Avoid Ambiguity

I’ve been diving head first into iOS 5 since I switched over to the iPhone and I have to admit I’m hooked. It’s a steep learning curve but with iTunes U and Stanford’s Paul Hegardy helping me very strongly along the way it’s…dare I say… fun?

Also, benefiting greatly from being able to watch the same lecture over and over again is actually better than taking them live on campus and then struggling through the homework later that night under some low-wattage bulb. Of course, I will miss all the active feedback and great sweatshirts that are a part of college life, but I also would have missed the whole thing altogether if it wasn’t for iTunes and their partnership with Stanford.

In the future I hope there’ll be a way for more people to take more classes like this online and for qualified individuals to teach them from their own homes. It won’t be free, but it will be affordable.

But wait, you say, Jabberlope, you can do all that and more today at something like Phoenix; but what I’m envisioning is actually being able to turn all that self-study into a degree that matters. I’m talking about certification. Which, in the long run, is all that anyone should care to check if we’re serious about playing fair. It’s also incredibly capitalist. It says, I don’t care how you came about this knowledge, but you seem to have a mastery of it, so in that case I’m going to trust you enough to pay you some money to do a task that is integral to my own making of money. I’m talking about something like the Bar exam, but for Sociology, English, Copy-Editing, everything…

Did you know you never have to go law school to be a lawyer? Of course, it would sure help; but how cool is that? Something that a majority of the leaders of our nation started out as and you don’t have to go to college to do it. Having a great set of instructional videos is all I got at the moment, so I’m considering that a leg up from what I had last week, which was nothing. And I’m tired of whining about having no one to code my ideas.

So definitely check out those lectures if you’re at all interested in learning how to build iOS apps. They’re FREE!!

Also, some choice words I cam came along which are responsible for the title and the genesis of this report. They also prove that coders have some of the driest wit in the Northern Hemisphere.

Avoid Ambiguity (pg. 2)

Bugs are scarce where code doesn’t leave questions unanswered.

Ambiguous Messages
  • -sortInfo
  • -refreshTimer
  • -update
  • -fetchInfo:

On the surface, these methods may seem good. For example, they all have vowels. But what they share is the potential for different interpretations because of the language used.

sortInfo – returns sort info, or sort something called “info”?
refreshTimer – return a timer used for refreshing, or refresh a timer?
update – a verb? what is updated and how?
fetchInfo– fetch info about something or give info about a fetch?This is all fixed by slightly modifying the phrases.

Clear Messages:
  • currentSortInfo // “current” obviously describes the noun “sort info”
  • -refreshDefaultTimer // refresh is now clearly a verb
  • -updateMenuItemTitle // an action is taking place
  • -infoForFetch: // now we know info is returned for a fetch

By just adding a few characters to each method, we’ve removed almost all ambiguity. And there was much rejoicing.

PS – for those just interested in just getting my bloggy blog updates at More People Like Us, feel free to join up for that list on Facebook instead of this stream which will continue to feature both MPLU and coding updates from the Jabberlope.


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