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Re: Changing the Perl error message when a module is not found

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From:
Aristotle Pagaltzis
Date:
September 18, 2012 02:33
Subject:
Re: Changing the Perl error message when a module is not found
Message ID:
20120918093315.GA3765@fernweh.plasmasturm.org
* Vadim Konovalov <vadim.konovalov@alcatel-lucent.com> [2012-09-18 09:15]:
> lowering messages quality by bloating them with guesses and advices my
> bigger concern.

“Note the consistent user interface and error reportage. Ed is generous
 enough to flag errors, yet prudent enough not to overwhelm the novice
 with verbosity.” —<http://www.gnu.org/fun/jokes/ed-msg.html>

Not that I disagree with your concern (“omit needless words” etc.), but
there is a balance to strike. Blindly adding stuff (lambasted in the
German languages as “lots helps lots”) is as bad as blindly *not* adding
stuff. Experience in this case is that this error message along with the
one about undeclared variables under strict are the two error messages
where Perl really fails novice users. Obviously the solution is not to
stick a copy of the user manual into the error message, but neither can
it be to do nothing for fear of bloat. Instead it calls for the exercise
of some editorial taste and chops: keep it short and sweet and useful –
as short as possible under those goals but no shorter.

Frankly I’m much more concerned about this when it comes to doc patches.

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