Re: "Near Miss" error handling?

Eric Eide <>
31 Mar 2001 02:35:24 -0500

          From comp.compilers

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[11 later articles]
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From: Eric Eide <>
Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Date: 31 Mar 2001 02:35:24 -0500
Organization: University of Utah School of Computing
References: 01-03-135
Keywords: editor
Posted-Date: 31 Mar 2001 02:35:24 EST

"Gwyn" == Gwyn Judd <> writes:

Gwyn> [...] basically when the compiler comes across an identifier it
Gwyn> hasn't seen before, it will go through the list of known
Gwyn> identifiers and try to determine which is the closest so it can
Gwyn> then make a hopefully helpful suggestion on how to correct the
Gwyn> error. [...] I was wondering if anyone knew of anything similar?

The INTERLISP DWIM (``Do What I Mean'') facility did something similar to this.
I don't know what became of the local INTERLISP manuals, though, so I can't be
more specific about how DWIM actually worked. (I'm not quite old enough to
have actually *used* INTERLISP, unfortunately!)

You might also look at how spelling correction is implemented by modern
interactive command shells such as `tcsh' and `zsh'.

There is quite a lot of literature about ``intelligent user interfaces'' and
automated program analysis for the purpose of diagnosing programming errors.
Dive in!


PS --- The following article, although somewhat old, might also be of interest
to you. It describes the results of incorporating spelling correction into a
batch programming system.

author = "Howard L. Morgan",
title = "Spelling Correction in Systems Programs",
journal = CACM,
year = "1970",
month = Feb,
volume = "13",
number = "2",
pages = "90--94",

Eric Eide <> . University of Utah School of Computing . +1 (801) 585-5512 voice, +1 (801) 581-5843 FAX

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