[racket] On settings up DrRacket... Re: [SPAM] Re: DrRacket for the Truly Impatient V02, need help, beta testers

From: Robby Findler (robby at eecs.northwestern.edu)
Date: Wed Nov 21 22:49:08 EST 2012

Thanks, Grant!

My apologies from sidetracking you from this great plan.

I guess you won't be surprised when I see things like that I
immediately think "how can I make the GUI work better so he doesn't
advocate disabling the 'new toys'?" especially since they are new.


On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 9:26 PM, Grant Rettke <grettke at acm.org> wrote:
> Hi,
> FWIW I just wanted to over-communicate something...
> I really love Racket and DrRacket. It doesn't matter how I feel
> though, what matter is that Racket and the team and their approaches
> have delivered, you have evidence, it doesn't matter what any of us
> "think" or "feel".
> That said, I and most of my friends/colleagues/acquaintances are
> coming not from academia as a career, and we are not college students
> either, most professional software developers looking at Racket are
> coming from the industry, so how we react to DrRacket is likely not to
> be as intended... and what I hear everyone keep saying is that we
> should use Emacs because DrRacket is aimed at students. I disagree.
> I feel like DrRacket is a perfect sweet spot in between VI and Emacs.
> You can set it up in 5m. It has debugger and editor and all the things
> people want. You can extend it using the build in extensibility
> framework if you like. To me it seems all very thoughtful and nice.
> That said, as a brand new user all the "power" as I phrased it didn't
> jump out at me. That is just me and how my brain works, totally
> subjective. That said, my peers also have the same reaction. Even
> other Schemers look at it and don't "get it". The default behavior
> even of opening files in a new windows... people find it baffling in
> the light of having a tabbed editor in DrRacket and it makes people
> upset and confused... exactly what they don't need during
> "Introduction to Racket".
> So, what I published was an attempt to get people to take 10 minutes
> and see 80% of the commands they would use all the time because for
> all the greatness of the language when people new do it end up with
> tons of unbalanced parens they end up hating it. Yes I know that you
> can enter balanced parens and even wrap s-exprs... but new users do
> not know that. That is all I was trying to do was to share what I
> learned from everyone here helping me and showing me what was
> valuable. Everybody, and in particular Robby and Eli answered my
> stupid questions over the years and I just made a web page with a
> little cheat sheet.
> I'm not trying to push people one way or another, other than to have a
> pleasant experience editing with DrRacket. There are no "how to
> actually use this" tutorials out there for folks who have never seen
> any Lisp before, nothing else like that out there right now, there is
> nothing that tells you specifically what combination of things in what
> example and what usage to do something useful in 15m. Yes there is
> HtDP and SICP and the list goes on... but what most people want is how
> to deal with the details of when the tires hit the pavement and you
> really skin your knuckles on the toolchain. This is what non-students
> want, at least that is what I wanted, and it never existed, so I
> created it in a tiny way. That is the big mystery question "Why don't
> people love Racket?" isn't it? I don't know but what I saw was people
> getting frustrated and this was my attempt at offering a solution. I
> think that is called participating in the community, but it all
> depends, and there are no silver bullets.
> Long live Racket, happy Thanksgiving, thanks for Racket! ;)
> On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 8:17 PM, Robby Findler
> <robby at eecs.northwestern.edu> wrote:
>> The contract information doesn't change based on the mouse, fwiw.
>> Robby
>> On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 8:01 PM, Jordan Johnson <jmj at fellowhuman.com> wrote:
>>> I'm curious what the objectionable distraction is: the mere presence of the
>>> arrow, or the action of the arrow's window with contract info popping in and
>>> out as you mouse over identifiers?
>>> If it's the latter, than perhaps it would help to just put more of a delay
>>> (as tooltips have) in before exposing the contract info. (I'm trying to
>>> figure out why *I* haven't found it a distraction, and maybe it's just
>>> because I don't use the mouse very much.)
>>> Best,
>>> jmj
>>> --
>>> Sent from my Android phone with K-9 Mail.
>>> Grant Rettke <grettke at acm.org> wrote:
>>>> On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 6:29 PM, Nadeem Abdul Hamid <nadeem at acm.org>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>> On Wed, Nov 21, 2012 at 7:21 PM, Grant Rettke <grettke at acm.org> wrote:
>>>>>> You are an accomplished programmer that got this far without online
>>>>>> compilation that was added this year?
>>>>> Well, I don't know about others, but prior to that becoming available, I
>>>>> would often have to keep hitting the "Check syntax" button or key command
>>>>> manually. Online compilation is just DrRacket continuously running "Check
>>>>> Syntax" for you so you don't have to manually do that - and it *is* very
>>>>> convenient and smoothes out the development
>>>>> process, reducing a distraction
>>>>> that is otherwise present.
>>>> Maybe this would help, I have only used Check Syntax two or three
>>>> times ever when I wanted to rename a variable because it was used in
>>>> more than 5 places. What other problems does it solve?
>>>>> Other industrial-strength IDEs (e.g. Eclipse, MS
>>>>> VS, IBM's Java Visual-something- I forget the name) all provide this
>>>>> feature
>>>>> of continuous background syntax analysis to enable various types of
>>>>> refactorings and code navigation.
>>>> Yea that is nice. My original question was about how to remove the
>>>> arrows and the thing in the upper right hand corner, and the solution
>>>> was to disable online compilation. Is there way just to remove that
>>>> stuff but keep the online compilation stuff?
>>>>> Another nice thing about online
>>>>> compilation is the additional feature of being able to view snippets of
>>>>> function signatures (i.e. help) right in the corner of the editor.
>>>> That arrow is so distracting. Can we move it into the status line on the
>>>> bottom?
>>>> Thanks for explaining why you value it.
>>>> ____________________
>>>> Racket Users list:
>>>> http://lists.racket-lang.org/users
> --
> Grant Rettke | ACM, AMA, COG, IEEE
> grettke at acm.org | http://www.wisdomandwonder.com/
> Wisdom begins in wonder.
> ((λ (x) (x x)) (λ (x) (x x)))
> ____________________
>   Racket Users list:
>   http://lists.racket-lang.org/users

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