Coy - Like Carp, Only Prettier

Damian Conway

School of Computer Science and Software Engineering
Monash University
Clayton 3168, Australia


Error messages
strewn across my terminal.
A vein starts to throb.

Their reproof adds the
injury of insult to
the shame of failure.

When a program dies
what you need is a moment
of serenity.

module brings tranquillity
to your debugging.

The module alters
the behaviour of die and
warn (and croak and carp).

It also provides
transcend and enlighten -- two
Zen alternatives.

Coy reports errors from the
caller's point-of-view.

But it prefaces
the bad news of failure with
a soothing haiku.

The haiku are not
"canned", but are generated
freshly every time.

They conform to the
rules of English grammar and
Japanese metre.

The talk

The talk will briefly
explain why haiku make good
error messages.

I'll start by looking
at existing approaches
to building haiku.

Then I will outline
the structure and function of
my generator.

In particular,
I'll describe the database
that makes it all work.

Of course, the biggest
mystery is: will I give the
whole talk in haiku?

After the talk, the
slides may be accessed on-line
in HTML.

The paper

HTML source
for an extended abstract
is available.

HTML and
PostScript versions of the full
paper are on-line.

The software

module can be downloaded
via the CPAN.

All code examples
will be available from
the author's website.