type error formatting

MigMit migmit at gmail.com
Sun Oct 25 21:03:02 UTC 2015

> On 25 Oct 2015, at 21:45, Joachim Breitner <mail at joachim-breitner.de> wrote:
> Hi,
> Am Sonntag, den 25.10.2015, 21:30 +0100 schrieb MigMit:
>> Doesn't seem worth it to me. Current format is quite parseable, and
>> not really bad for human eyes either.
> I know that you meant this as a litote,

Please, don't say "know" when you mean "assume". It's especially annoying when you assume wrong.

> but let me ignore that I know
> that for a moment to reply, that “not really bad” is definitely not
> good enough for me, and I want the compiler to print messages that are
> meant for my consumption to be in the _best_ possible format. Or at
> least try that.
> Obviously, there is no “best” for every human. But things get easier if
> we do not have to overly worry about computers as well.

I think that's a wrong approach.

My theory is that the concepts "easy to read for a human with some experience" and "easy to parse for a computer" are two closely related notions.

Sure, they aren't identical — a binary format might still be quite easy to parse, but completely unreadable for human — but they go hand in hand. Even with binary formats — if, for example, there is a clear notion of "statement" in this binary formats, and statements are separated by the byte "0xff", it's easier both for a human (equipped with binary editor) and for a computer than, for example, if the length of the statement is determined by the first byte.

But! It's much easier to argue about "what's easier for a computer" than the same thing for humans.

> BTW, does Emacs really parse _this_ bit of information? Most GHC
> integrations that I have seen match on the first line to indicate the
> file and position of the overall error, and take the error verbatim.

Last time I checked, Emacs transformed such positions into hyperlinks.

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