On Wed, Sep 4, 2013 at 1:36 PM, Jeff King <p...@peff.net> wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 04, 2013 at 10:38:03AM -0700, Junio C Hamano wrote:
>> >> This is way off tangent, but I am somewhat sympathetic to Felipe's
>> >> "compare actual with expect", with reservations.
>> >
>> > This isn't an argument either way, but note that JUnit (and NUnit and
>> > PHPUnit) all have assertEquals methods that take the arguments in the
>> > order "expect, actual".  I've always assumed that Git's test framework
>> > was imitating that,...
>> No.  See 82ebb0b6 (add test_cmp function for test scripts,
>> 2008-03-12).  The "test_cmp" was a replacement for "diff -u", and
>> the same order we fed "diff -u", i.e. expect then actual, was
>> carried over.
> I don't think it was intentional at the time. But over the intervening 5
> years, I have noticed that I certainly think of "test_cmp A B" as
> "differences from A to B", and the order makes sense. IOW, the "test_cmp
> is diff" abstraction is leaky, and that is fine (if it were not leaky,
> then order would not matter at all, but it clearly does).
> But let's take a step back. This seems like an endian-ness issue to me.
> I.e., some people prefer one order for test assertions, and other people
> prefer the other. Is anyone actually right, or is this simply a matter
> of preference? And if it is simply a matter of preference, then why
> bother going through the pain of changing the current project standard?
> Though I prefer the current, I can certainly live and adapt to a changed
> standard, and I do not mind doing so if there is a good reason. But I've
> yet to see any argument beyond "it is not what I like". Which to me
> argues for the status quo as the path of least resistance.

Didn't Junio already provided reasoning?

Here's more; human semantics:

Computer, compare A with B
cmp(A, B)

Why would I write?

cmp(B, A)

Could you even construct an English sentence that starts with B, and then A?

Felipe Contreras
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