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Re: pg_ctl idempotent option

From: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>
To: Alvaro Herrera <alvherre(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>
Cc: Vik Reykja <vikreykja(at)gmail(dot)com>, Peter Eisentraut <peter_e(at)gmx(dot)net>, PostgreSQL Hackers <pgsql-hackers(at)postgresql(dot)org>
Subject: Re: pg_ctl idempotent option
Date: 2013-01-15 15:25:23
Message-ID: 25675.1358263523@sss.pgh.pa.us (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
Alvaro Herrera <alvherre(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com> writes:
> Vik Reykja escribi:
>> On Mon, Jan 14, 2013 at 4:22 PM, Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us> wrote:
>>> Idempotent is a ten-dollar word.  Can we find something that average
>>> people wouldn't need to consult a dictionary to understand?

>> I disagree that we should dumb things down when the word means exactly what
>> we want and based on the rest of this thread is the only word or word
>> cluster that carries the desired meaning.

I'm not quite convinced that it means *exactly* what we want.  The
dictionary definition, according to my laptop's dictionary, is "denoting
an element of a set that is unchanged in value when multiplied or
otherwise operated on by itself".  I'm well aware that computer people
often use it to mean "an operation that doesn't change the system state
if the state is already what's wanted", but I think that's probably an
abuse of the mathematical usage.  And in any case, I'm not sure that
non-hackers would immediately recognize the term, nor be enlightened by
their dictionaries.  But ...

> Yeah, after seeing the alternatives, I agree that it seems okay,

... I was only asking if we *could* find a better choice.  Seems we
can't, so let's stick with this.

			regards, tom lane


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