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DrScheme: a programming environment for Scheme

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 March 2002

ROBERT BRUCE FINDLER
Affiliation:
Department of Computer Science, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005-1892, USA (e-mail: robby@cs.rice.edu)
JOHN CLEMENTS
Affiliation:
Department of Computer Science, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005-1892, USA (e-mail: robby@cs.rice.edu)
CORMAC FLANAGAN
Affiliation:
Department of Computer Science, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005-1892, USA (e-mail: robby@cs.rice.edu)
MATTHEW FLATT
Affiliation:
Department of Computer Science, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005-1892, USA (e-mail: robby@cs.rice.edu)
SHRIRAM KRISHNAMURTHI
Affiliation:
Department of Computer Science, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005-1892, USA (e-mail: robby@cs.rice.edu)
PAUL STECKLER
Affiliation:
Department of Computer Science, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005-1892, USA (e-mail: robby@cs.rice.edu)
MATTHIAS FELLEISEN
Affiliation:
Department of Computer Science, Rice University, Houston, TX 77005-1892, USA (e-mail: robby@cs.rice.edu)
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Abstract

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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 α-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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Research Article
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© 2002 Cambridge University Press
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