Augmenting Error Messages

Posted on behalf of a colleague: if you’re a Python programmer, and would like to help make using the language easier, they’d appreciate hearing from you. You can contact them by email, or sign up at

We’re a team of researchers from the University of Adelaide in Australia, and we’re trying to make the lives of Python developers easier by producing better compiler error messages. Compilers often produce cryptic and uninformative messages that can leave many programmers spending unnecessary time resolving an error. With the availability of online information and communities, this data can be utilised to provide enhanced compiler error messages, saving programmers time and energy when faced with compiler error messages. We have developed a plugin that is integrated with the popular Sublime Text editor to provide enhanced compiler error messages for Python. This plugin automatically queries Stack Overflow and provides summarised information within the IDE. We would now like to test this plugin with Python developers as part of a user study. If you’re willing to help us out, please contact Emillie Thiselton at to set up a study session. Sessions will take 60 minutes at most and can be flexibly scheduled over the next month and a half.

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