[plt-scheme] Re: Why "lambda"?

From: YC (yinso.chen at gmail.com)
Date: Sun May 31 03:18:36 EDT 2009

On Sat, May 30, 2009 at 10:31 PM, Gary Baumgartner <gfb at cs.toronto.edu>wrote:

> > Why use greek? Well, it is that little thing called convention very
> > much like English is a convention. When I read a paper and see, for
> > example, alpha-conversion or beta-reduction my focus is not on the
> > alpha or the beta. It is on the abstraction that is being represented.
> > That said, I agree that it is important to explain and understand the
> > abstractions. Nobody understands or fails to understand what
> > alpha-conversion and beta-reduction due to the alpha and the beta.
> [...]
> And conversely, which I think you allude to with "convention", there is
>  no benefit to choosing a different symbol (syntax) that also has no
>  intrinsic connection to the concept (semantics), and it makes it harder
>  for those who have traditionally associated the concept to a particular
>  symbol, so the best choice is the conventional one.
I personally agreed that following convention is probably the right choice
most of the time.

On the other hand, I wish that all these conventions are documented and
explained somewhere (and they might be but I have no clue where), so those
of us who do not do this on daily basis can at least have a dictionary to
look up the conventions to actually make sense of these research papers ;)

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.racket-lang.org/users/archive/attachments/20090531/336dcb67/attachment.html>

Posted on the users mailing list.