2533: Generic functions that take integral arguments should work the same way as their prelude counterparts

Jonathan Cast jonathanccast at fastmail.fm
Wed Aug 27 11:58:42 EDT 2008

On Wed, 2008-08-27 at 09:19 +0200, Henning Thielemann wrote:
> On Tue, 26 Aug 2008, John Meacham wrote:
> > But is also makes the functions less useful and another source of
> > non-completeness. I certainly always considered accepting negative
> > numbers a feature of those functions and not an infelicity.  Sometimes
> > you want 'drop 1 xs' and other times you want 'tail xs' (or equivalent).
> It's very confusing for readers of your programs, if you use 'drop 1' 
> instead of 'tail'. The names 'drop' and 'tail' don't give the reader a 
> hint, that 'drop' works for empty lists and 'tail' doesn't.

I doubt very much that the name `drop' means anything until you learn
it.  In particular, it's meaningless for native speakers of Chinese who
haven't learned English, as well.  And it's only slightly less
meaningless (when you consider what it does) for native speakers of


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