[rust-dev] Improving rustc error messages

Tony Arcieri bascule at gmail.com
Tue Jan 21 21:55:05 PST 2014


I see there's some work underway of this nature ;)

https://github.com/mozilla/rust/pull/11718


On Tue, Jan 21, 2014 at 9:48 PM, Tony Arcieri <bascule at gmail.com> wrote:

> I think the biggest thing I've struggled with learning Rust is what I will
> call, for lack of a better phrase, "shit rustc says". Reading Steve
> Klabnik's tutorial and some blog posts about earlier versions of rust, it's
> clear that the error messages have improved dramatically since earlier
> versions, but I still think there's quite a bit of room for improvement.
>
> For an example of how errors could be presented better, I'd look to
> Facebook's typed PHP language, Hack, which was presented at Strange Loop
> 2013. Hack supports a pretty fancy type system for a gradually typed
> language, complete with subtyping (which PHP necessitates) and non-nullable
> types.
>
> Hack uses a story format for error messages in order to make them easier
> to understand:
>
>   File "test.php", line 6, characters 10-11:
> Invalid return type
> File "test.php", line 3, characters 24-26:
> This is an int
> File "test.php", line 5, characters 10-11:
> It is incompatible with a string
>
> If rustc could do something like this, I think it'd make the errors a lot
> easier to understand and provide for easier debugging.
>
> For more information on Hack, check out the talk on InfoQ:
>
> http://www.infoq.com/presentations/php-history
>
> Or the slides:
>
>
> https://github.com/strangeloop/StrangeLoop2013/blob/master/slides/sessions/Adams-TakingPHPSeriously.pdf
>
> --
> Tony Arcieri
>



-- 
Tony Arcieri
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