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Thursday, September 25, 2014

All the Good Names are Taken

A recent thread on the HL7 FHIR List points to one of the real challenges in computer science.  You see, if you don't get to a particular space first, someone else grabs all of the good names.   For example, "namespace" happens to be already used as a reserved word in five different programming languages.

I propose a novel solution to this problem, which is to use common dictionary meanings for terms first. Only when extreme precision is necessary would we disambiguate, and only after demonstration that such disambiguation is necessary.  In these cases, we would subscript the name with the definition number assigned to a definition (in a commonly used dictionary resource like Wiktionary).  If no definition suited, only then would we create a new term which did not otherwise exist in the dictionary.  We would assign someone to then add it to Wictionary, effectively claiming the space.  In this way, maybe we could actually explain how standards work to the average C-level.

    Keith

P.S. ;-)

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