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

From: Shriram Krishnamurthi (sk at cs.brown.edu)
Date: Fri Jun 3 20:21:57 EDT 2011

> * Start the message with the name of the construct whose constraint is
>   being violated, followed by a colon.
>      Should give a quick example to clarify that `error' does that when
>      given a symbol.   I can see people following this blindly and
>      getting
>         -> (error 'foo "foo: blah blah")
>         foo: foo: blah blah

AGREED: GM, add to the todo list.  (Though the persistence of such an
error would also suggest that the message author never ran DrRacket!)

> * ... somewhat anthropomorphically ...
>      See second item in the guidelines, apply reflection.

Are you referring to the "concise and clear" bullet?  Can you make
your point less obliquely?

> * variable -> identifier
>      (-0.52 because I can see it leaking out of the SLs)

Do you mean identifier -> variable?

At any rate, we're pretty set on this one, perhaps more so than just
about any other edit.

> * do not write `' around keyword
>      This can work only in a limited context, where you use
>      colors/font/etc or you know that there is no keyword in your world
>      that can be confused with text like `like'.   Perhaps it would be a
>      hook to start using some unicode things?   <x>  «x » ?x?

Perhaps, but the <...> notation is actually confusing.  We have some
evidence for this.  So, while we're open to ideas, we think the
current notation is not quite working.


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