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[Fwd: Compound.select()] and Bad Environment Mesage

Forward:: deleted to protect the guilty parties
>To: tpk@sensorsys.com
>Subject: [Fwd: Compound.select()]

An example of insufficient error messaging that needs to be fixed
>Bad Environment comes from aany one of
>nil environment
>  nil style
>    nil titlefont
>    nil textfont
>    nil elemcolor
>    nil edgecolor
>    nil titlecolor
>    nil textcolor
>    nil hilightcolor
>Now we just have to track down which happens...

>To: infernosupport@bell-labs.com
>Subject: Compound.select()
>Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
>Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
>Compound.select() can give a "Bad Environment" error
>due to many causes: nil environment, nil style, nil
>titlefont, ... (see .../interp/prefab.c )
>Someone who encounters this error then has to check out all
>all possible causes, not just the one that really caused it.
>It would be friendlier if the error message contained
>information on what caused it, like
>"bad environment: nil textfont".
>Failing that, at least the documentation should make it
>clear that
>1) compound.select() can generate this error.
>2) Exactly what *can* cause the error.
>In my opinion, someone without the source code would
>be well and truly up a creek as the situation stands.
Ted Kochanski, Ph.D.
Sensors Signals Systems  ---  "Systematic Solutions to Complex Problems"
e-mail tpk@sensorsys.com   phone (617) 861-6167  fax  861-0476
11 Aerial St., Lexington, MA 02173