[Python-Dev] configparser: should optionxform be idempotent?
Eric V. Smith
eric at trueblade.com
Fri Mar 8 03:26:56 EST 2019
> On Mar 8, 2019, at 12:12 AM, Steven D'Aprano <steve at pearwood.info> wrote:
>> On Fri, Mar 08, 2019 at 12:56:13PM +1300, Greg Ewing wrote:
>> In any case, the word is easy enough to avoid in this case.
> I don't think we should avoid using standard terminology even if we can.
> Knowledge of standard terminology is useful, and we don't generally make
> a practice of talking about (e.g.) "simultaneously running subtasks"
> when we can say "threads" instead.
> You are happy to use the jargon terms "function" and "canonical form"
> without explanation, which I think proves that one person's jargon is
> another's obvious, clear, precise technical terminology.
>> We could say something like:
>> "The optionxform function transforms option names to a
>> canonical form. If the name is already in canonical form,
>> it should be returned unchanged."
> How about:
> "The optionxform function transforms option names to a
> canonical form. This should be an idempotent function:
> if the name is already in canonical form, it should be
> returned unchanged."
I’d prefer something less passive than “it should remain unchanged” (as my high school English teacher would say: “by whom?”). Something like “If optionxform is called on a name that is already in canonical form, then it should return that name unchanged”. Then add something like “That is, optionxform should be idempotent”.
> requires six extra words, but it uses the correct technical term which
> will be familiar to some proportion of users, while also explaining the
> term for those who aren't familiar with it. We all win!
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