Choosing a programming language as a competitive tool

Isaac To Kar Keung kkto at csis.hku.hk
Mon May 7 06:01:38 CEST 2001


>>>>> "Andrew" == Andrew Dalke <dalke at acm.org> writes:

    Andrew> Please, not "vector"!  A vector is a measurement with a
    Andrew> direction and a magnitude, as with velocity or force.  Or it's a
    Andrew> coordinate in some space.  When I came across "vector" as used
    Andrew> in computer science I was confused because I thought it was a
    Andrew> way to do vector math.  Even now I still have to look twice at a
    Andrew> library to figure out which use is which.

Right, vector really has its mathematical meaning.  If you can understand
that vectors are not meant to be just 2D or 3D vector, you can understand
why vector means an array.  But of course, I don't quite understand how a
mathematical vector can be "resized".

Why don't just call it an array, I don't really know.  Perhaps its because
the name comes from STL targeting C++, and for C++ arrays already means
something else.

But so what?  Every language has its own terms.  Who else use "tuple" and
"dictionary" as used in Python?  Why call it a "field" or "method"?  What is
a "variable"?  You really have to get used to it anyway.

Regards,
Isaac.



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