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

From: Alexandre Passant <alexandre.passant@deri.org>
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2009 00:48:12 -0500
Cc: Paul Gearon <gearon@ieee.org>, SPARQL Working Group <public-rdf-dawg@w3.org>
Message-Id: <98C31033-F8D0-4CC1-8C11-9E42F05402CB@deri.org>
To: Lee Feigenbaum <lee@thefigtrees.net>

On 14 Nov 2009, at 00:41, Lee Feigenbaum wrote:

> Then again, that's what COALESCE means also, so this is a case of  
> once I think about it, none of the names make sense to me.
> :)

Based on your previous email "COALESCE (or whatever it's called) takes  
1 or more arguments and returns the first of its arguments that is  
bound to a value (i.e. first argument that is not unbound and not a  
type error)."

So what about FIRST_BOUND or something explicit like that ?


> Lee
> 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
>>>>> 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)
>> Best,
>> Alex.
>>> Regards,
>>> Paul Gearon
>> -- 
>> Dr. Alexandre Passant
>> Digital Enterprise Research Institute
>> National University of Ireland, Galway
>> :me owl:sameAs <http://apassant.net/alex> .

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 05:48:54 UTC

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