Error Messages Are Classifiers: A Process to Design and Evaluate Error Messages

John Wrenn, Shriram Krishnamurthi

SPLASH Onward!, 2017


This paper presents a lightweight process to guide error report authoring. We take the perspective that error reports are really classifiers of program information. They should therefore be subjected to the same measures as other classifiers (e.g., precision and recall). We formalize this perspective as a process for assessing error reports, describe our application of this process to an actual programming language, and present a preliminary study on the utility of the resulting error reports.



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