More on Compiler Error Messages (and their text)

I wish we had more UE (User Education for those not familiar with Microsoft acronyms) interaction when writing error messages.  Usually, it is just a one or more devs that try and write some English (but remember we’re CS or EE majors, not English or communications) that explains: what the compiler knows is wrong, why it…

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A good author writes better than a good developer

So here’s a recent MSDN article that I actually had the chance of reviewing several months ago.  They’ve done a much better job at capturing the good new stuff in C# than I could ever do. http://msdn.microsoft.com/vcsharp/default.aspx?pull=/msdnmag/issues/04/05/c20/default.aspx I do still have a few personal corrections: I commented that the internal names that the compiler generates…

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Warning Levels

It’s not documented very well, but the C# compiler actually has 4 levels of warnings.  I like to think of them this way: Level 1 – These warnings are cases the compiler is 99.9% sure you did something wrong, but the code is syntactically and semantically legal. Level 4 – These warnings are cases where…

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Error Number Trivia

Have you ever wondered how we come up with the error and warning numbers?  Well if you’ve looked at the SSCLI source for the C# compiler, you’ll see that we use a file full of macros to define the error numbers, their severity, and the resource ID that has their text (errors.h).  Now like most…

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Compiler Error Messages Clarification

First of all, I am not acutally talking about decreasing or removing any errors (unless somebody can prove that a given error is a total duplicate of another one, but I seriously doubt that).  I’m really talking about how big an error message can be before it should be split up.  I can think of…

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Compiler Error Messages

I’ve spent a fair amount of time lately tweaking the C# compiler’s error messages.  At some point I begin to wonder, how clearly do we have to spell things out for end users?  There are at least 2 dozen different error messages that could be summarized with just “not an l-value”.  Now granted, there is…

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