DrScheme: A Programming Environment for Scheme

Robert Bruce Findler, John Clements, Cormac Flanagan, Matthew Flatt, Shriram Krishnamurthi, Paul Steckler, Matthias Felleisen

Journal of Functional Programming, 2002


DrScheme is a programming environment for Scheme. It fully integrates a graphics-enriched editor, a parser for multiple variants of Scheme, a functional read-eval-print loop, and an algebraic printer. The environment is especially useful for students, because it has a tower of syntactically restricted variants of Scheme that are designed to catch typical student mistakes and explain them in terms the students understand. The environment is also useful for professional programmers, due to its sophisticated programming tools, such as the static debugger, and its advanced language features, such as units and mixins.

Beyond the ordinary programming environment tools, DrScheme provides an algebraic stepper, a context-sensitive syntax checker, and a static debugger. The stepper reduces Scheme programs to values, according to the reduction semantics of Scheme. It is useful for explaining the semantics of linguistic facilities and for studying the behavior of small programs. The syntax checker annotates programs with font and color changes based on the syntactic structure of the program. On demand, it draws arrows that point from bound to binding occurrences of identifiers. It also supports alpha-renaming. Finally, the static debugger provides a type inference system that explains specific inferences in terms of a value-flow graph, selectively overlaid on the program text.


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