[Haskell-cafe] Specify array or list size?

Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho antti-juhani at kaijanaho.info
Sat May 7 15:11:04 EDT 2005

On 20050507T120430-0400, Daniel Carrera wrote:
> I think it's because there's no real reason for someone to think that 
> the words "list" and "array" might not be synonims. I certainly don't 
> seen a linguistic distinction. Either term refers to an ordered 
> collection of items.

I don't even know what "array" means outside of programming (but then
again, English is not my native language).  However...

It is dangerous for anyone to infer the meaning of a technical term
based on the common meaning of the word.  The common meaning usually
helps in *remembering* the technical meaning, but that comes *after*
finding out what the technical meaning is.  This applies in any
technology or science, not just Haskell programming or programming in

> Suppose that you learn a new computer language, and it happens to assign 
> special meanings to the words "collection" and "group".

Those terms have a lot of meanings in technical jargon.

> You don't know this. So you start talking about groups as you do in
> every day English and people tell you that you're mixing up concepts.

Your mistake is the "start talking about groups as you do in every day
English" part.

> I guess that a more likely example in programming would be a language 
> that differentiates between "functions", "procedures" and "subroutines".

Well, most languages use "function" contrary to the everyday meaning of
the word.  Even "functional" in "functional programming" does not mean
what you'd think it means.  (Anybody else heard people shout "But C *is*
a functional language!"? - And I'm not talking about geeks who use the
FP style in C:)

Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho                  http://antti-juhani.kaijanaho.info/

		Blogi - http://kaijanaho.info/antti-juhani/blog/
                 Toys - http://www.cc.jyu.fi/yhd/toys/

More information about the Haskell-Cafe mailing list