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Parse or Pass?

I'm very confused...I want to describe passing variables to functions
and I've seen these two words used in very similar contexts.

Is there a difference between them?

Sep 4 '07 #1
5 3249
frenchy64 wrote:
I'm very confused...I want to describe passing variables to functions
and I've seen these two words used in very similar contexts.

Is there a difference between them?
In general, "parsing" is analyzing the grammatical structure of a
string. People sometimes talk loosely about "parsing the command line".
but I don't think that's normally applied to providing the actual
arguments (corresponding to the definition's "formal parameters") when a
function is called - that's argument passing.

regards
Steve
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Sep 4 '07 #2
In general, "parsing" is analyzing the grammatical structure of a
string. People sometimes talk loosely about "parsing the command line".
but I don't think that's normally applied to providing the actual
arguments (corresponding to the definition's "formal parameters") when a
function is called - that's argument passing.

regards
Steve
Thanks Steve, great post!

Sep 4 '07 #3
In general, "parsing" is analyzing the grammatical structure of a
string. People sometimes talk loosely about "parsing the command line".
but I don't think that's normally applied to providing the actual
arguments (corresponding to the definition's "formal parameters") when a
function is called - that's argument passing.
I find that people often use "parsing" in contexts where my
(non-native) language feeling says it should not be used.

For example, people talk about "parsing" trees, meaning that
they perform some processing on the tree with the objective
of extracting certain information. In the same sense, I
have seen people "parsing" lists - meaning they iterate over
the list.

If I extrapolate my experience with German IT language, I
think people often use terminology they have not fully
understood. I often ask my students what the difference
between "eingeben", "ausgeben", "übergeben" und
"zurückgeben" is when they start saying that "die
Funktion gibt das Ergebnis aus".

Regards,
Martin
Sep 4 '07 #4
Martin v. Löwis wrote:
<cut>
If I extrapolate my experience with German IT language, I
think people often use terminology they have not fully
understood. I often ask my students what the difference
between "eingeben", "ausgeben", "übergeben" und
"zurückgeben" is when they start saying that "die
Funktion gibt das Ergebnis aus".

Regards,
Martin
Interesting, I lived my early childhood in Germany and somehow, now I
see it all written in once, I have the feeling I get more confused. So
would you agree with my interpretation?

Eingeben = <Giving inInput: (A bit of) data from outside the function
Ausgeben = <Giving outOutput: (A bit of) data to display, network
connection or file
Zurückgeben = <Giving backReturn: (altered)(bits of) data (from Input)
to Output

Can I assume that Return in general always means that the particular
function has exited with that? If not what is the difference then
between Output and Return?

Another thing is that with the above statement the opposite could be
true too, meaning that Input in the German meaning would only been done
when the function is initiated but how do you call the other input then?
The appropriate German word would be "Zugeben", which translates to
Enter (Giving too).

And then we have "Übergeben" which translates to throughput (giving
over), which in my view is just something that gets data in and puts it
out, contextually unaltered. But would that do that with exiting the
function or not? If it's not both what's the other one called?
"Übernemen" perhaps (Taking over)?

Hmm feels like textbook classics, only if I knew which book, probably
programming 101 :-)

--
mph
Sep 5 '07 #5
On 2007-09-05, Martin P. Hellwig <mh******@xs4all.nlwrote:
Martin v. Löwis wrote:
Eingeben = <Giving inInput: (A bit of) data from outside the function
Ausgeben = <Giving outOutput: (A bit of) data to display, network
connection or file
Zurückgeben = <Giving backReturn: (altered)(bits of) data (from Input)
to Output

Can I assume that Return in general always means that the particular
function has exited with that? If not what is the difference then
between Output and Return?
It depends on your point of view imho.

You can describe a function call from 'outside', ie I give it values for its
parameters, and it returns me a computed return value.
You can describe the same thing from 'inside', ie I get values from my caller,
compute a result, and output the result.
And then we have "Übergeben" which translates to throughput (giving
over), which in my view is just something that gets data in and puts it
out, contextually unaltered. But would that do that with exiting the
I would consider this yet another view, namely performance. Function calls are
stil happening, but you focus more on the #calls/second, ie throughput.
So depending on what one is interested in, I think, one structures and
describes what is happening in a different way.
Wouldn't that be a possible explanation for all the subtle different ways of
describing the same thing?

Albert

Sep 5 '07 #6

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