I'm not sure I'm quite getting this. Is the idea that, if there is a
#lang line present, DrRacket would always use that language. If there
is no #lang line present, then DrRacket would use some other language,
based on what was recently chosen in the language dialog?


On Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 10:47 AM, Neil Van Dyke <n...@neilvandyke.org> wrote:
> How about a change to the purpose of the Languages control?
> Currently, I think of the control *selecting how to determine* which
> language to use.  Example settings "whatever #lang says", "Beginning
> Student", etc.
> The control could be changed to *present the determination* (by #lang or by
> some default), and only secondarily as a means to *change the determination*
> (which might mean automatically changing the #lang in the file).  The list
> of override alternatives would be something like the languages that this
> DrRacket instance knows about.  There would not be a "whatever #lang says"
> alternative, since that behavior is always the case.
> For determining the language when no #lang is present (such as when opening
> a file without a #lang, or when creating a new file), the default could be a
> preference setting, with alternatives like "Guess", "beginning-student",
> "advanced-student", "racket", "racket/base"... and whatever other languages
> this DrRacket knows.  Default alternative would be "Guess", which I suspect
> will work fine for most people.
> The "Guess" alternative in this preference could be some heuristics like
> Emacs and the "file" command use (later on we could make these heuristics
> extensible by packages that implement languages), and default to the last
> #lang used.  I suspect last-#lang-used would be fine, and any heuristics are
> a bonus.  (The heuristics might determine language of the file as distinct
> from #lang languages, and for each file language, keep track of a
> last-#lang-used.  So, a heuristic might recognize Scheme as the file's
> language, and then Guess would go and find what #lang the user last used for
> a Scheme file.  Again, last-#lang-used, with no heuristics, is fine 95%+ of
> the time; heuristics are mostly for delighting the user with DrRacket's
> cleverness the other 5% of the time.)
> Robby's suggestion of *always* requiring #lang is tempting, and I am close
> to that, except that it would be nice to support languages that don't
> syntactically permit #lang.  For example, if we wanted to load up
> JavaScript, XML, HTML, or Java files in DrRacket.
> Neil V.
> --
> http://www.neilvandyke.org/
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