[Swan-dev] naming of functions that return something
D. Hugh Redelmeier
hugh at mimosa.com
Sat May 8 20:18:16 UTC 2021
[Feel free to ignore this philosophical exploration.]
Algol distinguishes procedures and functions. Let's use that terminology.
A procedure call is a kind of statement. Statements are composed by
sequential execution (left to right, top to bottom). So it is natural to
name something like this:
or (we won't discuss which parameter order is best)
A function call is composed in functional notation. Reading
inner-to-outer is right-to-left. So this is more natural.
felix = cat_from_dog(fido)
I'm claiming that htonl would be more natural as nfromhl.
I'm writing this to try to explore why I found the name
extern pb_stream same_chunk_as_in_pbs(chunk_t chunk, const char *name);
As I first read it, and even now, I read "as_in" as a unit (a chunk in
psychological terms). That made this a "garden path" name. Oh, English.
I'm not sure what "same" is implying. Perhaps that the in_pbs doesn't
have its own copy of the memory.
I might have called this function
I'm a little bit surprised by a pbs being returned from a function. When
I conceived of them, I didn't think of them as copyable. Perhaps they
were linked together. But this turns out to be OK with the current
More information about the Swan-dev