Yup, this is a very astute observation. The deeper you are in a
compilation pipeline, the further you are away from the user's input. If
there isn't enough info relating the compilation back to the user's input,
it is challenging to give helpful error messages. This can also be a big
problem for debugging / profiling. If the compiler applies tons of
optimizations to your code, it really scrambles up the mapping between
input source and the outputted executable. This can make it challenging to
communicate with the user about which parts of their code are responsible
for performance issues.
On Wed, May 18, 2016 at 5:28 PM, Raoul Duke <rao...@gmail.com> wrote:
> > I'm surprised this isn't a solved problem.
> The true state of the UX of programming (from error messages to language
> syntax to tooling to ui to version control, to anything and everything) is
> a clear indictment of the entire enterprise. Well, at least when it comes
> to industry. For the large part. Some of it is due to the fact that 99.9%
> of all people in tech / on Earth have no clue about UX -- wouldn't know
> good UX if it gave them a backrub. Public schools and definitely higher ed
> should give out free signed copies of The Design of Everyday Things.
> Speaking in broad terms (I don't know anything at all about the insides of
> Python), my guess is that one of the major reasons this isn't a solved
> problem is that it isn't just about editing the error message text in some
> stand-alone file. The way errors happen is such that a lot of the
> information you'd want to have available in order to construct a really
> good error message is simply not available at that point in time in the
> system where/when the error is detected. It is a long standing fundamental
> problem that people still tend to use lexx and yacc and lookalikes.
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