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Re: pg_ctl idempotent option

From: Boszormenyi Zoltan <zb(at)cybertec(dot)at>
To: Bruce Momjian <bruce(at)momjian(dot)us>
Cc: Tom Lane <tgl(at)sss(dot)pgh(dot)pa(dot)us>, Alvaro Herrera <alvherre(at)2ndquadrant(dot)com>, 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 19:36:39
Message-ID: 50F5AFC7.3010808@cybertec.at (view raw or flat)
Thread:
Lists: pgsql-hackers
2013-01-15 20:28 keltezéssel, Bruce Momjian írta:
> On Tue, Jan 15, 2013 at 10:25:23AM -0500, Tom Lane wrote:
>> 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 ...
> I have heard idempotent used several times by our folks, and I didn't
> know what it meant either.  I figured it was a "strong item".  ;-)  I
> just looked it up.

The math term used in Hungarian for idempotent is mirror translated
to "leave it in place". The term also has a slang usage for beating somebody up. ;-)

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Cybertec Schönig & Schönig GmbH
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