Error messages

This looks interesting -- has anyone had a closer look?

SEMINAL: Searching for Error Messages IN Advanced Languages

Benjamin Lerner, Dan Grossman, and Craig Chambers

Seminal is a new approach to providing useful type-error messages during compilation, while simultaneously making compilers simpler, more reliable, and faster. The key idea is to use a simple and robust type-checker as an oracle for an error-message finder that uses search to find a good error message in the form of a "similar" code skeleton that would type-check.

Their system is for OCaml, btw. Personally I find the standard OCaml messages reasonably useful... but I have no idea how much hair is behind them in the compiler.


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As a newbie consumer

I'd buy that for a dollar. My - limited - experience with error messages in languages that really embrace static typing e.g. along the SML lines is that figuring out the compilation errors can too easily become a little adventure game in and of itself, with no debugger you can attach to help figure it out.