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Re: [TF-LIB] COALESCE is an unhelpful choice of name

From: Lee Feigenbaum <lee@thefigtrees.net>
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2009 00:41:10 -0500
Message-ID: <4AFE42F6.1040901@thefigtrees.net>
To: Alexandre Passant <alexandre.passant@deri.org>
CC: Paul Gearon <gearon@ieee.org>, SPARQL Working Group <public-rdf-dawg@w3.org>
Alexandre Passant wrote:
> 
> On 13 Nov 2009, at 19:05, Paul Gearon wrote:
> 
>> On Fri, Nov 13, 2009 at 6:59 PM, Steve Harris 
>> <steve.harris@garlik.com> wrote:
>>> On 13 Nov 2009, at 13:01, Andy Seaborne wrote:
>>>
>>>> I don't find the name COALESCE very helpful.
>>>>
>>>> None of these seem good but they are better to me:
>>>>
>>>> VAL
>>>> VALUE
>>>> FIRST
>>>> FIRST_VAL
>>>> PROTECT
>>>> SAFE
>>>
>>> None of these float my boat, but out of interest, what's the source 
>>> of your
>>> dislike for COALESCE? I find it pretty obvious, but then I've been 
>>> using SQL
>>> for too long.
>>
>> Personally, I'd never heard of this function, and it's been completely
>> opaque to me. I've come back to it a few times now (each time after a
>> break of a couple of weeks) and every time I've had to look up some
>> documentation to remind myself of what it meant.
>>
>> But then, I haven't used SQL much in recent years.
> 
> I was in the same case, it took me a while before figuring out what that 
> function what about.
> It may be obvious from people with an SQL background but it's 
> apparently, based on the feedback here, not a relevant name for people 
> that don't have such background.
> 
> So, do we in general want to stick to SQL naming or focus on something 
> easy to understand for people coming to SPARQL without any bg on SQL ?
> I'd prefer the second option and then chose a more relevant name (as 
> MELD for instance, or synonyms as FUSE)

MELD and FUSE sound like your combining things to me, which isn't at all 
what the function does...

Lee

> 
> Best,
> 
> Alex.
> 
>>
>> Regards,
>> Paul Gearon
>>
> 
> -- 
> Dr. Alexandre Passant
> Digital Enterprise Research Institute
> National University of Ireland, Galway
> :me owl:sameAs <http://apassant.net/alex> .
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
Received on Saturday, 14 November 2009 05:41:56 GMT

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