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Blame Tracking and Type Error Debugging

Authors: Sheng Chen and John Peter Campora III

Published in: LIPIcs, Volume 136, 3rd Summit on Advances in Programming Languages (SNAPL 2019)

In this work, we present an unexpected connection between gradual typing and type error debugging. Namely, we illustrate that gradual typing provides a natural way to defer type errors in statically ill-typed programs, providing more feedback than traditional approaches to deferring type errors. When evaluating expressions that lead to runtime type errors, the usefulness of the feedback depends on blame tracking, the defacto approach to locating the cause of such runtime type errors. Unfortunately, blame tracking suffers from the bias problem for type error localization in languages with type inference. We illustrate and formalize the bias problem for blame tracking, present ideas for adapting existing type error debugging techniques to combat this bias, and outline further challenges.

Cite as

Sheng Chen and John Peter Campora III. Blame Tracking and Type Error Debugging. In 3rd Summit on Advances in Programming Languages (SNAPL 2019). Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs), Volume 136, pp. 2:1-2:14, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2019)

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  author =	{Chen, Sheng and Campora III, John Peter},
  title =	{{Blame Tracking and Type Error Debugging}},
  booktitle =	{3rd Summit on Advances in Programming Languages (SNAPL 2019)},
  pages =	{2:1--2:14},
  series =	{Leibniz International Proceedings in Informatics (LIPIcs)},
  ISBN =	{978-3-95977-113-9},
  ISSN =	{1868-8969},
  year =	{2019},
  volume =	{136},
  editor =	{Lerner, Benjamin S. and Bod{\'\i}k, Rastislav and Krishnamurthi, Shriram},
  publisher =	{Schloss Dagstuhl -- Leibniz-Zentrum f{\"u}r Informatik},
  address =	{Dagstuhl, Germany},
  URL =		{https://drops.dagstuhl.de/entities/document/10.4230/LIPIcs.SNAPL.2019.2},
  URN =		{urn:nbn:de:0030-drops-105451},
  doi =		{10.4230/LIPIcs.SNAPL.2019.2},
  annote =	{Keywords: Blame tracking, type error debugging, gradual typing, type inference}
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