• (nodebb)

    The weird phraseology in French for everything computer-related, is not so much caused by the existence of the "Académie Française", but because the French are chauvinists to the extreme. And Anglophobes as well. Oh, and frist.

  • Hanzito (unregistered)


  • TheCPUWizard (unregistered)

    1978 - spent the summer reverse engineering an interpreter where all variable names (of course, very short in those days) were based on french words as were the (very few) comments.....thanks for the memories!

  • (nodebb)

    Very important to mark the parameter as final. To make sure it's not gonna be reassigned. In that one line.

  • Industrial Automation Engineer (unregistered)

    does this function solely exist to purge english keywords (like trim) from all code except at the absolutely lowest level? just curious. is there any other reason why the calling function cannot execute "(string).trim"?

  • Gaetan (unregistered)

    French native speaker here.

    For the sake of nitpicking, I would use "Élaguer" or "Rogner" or even "Ronger", rather than the less precise "Enlever";

    By the way I just use "Trim" for everyday programming as its meaning is clear for the vast majority of programmers, French or not (and I don’t like to rewrite existing functions either).

  • (nodebb)

    TFWTF is not using French as a precise programming language...?

  • BlessMyCandPerlCode (unregistered)

    Back when I programmed for a living, C and perl were the main languages I used. I don't understand your analogy. Who is in charge of official C and official Perl these days? You can write things tersely and in many different ways in Perl. C, is just C and the syntax forefather of so many languages used today, so I'd expect the analogy to be the opposite.

  • (nodebb)

    Back in the 90's, I worked on a system that was originally created by French developers. The Belgian developers who took over preferred English, so over time the source became bilingual.

  • erk (unregistered)

    Back in the 90's, I worked on a French project written in Ada. It was decided that the "with" construct was undesirable and should be done away with. To deal with the existing code someone wrote a program (a logiciel) to do this. It was called the déwitheur. Code that had been processed by was described as déwithé.

  • (nodebb)

    I wonder... when the "average person-on-the-street will still say email", do they use the english pronunciation, or do they say it like https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Émail_(verre) ?

  • (nodebb)

    Adoptive French speaker here. I'm a native English speaker living and working in France (near Lille, up near the border with a small country whose name is a byword for bad language(1)), and I can tell you that the hardest part of moving to another country is vocabulary.

    Hell, it doesn't even matter if the two countries speak notionally the same language, like the UK and the US. I've lived in both of them, and there were always oddities of vocabulary...

    Anyway, back to France and the article. First off, "supprimer" means mostly "delete", while "enlever", if it was appropriate, is more oriented toward "remove".

    Weirdest of all, though, is my thoroughly francophone company, where the rule is that all variables, functions, and comments in the code must be written in English. supprimerEspaceDevantEtDerriere would, therefore, fail code review on the grounds of being named in French, although the parameter's name would be marginally acceptable. variable(fr) and variable(en) have the same meaning, but it's a really horrible name for the parameter.

    Addendum 2023-05-30 10:51: (1) Because of a joke in a science fiction comedy series...

  • João Silva (unregistered)

    There's a guy at my company that used to "translate" every method provided by the company internal framework. Since it's a brazilian company, he thought that the methods in the internal framework should be in portuguese.

    Se we would see stuff like:

    // CLAD is CRUD in portuguese public class UsuarioCLAD extends JPACRUD<Usuario> { public void inserir(Usuario u) { super.insert(u); }

     public void deletar(Usuario u) {
     // and so on...


  • (nodebb) in reply to Kamil Podlesak

    Most often, they say "mail", pronounced more or less like in English, but with no trace of the "e".

    And, of course, "courriel" is reasonably logical. A dead-tree letter is most often called "un courrier", so an email is "un courrier electronique", and the official Académie term does away with the surplus syllables, leaving "courriel" as a shortened version of "COURRIer ELectronique".

  • Re: Cancel the Cancel (unregistered) in reply to Steve_The_Cynic


  • FSL (unregistered) in reply to Steve_The_Cynic

    I've seen (and heard) mèl, but maybe that's more of a Quebecois thing.

  • matt (unregistered)

    Speaking of chaos in English: lent, becoming, comma after officially correct, and please please please learn what a dash is and how to use it.

  • Barry Margolin (github) in reply to BlessMyCandPerlCode

    I think the analogy is that perl freely adopted syntax from other languages, like backticks from shell, regexp substitution from sed, and control structures from C. When doing so, it mostly kept the original syntax, rather than recasting it.

    So it's not about whether there's someone defining the language, but the language philosophy regarding adopting from other languages.

  • (nodebb) in reply to matt

    I hope we do away with irregular verbs (as many of them as possible, at least) over time, and also irregular plural forms. I don't like "lent" - what's wrong with "loaned"? And I don't like "cacti" - with all due respect to Latin, in English, it should be "cactuses". I'm not a native speaker of English, so as I learn it, I can't help but analyze it for its shortcomings. Still, I think both English and French and many other languages are beautiful in their own ways.

  • (author) in reply to matt

    "Loaned" and "lent" are both equally correct, if we're really being pedantic about commas, we shouldn't be adding a comma after "officially correct" but instead removing the one after "standard"; the entire adjectival phrase should just be one lump, not broken up as a list, and regarding dashes: I understand the distinction between em/en dashes, and also I absolutely do not care. If August Dvorak wanted me to type different kinds of dashes for different usages, he would have put them all on my keyboard.

    And the real complaints should be reserved for how many clauses were in the sentence above, but even that is for a purpose: I like the articles to have a conversational tone, one that is less concerned with grammatical precision and more with feeling like someone is personally telling you this story, right now.

  • matt (unregistered) in reply to Remy Porter

    Leant, however, is a past tense of lean. No one did lean you a mandolin. If the first comma shouldn't be there, why is it there? (It certainly makes sense to set "and officially correct" off with commas if you intend it to be parenthetical, but only you know what you want to say.) Take the conversational tone all you like, but take note as well that a single hyphen and space is second only to a single hyphen with no space in unreadable dash approximations. Half the articles on this site deal with unreadable code. You can afford an extra space - like this - to make your plain English float past the eye without extra effort on the part of the reader and still maintain that tone and single-key simplicity.

  • (author) in reply to matt

    Oh, that "leant"- leant isn't even a word, that's a fat-fingered typo.

    The comma is there because I tend to overuse commas; it's a bad habit of misusing punctuation to represent breaths in speech.

    And I'm just going to disagree on readability- no leading space reads cleaner to me, and it also emphasizes where I believe the break in the speech is.

  • hasty_pudding (unregistered)

    Worked as an editor for 10 years and have very few problems with this site, heh. Matt's complaints read like someone with the attitude that every blog on the Internet should conform to the Chicago Manual or delete themselves in shame :P

  • (nodebb) in reply to Remy Porter

    "Loaned" and "lent" are both equally correct,

    "Loaned" is the past tense and past participle of "to loan".

    "Lent" is the past tense and past participle of "to lend".

    So they are correct, but not interchangeable.

  • (nodebb) in reply to Steve_The_Cynic

    Duh, of course, brain fart on my part, as well. Still, it should be "lended", not "lent". We already have "landed" - nobody says "lant" - so why is "lend/lended" different?

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to Remy Porter

    "The comma is there because I tend to overuse commas; it's a bad habit of misusing punctuation to represent breaths in speech."

    That isn't a 'bad habit'. It's one of the main uses of commas in English.

  • matt (unregistered) in reply to Remy Porter

    If you know all the facts and stylistic recommendations, little remains to contribute except the nudge to reconsider the hyphen spacing (my stance is that it looks unbalanced), with anything further just becoming a flame war, which is not really my intention.

    Dave: it is one of the main uses, but not every pause merits a comma (such as one you may take between a complex subject and a verb).

    TA: Older, irregular, strong (whatever you call them) forms are part of many languages, including this one, and sometimes they gain regular variants that see equal or more use, sometimes not. Actually, my dictionary doesn't mention lended at all, listing only lent; conversely it only lists leaned (covering leant in a separate entry as chiefly British). But for example, it lists burned and burnt as interchangeable past/p.p. forms of burn. It's a reflection of usage at one point in time, but pick forms you like and go with them.

  • Lurk (unregistered) in reply to Remy Porter

    Hmmm, "leant" is a word. You may prefer to use "leaned" for the past of lean, but some of use prefer the older forms, such as leant, smelt, dreamt and even spelt (not the flour).

    Anyway the real reason I'm posting this. I think we should nick courriel from the Fr. So much more euphonious than the utter bodge that is e-mail.

  • Foo AKA Fooo (unregistered) in reply to Remy Porter

    FWIW, I agree with matt here. I don't think I've seen the hyphen with single space (intentionally) anywhere else, including other languages. To me it looks like hyphen- ation gone wrong (which I still see surprisingly often these days).

  • (nodebb) in reply to Mr. TA

    We have mouse and its plural mice, and louse and lice, but nobody expects the plural of house to be hice. Why would you expect lend to go to lended just because other verbs behave like that?

  • (nodebb) in reply to thosrtanner

    Exactly, it should be "mouses" and "louses". :)))

  • Sean Fhearsalach (unregistered)

    Go and learn Esperanto

  • RLB (unregistered) in reply to ggeens

    The Belgian developers who took over preferred English, so over time the source became bilingual.

    Be grateful - it could've become quadrilingual if you had all varieties of Belgians.

  • (nodebb)

    When I see that "supprimerEspaceDevantEtDerriere" function, I immediately think of a programmer who is not necessarily confident with English and decided to wrap that cryptic "trim" function into something they could instantly remember what it does. The name of the function is essentially both the javadoc and its translation.

    And I've certainly done just that.

    When I look at code I wrote literally last century, I cringe at my newbie naming of classes and variables all in French. I regret nothing though -- had to start somewhere.

  • f222 (unregistered)

    I'm French and, in my company, the old boss was a pure grumpy French who was absolutely against English taking over everything and who wanted every part of the code to be in French so "he could read the code when he wanted" (which he never did by the way).

    Because of that we had that kind of wrapper everywhere but even worse because we had to write correct French and therefore use non ascii characters (like é,à,ç, ...) which caused encoding issue with the source code files in some IDEs (Yes CPP can use unicode characters but some text editors don't always recognize that the file is non ascii).

    When that guy went to retirement I made a huge refactor of the code to put everything back to English and removed quite a lot of wrappers. This was one of the best day of my life :D .

  • Alan (unregistered)

    I think that the Academie Francaise would object to the comparison of French to C on the grounds of a claim that it is simply not possible to write in French any natural language equivalent of the IOCCC winners, though anglophone government spokesmen manage the equivalent in English almost daily. I would also suggest that the comparison of C and C++ to natural languages shows up a curious creole language continuum in which pure C and pure C++ are equally high prestige acrolects and the low prestige basilect at the continuum mid-point (the allegedly mythical C/C++) is, sadly, all too prevalent in the real world.

  • FTB (unregistered)

    There's nothing wrong with using descriptive names for functions. I encourage it.

    Naming a function "removeSpacesFromFrontAndBack()" leads to self documenting code.

    It's not a French thing, it's common sense.

  • Officer Johnny Holzkopf (unregistered) in reply to Bananafish
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  • (nodebb) in reply to Mr. TA

    There are two verbs, "to loan" and "to lend".

  • Matthieu Brucher (unregistered)

    Actually this is DEAD wrong. French is by no mean defined by the Academie francaise. They fancy themselves as such, but their only goal is to write a dictionary, not to define the French language. They don't have the authority anyway to tell Belgians, Canadians and all the other citizens of different countries how they should talk.

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