PEP 312 - Making lambdas implicit worries me, surely it's just the name 'lambda' that is bad...

Erik Max Francis max at alcyone.com
Mon Mar 3 12:22:44 CET 2003


Stephen Horne wrote:

> A major problem with 'lambda' is simply that it is an obscure name.

I don't agree.  The term "lambda" is well-recognized throughout the
computer science community as a construct which introduces an anonymous
function.

Is the term "lambda" recognizable to a random guy in the street?  I'm
quite sure it isn't.  But programming can't be made trivial to
non-programmers simply by giving things trivial names, just as
mathematics can't be made simple simply by using common terms instead of
all those technical terms; I'm reminded here of Mathematics in the
Common Tongue:

	http://www.earth360.com/mathtongue.html

Myself, I'm not much interested in what the average non-programmer
things about programming terminology.  Even for those involved with
teaching, there's got to be a tradeoff:  The learned has to understand
upfront that everything can't be instantly understandable without some
manner of investment.  If you're new to programming and you're learning
a language and you bump into a "lambda," one would hope you'd have the
actual energy and willpower to look it up.

-- 
 Erik Max Francis / max at alcyone.com / http://www.alcyone.com/max/
 __ San Jose, CA, USA / 37 20 N 121 53 W / &tSftDotIotE
/  \ I can paint a portrait of myself / I will call me a black Mona Lisa
\__/ Lamya
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