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

From: Steve Harris <steve.harris@garlik.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2009 06:37:59 +0000
Message-Id: <B1F15D6F-2E73-4356-99C6-46A1CDC08943@garlik.com>
To: "public-rdf-dawg@w3.org Group" <public-rdf-dawg@w3.org>
On 14 Nov 2009, at 05:41, 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.

It has the advantage that if do a web search for the word "coalesce" a  
large number of the results are from SQL tutorials and documentation.

Alternatively we could have some "line noise" syntax. I understand  
that some recent languages (at least C♯, and I think recent Java?)  
have a "null coalescing operator", ??, but even as a C programmer who  
regularly uses ?: I don't consider that more friendly than the word  

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Null_coalescing_operator e.g.

   ?x ?? (?y ?? 1) => COALESCE(?x, ?y, 1)
   [not sure if the parens are needed]

In short, if someone can think of a word that captures the concept  
well, then I'm happy to go with it, but picking a near-synonym of  
coalesce, when the word is in use in the industry would just be anti- 

- Steve

Steve Harris, CTO, Garlik Limited
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Received on Saturday, 14 November 2009 06:38:29 UTC

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