When in grade school they called things like + and - "operators". But they
never defined it. Then in trig thay had "functions", but they never defined
what functions were either. Then came calculus. Differentiating and
integrating were never given a group name or general classification. I
think teachers thought they were functions. But obviously quite different
from things like sin and cos. I searched several math school books looking
for definitions. Never found any. They just started using the terms without
definition.

I asked several people the difference between function and operator and got
nonsense answers. So for the fun of it, I googled it. Overwhelmed. The only
definitions that make sense are those of calling things as J did like +, -,
sin and cos "verbs" and differentials and integration "modifiers". Because
differentials and integrals return "functions". Or in J terminology,
"verbs".

These things are concepts. I think I have an understanding of the concepts,
but as to what to call them. Who knows? The thing is that we need to try
many ways to describe them until one of them sticks. Maybe one of the
descriptions will work with students or other people. But I suspect that
few people realize that things like differentiation is really different
from + and sin.

On Wed, Mar 7, 2018 at 9:09 PM, Ian Clark <earthspo...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Too right, Devon.
>
> And have you explored the unicode situation with minus? Not to mention pi
> and mu.
>
> If programmers coded like they talk and write, planes would be dropping on
> our heads from all over the sky.
>
> I knew folk who'd never read a manual or an article about a novel language.
> And they didn't read comments in code.
> Only the code – and then they'd try out variants, to see what worked and
> what didn't.
>
>
> On Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 3:59 AM, Devon McCormick <devon...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > I did once ask a fellow, knowledgable programmer if the distinction
> between
> > function and operator in conventional languages in fact meant "with which
> > alphabet do you spell it?"
> > If it's a plain old ASCII name, like "plus", it's a function; a symbol
> like
> > "+" is an operator, even if both tokens behave exactly the same.
> > Ultimately not a particularly illuminating distinction.
> >
> >
> > On Wed, Mar 7, 2018 at 10:56 PM, Ian Clark <earthspo...@gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >
> > > >  it does not match my understanding of how standards bodies work
> > >
> > > However they work, they don't seem to produce a leading answer to a
> > leading
> > > question.
> > >
> > > Before posting my appeal, I googled variants of "ISO computer
> > terminology".
> > > I got the impression there were over 30 ISO committees dealing with
> > aspects
> > > of this topic, including the vexed one of translating computer
> manuals. I
> > > gave up and asked this forum if anyone could recommend the leading
> (ISO)
> > > source of common terms, like: platform, program, etc. (…hey! – I've
> just
> > > reduxed my original post.)
> > >
> > > It seems nobody can. I might as well have asked the Freemasons their
> > > meaning of "secret society".
> > >
> > > > that does not match my understanding of how language use works
> > >
> > > What hope is there of dialog with someone if you don't agree on basic
> > > terms?
> > > That's my understanding of how language use works. Or doesn't.
> > >
> > > Yet here I am, setting out (…yet again) to talk to non-J initiates
> about
> > J
> > > – and I want to use words which I know they'll understand, like:
> > variable,
> > > constant, function – and I want to avoid words like noun, verb,
> pronoun,
> > > proverb – because that's all J mystery jargon.
> > >
> > > Don't I need a touchstone of definitions my reader and I will agree on?
> > >
> > > To-date I've come up with these candidates:
> > >   (a) The Oxford Dictionary (…nowadays better than I expected it to be,
> > > going by past experience)
> > >   (b) The following site: http://techterms.com
> > > …which is cool. Just what I was looking for. But lacks the authority of
> > an
> > > ISO standard.
> > >
> > > Also (…oh no!) I look up a word like: Constant –and I don't agree with
> > what
> > > it says…
> > >   https://techterms.com/definition/constant
> > > In the final para it seems to be describing #define, not: const (…if
> you
> > > know any C/C++).
> > > Plus no mention of IMHO the chief role of a "constant": to behave
> > > programatically like a variable but preclude reassignment.
> > > Thus scotching the perennial C/C++ bug:
> > >     if (myconst = x) { … }
> > >
> > > Also, on the home page, "Today's Quiz Question" is garbled… not a good
> > sign
> > > for something purporting to be authoritative.
> > >
> > > Can anyone do better?
> > >
> > > …there, now I've described exactly what I'm looking for.
> > >
> > > On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 6:27 PM, Raul Miller <rauldmil...@gmail.com>
> > wrote:
> > >
> > > > I do not think that "common usage" depends on ISO standards.
> > > >
> > > > Or, at least, that does not match my understanding of how language
> use
> > > > works (and, for that matter, it does not match my understanding of
> how
> > > > standards bodies work).
> > > >
> > > > Thanks,
> > > >
> > > > --
> > > > Raul
> > > >
> > > >
> > > > On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 11:42 AM, Ian Clark <earthspo...@gmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > > > > Sorry, Joe, I want "common programmer terms" for "platform,
> program,
> > > > etc",
> > > > > i.e. terms common to all programmers, not just J-ers.
> > > > >
> > > > > Especially not J-ers!
> > > > >
> > > > > I tried looking up some of these terms in the Oxford Dictionary of
> > > > English
> > > > > (courtesy Apple) and I'm impressed. It seems it has authoritative
> but
> > > > > straightforward meanings under the subheading "Computing" for all
> > I've
> > > > tried
> > > > > .
> > > > >
> > > > > But I'm still hoping to hear what ISO standard people on this list
> > use,
> > > > or
> > > > > some standards body. I'm taking the baffled silence to mean that
> > nobody
> > > > has
> > > > > ever used such a list. The fabled precision of IT professionals
> > doesn't
> > > > > extend to terminology, it seems.
> > > > >
> > > > > Such lists exist. I've seen them – though only in German, and that
> > was
> > > > > decades ago. Documenters need them for the purpose of translating
> > > > manuals.
> > > > > Though maybe the whole thing is still woolly, like it was in my
> day.
> > An
> > > > > Arab once told me he always used the English manual because he
> > couldn't
> > > > > make head or tail of the Arabic one.
> > > > >
> > > > > On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 2:57 PM, Joe Bogner <joebog...@gmail.com>
> > > wrote:
> > > > >
> > > > >> I went back and looked at some of the existing material
> > > > >>
> > > > >> This seems to be a good list of definitions with examples:
> > > > >> http://www.jsoftware.com/help/primer/contents.htm
> > > > >>
> > > > >> This text seems devoid of too many terms:
> > > > >> http://www.jsoftware.com/books/pdf/easyj.pdf
> > > > >>
> > > > >> Of course, I'm not reading these with "beginner eyes" so both may
> > > still
> > > > >> need to be unpacked more
> > > > >>
> > > > >> On Tue, Mar 6, 2018 at 7:28 AM, Ian Clark <earthspo...@gmail.com>
> > > > wrote:
> > > > >>
> > > > >> > It's absurdly difficult to write a good "first-contact" text
> for J
> > > > >> without
> > > > >> > reference to a single accepted source of definitions like:
> > platform,
> > > > >> > program, app, script, variable, constant, function, array,
> string,
> > > > >> > character, number …
> > > > >> >
> > > > >> > Is there an ISO standard for common programmer terms (in
> English)?
> > > > >> >
> > > > >> > If the answer is: legion (…my first impression) – then is there
> > one
> > > > that
> > > > >> > stands out for you?
> > > > >> >
> > > > >> > I have an operational need for a weblink to a good clear
> published
> > > > free
> > > > >> > authoritative text. To avoid cluttering this thread, please
> don't
> > > > offer
> > > > >> > your own definitions of the above terms here (although of course
> > I'd
> > > > be
> > > > >> > frightfully interested to hear them one day.)
> > > > >> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > > ----------
> > > > >> > For information about J forums see http://www.jsoftware.com/
> > > > forums.htm
> > > > >> ------------------------------------------------------------
> > > ----------
> > > > >> For information about J forums see http://www.jsoftware.com/
> > > forums.htm
> > > > >>
> > > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > ----------
> > > > > For information about J forums see http://www.jsoftware.com/
> > forums.htm
> > > > ------------------------------------------------------------
> ----------
> > > > For information about J forums see http://www.jsoftware.com/
> forums.htm
> > > >
> > > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > > For information about J forums see http://www.jsoftware.com/forums.htm
> > >
> >
> >
> >
> > --
> >
> > Devon McCormick, CFA
> >
> > Quantitative Consultant
> > ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> > For information about J forums see http://www.jsoftware.com/forums.htm
> >
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> For information about J forums see http://www.jsoftware.com/forums.htm
>
----------------------------------------------------------------------
For information about J forums see http://www.jsoftware.com/forums.htm

Reply via email to