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

From: Stephen Bloch (sbloch at adelphi.edu)
Date: Fri Jun 3 20:48:22 EDT 2011

On Jun 3, 2011, at 8:34 PM, Shriram Krishnamurthi wrote:

>> Oh, I'm all in favor of skipping "identifier".   But using the word
>> "variable" both for global variables (i.e. constants) and for
>> function parameters strikes me as asking for confusion.
> Okay.  We have no evidence one way or the other.  It could be
> something we try to investigate.  Given our observation (for other
> terms) that fine-grained distinctions actually cause more confusion
> than help, I am not at all ready to buy your argument.  Moreover, I
> have also come to distrust arguments from pure reason in this area.

Fair enough.  Data are good.

But it seems to me that the difference (to a novice) between 
(a) something that's given a value once and for all where its name is defined, and
(b) something that's a place-holder that takes on a different value every time a particular function is called
is anything BUT a "fine distinction".

Stephen Bloch
sbloch at adelphi.edu

Posted on the dev mailing list.