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

Subject: RE: "test if" vs. "determine whether" - for API function descriptions ?
From: "Anderson, Heather (Contingent Worker)" <HAnderson -at- comerica -dot- com>
To: Robert Lauriston <robert -at- lauriston -dot- com>, Monique Semp <monique -dot- semp -at- earthlink -dot- net>
Date: Wed, 6 Jan 2016 12:28:27 +0000

Having worked in a company where we had to use global English for documents (and some of our customers would be ESL) - Test if might be the best phrasing here.

It's simple, direct, and easier to understand for those who don't have English as a first language.

Heather Anderson
Technical Writer
3701 Hamlin Road, Auburn Hills, MI 48236
HAnderson -at- comerica -dot- com

-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+handerson=comerica -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+handerson=comerica -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of Robert Lauriston
Sent: Tuesday, January 05, 2016 5:04 PM
To: Monique Semp
Cc: TechWR-L
Subject: Re: "test if" vs. "determine whether" - for API function descriptions ?

In cases like that, I say something like "returns a <whatever>, on which you may use <some other function> to return TRUE if <condition
A> or FALSE if <condition B>."

I'm really not comfortable characterizing returns.

On Tue, Jan 5, 2016 at 11:51 AM, Monique Semp <monique -dot- semp -at- earthlink -dot- net> wrote:
>> My default phrasing is "returns TRUE if ...."
>
>
> Ah, but the issue again is inconsistency. Some functions directly
> return TRUE/FALSE, but many others return a higher-level
> function-status-ok value, and return the condition's TRUE/FALSE through a function call parameter.
>
> So "returns..." won't work in these situations, and we're back to
> using "test if" or "determine whether", or some such thing.
>
> Certainly the ideal would be a coding standard that all engineers
> follow, and the standard would say how to name functions of this sort
> and how to return the value. But that's not likely to be followed even if implemented.
>
> -Monique
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References:
"test if" vs. "determine whether" - for API function descriptions ?: From: Monique Semp
Re: "test if" vs. "determine whether" - for API function descriptions ?: From: Robert Lauriston
Re: "test if" vs. "determine whether" - for API function descriptions ?: From: Monique Semp
Re: "test if" vs. "determine whether" - for API function descriptions ?: From: Robert Lauriston

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