Friday, August 08, 2008

Confucius Was First Programmer - Rectification of Names

When writing a software, programmers are strongly advised to give appropriate names for variables so that the name itself tells its essence. This is an important feature of communicative programming style with the code communicating itself without the need for comments, explanations, apologies, and so forth. Any programmer taking over the piece of code will be able to read and comprehend it.

If you don't know, Confucius, a Chinese thinker and social philosopher, once emphasised the importance of names. Confucius's teachings - 'Rectification of Names' thought us names must be meaningful. Confucius was the first programmer!

Confucius’ Rectification of Names

“If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.”

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