Probably one of the most characteristic properties of the Julia language is that compilation is done upon calls, which leads to the first run of everything to be slow. Sometimes very slow, like in many plotting packages. This can sometime lead to some frustratingly negative first impressions, and considerable puzzlement.
I think this perception could be greatly alleviated quite simply, by giving some visual hint that code is being compiled. After using the amazing ProgressMeter.jl I think having a “Compiling…” progress indicator of that style built into the REPL that would be triggered everytime something is being compiled would be really useful. Newcomers would understand what is going on during that first run. I don’t know enough about the compiler to know if an estimate of “progress percentage” can be computed. If not, a simple indicator without progress would still be very valuable, e.g. changing the
julia> prompt into
compiling>, or similar…
So, what do you think? Would you appreciate something like this? Is there any technical reason that would make this a problem?