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trim vs trimmed revisited

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Karl Williamson
February 24, 2022 03:43
trim vs trimmed revisited
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I believe using 'trimmed' is a mistake, and this email is a last ditch 
effort to make that case.

There is zero precedent in the core for using a past participle to name 
a function that takes an argument and returns some perturbation of it. 
We do not have 'reversed' nor 'sorted', nor 'crypted' nor 'hexed' nor 
'packed' nor 'absd' 'orded' 'lcfirsted' ...

We do, however, have in fact some functions in the core whose names are 
a past participle: 'defined', 'tied', and just outside of core: 
Scalar::Util::blessed.  All these functions return a boolean, not at all 
like 'trimmed' would do.

So 'trimmed' would actually be the sole member of a new class of names. 
I hear that there is some wish that 'sort' had originally been named 
'sorted'.  But it wasn't, and making a new name that corresponds to that 
forlorn hope but violates all existing precedents will only sow confusion.

When I was 13-ish, I learned in Math class that f(x) is pronounced 'f of 
x'.  That didn't change in my education all the way through getting a 
Bachelor's degree in Math.  Following along with that, I pronounce

@x = sort(@y)

as "Set x to the sort of y".  I suppose one could pronounce it as "x 
becomes the sorted version of y", but that's really not following 
standard English usage.

My assertion is that 'trimmed' violates precedents in core Perl and in 
standard usage.

I wish that the few functions that change their operand in place, like 
chomp, instead left the argument unchanged, and returned the 
transmogrified result.  But it's too late to change them; and they are 
outliers.  Hence, using them as a justification for 'trimmed' is wrong.

And there maybe a better word than trim or its derivatives.  'trim' can 
mean both take away' and 'add'  I sew on trim as a border, or to trim 
the Christmas tree.

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