[PD] about [prepend] on osx

Mathieu Bouchard matju at artengine.ca
Sun Nov 27 22:18:54 CET 2005

On Fri, 25 Nov 2005, Hans-Christoph Steiner wrote:
> If you need to save patch space, you can load it as a lib.  Or if there
> was a declare/using/import object that would be even better.  But I
> believe that abbreviations in code cause a lot more trouble than they
> save.

I think it's mostly a matter of choosing appropriate abbreviations.  
Because "MAX" is a much more known name than "cyclone", it will be (on
average) more obvious that [max/counter] is meant to be a MAX-compatible
counter. The only problem I see with that particular case is that [max]
already stands for maximum.

> "Instead of imagining that our main task is to instruct a computer what to do,
> let us concentrate rather on explaining to human beings what we want a
> computer to do." -Donald Knuth

Yes, but then this prompts a few questions, such as, to which humans are 
we explaining it? and then, can we underestimate the necessity that 
something be convenient to write, if we overemphasize the reading?

> I, for one, do not have an endless memory for abbreviations.  I think I share
> that trait with the majority of population.

Each word is an abbreviation for something else. People learn new words 
every day.

However I agree that "cc" would be a fairly opaque abbreviation for
"cyclone" especially as "cyclone" doesn't break down into two words with
initials C.C. (even if you break it down into "sigh clone" ;-)

BTW I wholeheartedly agree with that saying from Donald, and I want to say
that I consider it as an introduction rather than a conclusion -- it opens
a whole new set of questions: how do we explain to other human beings what
we want a computer to do? how is programming like teaching and how is it
different too? and so on...

Mathieu Bouchard - tél:+1.514.383.3801 - http://artengine.ca/matju
Freelance Digital Arts Engineer, Montréal QC Canada

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