[swift-evolution] [Review] SE-0059: Update API Naming Guidelines and Rewrite Set APIs Accordingly

Xiaodi Wu xiaodi.wu at gmail.com
Mon Apr 4 11:20:42 CDT 2016

Hmm, "emplace" looks like more or less a synonym for "install." I
don't think it suggests that the object is being put in place of the
subject. The latest example in the Oxford English Dictionary, from
2010, is:
"Insurgents would hastily emplace victim-activated IEDs...after
Pathfinder came through."
Here, the IEDs are not taking the place of the insurgents.

On Mon, Apr 4, 2016 at 11:14 AM, Douglas Gregor via swift-evolution
<swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
> On Apr 3, 2016, at 1:56 PM, Shawn Erickson <shawnce at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Sun, Apr 3, 2016 at 1:27 PM Shawn Erickson <shawnce at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Sun, Apr 3, 2016 at 6:41 AM Michel Fortin via swift-evolution
>> <swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
>>> > What is your evaluation of the proposal?
>>> I don't like "form" as a prefix. To me there is no difference between
>>> `union` and `formUnion`: both sounds functional-style, and actually the
>>> second one perhaps a bit more to my ears. There's basically two dictionary
>>> definitions of "form":
>>> 1. "bring together parts or combine to create (something)" which to me
>>> implies a new value is created, and
>>> 2. "make or fashion into a certain shape or form" which would imply that
>>> the material you start with is transformed, which is apparently the intended
>>> meaning and also the reverse meaning from the above.
>>> I mean, doesn't this make sense as an API?
>>>         let donut = baker.formDonut(dough) // non-mutating
>>> Perhaps instead of "form" we could use "become" as a prefix when the
>>> operation is naturally described by a noun. That would seem less ambiguous
>>> to me:
>>>         a.becomeUnion(b)
>>>         a.becomeIntersection(b)
>>>         a.becomeSuccessor(b)
>>> It's a bit passive, but I find it fits well when the operation is a noun.
>>> And there's no way the term lends itself to non-mutating cases without
>>> things becoming nonsensical:
>>>         let donut = baker.becomeDonut(dough) // non-mutating?
>> I also am having difficulty coming to terms with the use of "form" (I am a
>> native English speaker). As you note "form" can imply the creation of
>> something from parts (more like assembling a new thing) as well as the
>> creation of something out of a material say a of block clay (more like
>> molding something out of an existing thing). It doesn't seem clear cut to me
>> to imply in place mutation.
>> Additionally my eyes / brain keep seeing "from" instead of "form". This
>> type of issue is generally true with any short word made up of the same set
>> of letters (made worse since "from" is more common in programming then
>> "form"). The mind quickly narrows in on a set of possible words given the
>> letters we see and then uses context to help get the correct one and/or
>> additional visual parsing to understand the exact ordering of letters (more
>> energy expended). Anyway since I keep seeing "from" instead of "form" I keep
>> going in the direction of thinking it returns something made from the two
>> (or more) items involved (not really sure why "from" goes that direction in
>> my head, it could also go the in place direction).
>> I would prefer something other then "form" (note I just typed "from" by
>> mistake)... I think your suggestion of "become" has merit.
>> y.becomeUnion(x) --reads to me as--> "y become union with x"
>> y.formUnion(x) --read to me as--> "y from oops... y forming a union of x"
>> y.becomeIntersection(x) --reads to me as--> "y become intersection with x"
>> y.formIntersection(x) --read to me as--> "y from oops... y forming an
>> intersection with x"
> After stepping away for a bit and looking at it from the POV of the API of
> Set and not in the context of "y" I could read things in the abstract as...
> "becomeUnion(with other:Self)" --> "I become a union with other"
> "formUnion(with other:Self)" --> "I form a union with other"
> No clear winner to me however when used in code "become" still feels more
> strongly mutating then "form": y.formUnion(with:x) or y.becomeUnion(with:x)
> All in all the API would have mutating in front of it (at least for structs)
> and it wouldn't have a return type. It would become clear fairly quickly as
> a result (hence learned).
> Just still not that happy with "form" but with use my mind would likely
> quickly adapt.
> I think the best English verb for this construction is “emplace”:
> http://www.dictionary.com/browse/emplace
> It means “to put in position”, and is always used with an object (the noun).
> It’s basically free from incorrect connotations because it’s obscure enough
> that most English speakers won’t know it, and is easily searchable for
> English- and non-English speakers alike.
> - Doug
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