It’s interesting to see how many people over time have come to the conclusion that certain seemingly-harmless words can be problematic while communicating:
- Four letter words, Jason Fried – May 2007
- Words To Avoid in Educational Writing, Me – January 2014
- “Just”, Brad Frost – January 2014
- The Most Dangerous Word In Software Development, Anthony Colangelo – July 2014
- Obviously, Adam Onishi – February 2015
- A Bad Question to ask a Developer, Lyza Danger Gardner – August 2015
A good message to keep spreading.
Was confusing to see this content in an article instead of a tweet :p
care to elaborate?
Check out the articles.
Obviously everyone knows we just need to follow these rules. Clearly it’s that easy.
Good post. :)
Can I add another pair of words that come up a lot in programming tutorials?
This must be one of the most meaningless pair of words in all of programming literature. I know, I know…there is probably some deep hacker lore where these words were used in some example code from an ancient programming language and now it is “tradition” to use it. An inside joke.
I don’t care.
Anyone resorting to these words in their tech writing needs to step back and think of a more meaningful example.
baz, and so on do have meanings in programming, much like Alice, Bob and Eve do in security and transactional analysis. They’re placeholders without implications. They are more or less the same as
name_3, but easier to tell apart when scanning text or code, or
zwithout being as terse and dense.
It’s not easy to slip in something that looks more meaningful in their places, since that can give the wrong kind of idea to the reader. foo(bar) is example syntax that carries no implicit meaning;
doSomething(someParam)has the same surface syntax , but it also implies something about
doSomething(it’s probably a function or method) and
someParam(it’s probably a value) that may not always be true.
Was the choice of placeholder names a little bit silly? Probably. (They likely started with FUBAR, which is the standard operating state of military bureaucracies and code in development stages.) They’re not going to change because you don’t like them.