[Python-Dev] Add more SyntaxWarnings?

MRAB python at mrabarnett.plus.com
Tue Jan 29 13:55:37 EST 2019

On 2019-01-29 13:44, Nick Coghlan wrote:
> On Tue, 29 Jan 2019 at 14:47, Stephen J. Turnbull
> <turnbull.stephen.fw at u.tsukuba.ac.jp> wrote:
>> I don't disagree.  I disagree with the conclusion that it's worth the
>> effort to try to improve all error messages that confuse new users,
>> because new users (by definition) don't know enough to respond
>> usefully in many cases.  In those cases, they need to be told what's
>> going on and why, where more experienced users can figure it out from
>> their background knowledge of Python semantics.  Embedding a "theory
>> of operations" note in every error message would be possible, but I
>> don't think it's a good idea -- it would certainly make the language
>> more annoying for experienced developers.
> FWIW, we have pretty decent evidence that error messages don't have to
> provide a wonderful explanation on their own in order to be helpful:
> they just need to be distinctive enough that a web search will
> reliably get you to a page that gives you relevant information.
> Pre-seeded answers on Stack Overflow are excellent for handling the
> second half of that approach (see [1] for a specific example).
> Cheers,
> Nick.
> [1] https://stackoverflow.com/questions/25445439/what-does-syntaxerror-missing-parentheses-in-call-to-print-mean-in-python
I have a vague recollection that a certain computer system (Amiga?) had 
a 'why' command. If it reported an error, you could type "why" and it 
would give you more details.

I suspect that all that was happening was that when the error occurred 
it would store the additional details somewhere that the 'why' command 
would simply retrieve.

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