (a c++ compiler) does this and I
> find it immensely useful.
> foodar();
> Error: `foodar' not found, did you mean 'foobar' ?
> On 06/03/2011 11:21 AM, Shriram Krishnamurthi wrote:
> Guillaume, Kathi and I have created a set of guidelines for writing
> error messages for *SL.  For consistency, these guidelines need to be
> used also by authors of libraries including Teachpacks, etc.  These
> guidelines are currently being applied to all the error messages in
> *SL in the core distribution.
> Please review these guidelines and let us know if anything is
> unclear.  We'd like to hear back from you within a week, by
> Fri, June 10
> We have had to compromise on the description a little to make
> everything fit into a small number of pages, which we did because we
> really do hope people will print these out and put them on the wall or
> next to their monitor to refer to while writing code.  Therefore,
> lengthy descriptions are out.
> In particular, rationale is also out.  If you are curious about the
> rationales for any of these things, please do ask.
> After this is settled next week, we will send this to users@ and also
> to edu@ to tell instructors to follow these terms.
> Thanks,
> Shriram

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