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profile for Caleb on Stack Exchange, a network of free, community-driven Q&A sites


You: Do you know Jon Skeet?

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Expert: I know joel spolsky to a certain degree at least.

You: Does he treat you well?

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You: What is it like to work at Stack Exchange?

Expert: The answer is pretty complicated.

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Aug
21
awarded  Enlightened
Aug
21
awarded  Nice Answer
Aug
21
revised Where did the notion of 'calling' a function come from?
added 313 characters in body
Aug
20
comment Where did the notion of 'calling' a function come from?
@BasileStarynkevitch I don't disagree with you about λ-calculus, but note that the Wikipedia entry for that term uses "call" in several places to explain what it means to apply a function.
Aug
18
comment When is type testing OK?
See also: When to use run-time type information?
Aug
18
comment When is type testing OK?
OK means allowable, acceptable, etc., but not necessarily ideal or optimal. Contrast with not OK: if something is not OK then you shouldn't do it at all. As you indicate, the need to check the type of something can be an indication of deeper problems in the code, but there are times when it's the most expedient, least bad option, and in such situations it's obviously OK to use the tools at your disposal. (If it were easy to avoid them in all situations, they probably wouldn't be there in the first place.) The question boils down identifying those situations, and never doesn't help.
Aug
18
comment Where did the notion of 'calling' a function come from?
@LarsViklund I think that's the point -- had the term call been in use at that time the paper was written, it surely would have been used. Therefore, the paper provides some evidence that the term probably came into use between then and Fortran II.
Aug
18
comment When is type testing OK?
If by "never" you actually mean "sometimes," then you're right.
Aug
18
comment When is type testing OK?
Here's a concrete example: the top-level container in a JSON response from a web service can be either a dictionary or an array. Typically, you have some tool that turns the JSON into real objects (e.g. NSJSONSerialization in Obj-C), but you don't want to simply trust that the response contains the type that you expect, so before using it you check it (e.g. if ([theResponse isKindOfClass:[NSArray class]])...).
Aug
18
comment Where did the notion of 'calling' a function come from?
@Blrfl Great link -- thanks for that. Also: Just guessing, but the term CALL w.r.t. a subroutine might be related to the English meaning of call [on] as making a brief visit, as in I called on the Smiths today. We don't often use the word that way today (unless you watch a lot of period TV/movies), but it wasn't uncommon back in the 1940's and 1950's.
Aug
18
comment Where did the notion of 'calling' a function come from?
@Timo Although I can't point to the origin of the term, my goal with this answer was to get you closer to that point. Knowing that CALL shows up in this context in Fortran (created in 1954) should significantly narrow the search for the origin. Blrfl's comment above looks like a good bound on the early side, so together we've narrowed the time period in which the term seems to have come into use to a few years.
Aug
18
revised Where did the notion of 'calling' a function come from?
added 360 characters in body
Aug
18
answered Where did the notion of 'calling' a function come from?
Aug
6
comment Many Arguments in Case Classes
The first part of your answer has to be considered in the context of a given language. Languages that support named parameters (including Scala) don't require that the developer remember (or look up) the order of parameters. And for those that don't have named parameters or something similar, the code completion found in any modern IDE provides a lot of help.
Aug
3
comment Who gives out the awards to “Award-Winning Software”?
Lots of organizations give out awards. If someone calls their product "award winning" without specifying which award, ask. Or be skeptical.
Aug
2
comment Is making a small change, testing it, then “rinse and repeat”, a bad habit?
Why do you ask? What problem are you experiencing due to your habit? Obviously, this isn't a good workflow for, say, a plastic surgeon. But if the cost of each iteration is low, why not continue the way you are?
Jul
14
awarded  Nice Answer
Jul
8
comment Why is software OS specific?
It seems quite clear that the OP is asking about binaries, not source code.
Jul
8
revised Why is software OS specific?
added 400 characters in body
Jul
8
answered Why is software OS specific?