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From: Dave Gomboc (dave_at_[hidden])
Date: 2004-02-21 18:10:14

> Well. It's actually the opposite. Because English is
> (presumably) your first language, you prefer the
> non-abbreviated "filesystem" over "fs". From the perspective
> of someone who doesn't "think in English", the two have
> pretty much the same inherent value, i.e. they are arbitrary
> identifiers.

>From the perspective of this English-speaking software developer, I
recognize filesystem, and I also know what fs means. Furthermore, the
first time I hear "fs", I imagine that I was able to guess from the
context it was used in that fs means filesystem.

>From the perspective of a developer who knows English but whose native
tongue is not English, filesystem is understandable, because the
component words, file and system, either are known or are looked up in a
translation dictionary. "fs", on the other hand, is incomprehensible
without supporting documentation.

> A mental mapping translates these identifiers
> into the entities they represent. Since the extra letters in
> the longer identifier do not add any semantic value to
> non-English speakers, they are merely clutter and do not
> contribute to readability.

You're missing the point -- the extra letters *do* add semantic value to
those who speak English, but not as a first language.

> Your observation that "stdio" is a _word_ in non-English
> programmer cultures, and not an abbreviation of "standard
> input/output", is very much in line with the above.

Stdio was *not* a word to them, it was just a jumble of random
characters. The whole concept of "standard" had been lost!


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