On Sat, May 17, 2014 at 10:52 PM, Albert van der Horst
<alb...@spenarnc.xs4all.nl> wrote:
> That may be tong-in-cheek but mathematicians do exactly that. We
> use roman, greek and hebrew alphabets in normal italics and boldface
> and then some special characters for element-of, logical-or, integral signs,
> triangles and what not. Underbarred and upper twiggled, as a suffix a prefix
> or a superfix. All in the name of avoiding names longer than one character.
> When we run out then there are creative ways to combine known characters
> into Jacobi symbols and choose functions.
> There are even conventions that allow to leave out characters, like
> "juxtaposition means multiplication" and the Einstein summation convention.

This, I think, is the main reason for the one-character variable name
convention. Why else are there subscripts? Instead of using "V0"
(two-character name), you use "V₀" (one-character name with a
subscript tag on it) to avoid collision with multiplication.

> Now translate E=mc^2 into Java.

Dunno, but in Python it would be:

assert E==m*c*c

And would probably fail, because that's all floating point :)


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