Error Handling References
Wed, 2 Oct 1991 13:43:27 +0100

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Error Handling References (1991-10-02)
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Newsgroups: comp.compilers
Keywords: errors, question
Organization: Compilers Central
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 1991 13:43:27 +0100


I am interested in recent articles on general error handling in compilers.

I'm aware of the survey article of Horning, 1976, ``What the compiler
should tell the user'', but there may be some more recent stuff as well.

I'm interested in all kinds of error handling in all phases of the
compiler. So user errors ("Undeclared variable ``Aap''") as well as
internal compiler errors ("Stack overflow"), and not only restricted to
the parsing phase or type checking phase, but also during execution of the
target program ("Out of range ...")

Questions I'd like to be addressed are "What are good error messages?"
"What makes error messages good error messages?" "Is a message only
enough, or do we need more (explanation, error sources, hints, etc.)?"
"What should we do after having found an error?" "How can we avoid that
the error handling code messes up all the other code of the compiler?"

I'd be very happy with any response; Thanks in advance.
I'll post a summary.


CWI, P.O. Box 4079
1009 AB Amsterdam
The Netherlands Arie van Deursen (
Tel. 31 20 5924007

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