Re: "test if" vs. "determine whether" - for API function descriptions ?

Subject: Re: "test if" vs. "determine whether" - for API function descriptions ?
From: "Peter Neilson" <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>
To: TechWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>, "Monique Semp" <monique -dot- semp -at- earthlink -dot- net>
Date: Tue, 05 Jan 2016 14:58:59 -0500

Test is better than determine because the latter can mean "establish as true" rather than "test whether it's true".

It is unfortunate that there is not a standard naming convention for the functions. In the very early days of lisp programming (I mean, like maybe 1961) it was common to end an expression with "p" if it was a true-false predicate. (Perhaps it still is. I don't know.) The lisp-hacker slang of the day included such expressions as "lunchp" which was pronounced lunch-pee but which meant, "Shall we go to lunch?"

On Tue, 05 Jan 2016 14:37:50 -0500, Monique Semp <monique -dot- semp -at- earthlink -dot- net> wrote:

Hello, WR-L-ers,

For an API Reference, Iâve got lots (and lots) of descriptions for functions that return TRUE or FALSE depending on whether a given condition/state/whatever is true or false.

And Iâm wondering which (brief, as in the @brief command in Doxygen) descriptionâs start text might be âbetterâ, âmore quickly grokedâ, âeasier for ESL readers to understandâ:

* Test if <condition, such as âthe object is the first in the listâ>.
* Determine whether <condition, such as âthe object is the first in the listâ>.

Thereâs no consistency in the function names (and I am not about to try to get the code refactored). Names might begin or include âisConditionâ, âConditionâ, âcheckIfConditionâ, and so on; or they might not.
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