On 01/28/2014 08:58 AM, David Fetter wrote:
On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 02:51:22PM +0900, Michael Paquier wrote:
On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 2:29 PM, David Fetter <da...@fetter.org> wrote:
On Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 04:48:35PM +1300, Gavin Flower wrote:
I came across that abbreviation in a first years Maths course
"Principles of Mathematics" in 1968 at the University of Auckland..

By my rough count (ack -l '\biff\b' |wc -l), it's used to mean
equivalence 81 times in the source tree.  Should we have a glossary of
such terms?
And what about directly replacing those expressions in the comments of
the code with some more understandable language? This would be more
suited for non-native English speakers than maintaining a glossary
that you can surely find here and there after some googling.

I'm interested to find 29 instances of "if and only if" in the source,
which should be the same thing.

Please find attached a mechanically done patch which expands the
remaining instances of "iff" to the longer form, all of which are in
comments.  The patched source passes make -j8, but I have not tested
it further.

"iff" is well-known abbreviation, I don't see a need to expunge it from the source code. There might be places where some other wording or spelling it out as "if and only if" would be better, but a mechanical search/replace is not warranted.

FWIW, many other languages use a similar abbreviation for the same thing, so it's not impossible for a non-native English speaker with basic math education to guess. In Finnish, it's "joss", which stands for "jos ja vain jos", and a quick look at Wikipedia shows a similar construct in many other languages.

- Heikki

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