Generic programming in C.


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M

Martin Shobe

Kaz said:
That's a clumsy shift from third to first. I can hear the gears grinding.
Second, not first, but still. Better probably would be third person
plural. In general, that's probably your best choice in similar
situations, since it has a gender neutral pronount that deosn't carry
negative connotations when referring to a person.

"Programmers are not "forced" to do anything. They are free to do as
they like."

Martin Shobe
 
B

BartC

I never (knowingly) use gender-biased terms. Do you find my posts
stilted and contrived? If so, please say where because I am always on
the look-out for ways to improve my writing.

I'm sure your language is fine. But you're asking the wrong person, as I
don't really notice gender bias, especially in a technical group like this
where there is less scope for it.

I used to try and be gender-neutral, but it was too much trouble, and now I
don't really bother. If I'm talking about a builder, but don't know the
gender, I might use 'him'; if about someone's secretary, I might use 'her'.
The fact is, builders *are* normally men, and most secretaries *do* seem to
be women.

Then I might use 'he', 'his', 'him' etc as generic terms, where gender is
unknown or not relevant. It was in this latter sense that jacob was using
'he' and 'man'. And I bet hardly anyone noticed, or was offended, until Mr.
Rutherford draw attention to it.

(Or perhaps I should say Mr, Mrs, Miss, or Ms Rutherford; you never know.
Silly mistake; no wonder few parents call their daughters Edward, with
attitudes like mine..)
He intended to say (and has always claimed he did say) "That's one small
step for *a* man..." which has the benefit of being correct, as well as
being entirely gender-appropriate. Presumably you wanted to make a
point what followed.

It was supposed to be humorous...
 
B

Ben Bacarisse

Why did you snip the part where you describe the cost as language that
is stilted, obviously contrived and forced? It removes all the context
for my question and makes your evasion look less obvious.
I'm sure your language is fine. But you're asking the wrong person, as I
don't really notice gender bias, especially in a technical group like this
where there is less scope for it.

Eh? You are the perfect person, since you claimed that the cost is "to
write in stilted, obviously contrived language that will come across as
forced"[1]. Can't you spot such things? If they are absent from my
posts (as you rather grudgingly admit) does that not suggest that you
are wrong.

<snip>

[1] I am going to assume that I have not succeeded in changing half the
English language -- the only other option you offered to gender-biased
terms.
 
J

jacob navia

Le 18/05/12 23:30, Rui Maciel a écrit :
So, basically your technique requires the programmer to add a couple source
files for each list that stores a different data type. Is this true?


Could you please provide an example where you use, say, 3 of your lists,
with each one handling a different data type?


I answered both questions. It would be interesting to know your opinion.
 
B

BartC

Ben Bacarisse said:
Why did you snip the part where you describe the cost as language that
is stilted, obviously contrived and forced? It removes all the context
for my question and makes your evasion look less obvious.
I'm sure your language is fine. But you're asking the wrong person, as I
don't really notice gender bias, especially in a technical group like
this
where there is less scope for it.

Eh? You are the perfect person, since you claimed that the cost is "to
write in stilted, obviously contrived language that will come across as
forced"[1]. Can't you spot such things? If they are absent from my
posts (as you rather grudgingly admit) does that not suggest that you
are wrong.

OK. I said I don't notice gender bias, such as the combination of
"programmer" and "he". Like most people I would simply take that as being a
generic term meaning either "he" and "she". It's not necessary to use
examples such as these gleaned from other posts:

"he or she"
"he/she"
"s/he"
"she or he"
"they" (this one requiring the sentence to be reworked)

(I don't know to what 'free man' would be altered to; 'free person' just
sounds crass.)

Some of these I would notice, and I find them irritating, especially when
it's obvious that it *is* predominantly one or the other in any instance.

And when I'm writing this stuff myself, having to restructure grammar to
avoid bias is a distraction. So I only bother when talking about a third
person and do not wish to disclose their gender.

And no, I haven't particularly noticed you using language like this. So
perhaps you're better at it and/or make some extra effort. In that case,
there is some cost.

(BTW, in some languages, the word for "programmer" may have a gender. In
Italian for example, that appears to be masculine. Anyone trying to be
gender-neutral in such a language is going to have their work cut out...)
 
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M

Malcolm McLean

בת×ריך ×™×•× ×¨×שון, 20 במ××™ 2012 00:13:20 UTC+1, מ×ת Bart:
(BTW, in some languages, the word for "programmer" may have a gender. In
Italian for example, that appears to be masculine. Anyone trying to be
gender-neutral in such a language is going to have their work cut out...)
That's true in most languages. English is unusual in having natural gender (with the exception of countries and ships, gender always represents sex), and in having a very degenerate system of endings. Whilst we have some feminine endings (lioness, Freda, laddette), you can't generally tell the gender of a word from its ending. (Matron, sister, nun, queen, lady, vixen, bitch, sow, girl, aunt, mother, dame, madam, wife). In virtually all other languages you can.
 
B

Ben Bacarisse

boB said:
Just make sre we all take into account the responses from the women
programmers on this news group. Especially the ones that have
responded to this post !

Out of interest... is your behavior largely determined by who is
commenting on it?

<snip>
 
R

Rui Maciel

jacob said:
I answered both questions. It would be interesting to know your opinion.

In my opinion, your implementation actually looks nice. The #undef/#define
preprocessor trick might not be particularly easy on the eyes, but it may be
the best way to get around C's limitations. At least I'm not aware of
anyone coming up with a better solution.

If it was a part of C's standard library I would use it.

Keep up the good work, and don't feel discouraged for any lack of feedback,
or even any criticism which isn't particularly constructive.


Rui Maciel
 
G

Guest

בת×ריך ×™×•× ×©×‘×ª, 19 במ××™ 2012 08:08:24 UTC+1, מ×ת jacob navia:

Because the truth is that very few women are interested in computer programming. There are many who are interested in careers in computer programming, but that's not the same thing,

really? seriously? How can you have a career in computer programming without an interest in programming? Can you have a career as a chef without an interest in cooking? I've known a few female programmers. What I find odd is that other contries seem (on a very small sample!) to have less gender biasthan the UK.

I also had the odd experience at university of being asked by a south east asian moslem woman why so few english women studied compuer science...
 
G

Guest

בת×ריך ×™×•× ×©×‘×ª, 19 במ××™ 2012 08:08:24 UTC+1, מ×ת jacob navia:
In English the male embraces the female. So we say "dog" unless we specifically mean a female dog, when we use "bitch", we call our country the "United Kingdom" even though we are currently ruled by a Queen, we man the barricades during our riots.

Some feminist-inclined women are trying to change this rule, so you'll often see constructions like s/he, or "he or she". But then they decide that it's still sexist to have the "he" first, so we have "she or he", and the whole thing collapses into self-consciousness. If you must use feminist langage, it's better to rewrite sentences with "they". So instead of "he must be a qualified draughtsman" "they must have a qualification in draughting technical drawings".

I find it particularly distracting when the pronoun is alternated.

"If the programmer finds himself in the situation..."
then a paragraph later
"An alternative she could use..."
Did he/she have major surgery between a paragraphs?

It seems to be American academics that beat themselves up most about this. The alternating gender stuff was actually stated as policy in the preface.
 
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R

Rui Maciel

really? seriously? How can you have a career in computer programming
without an interest in programming? Can you have a career as a chef
without an interest in cooking? I've known a few female programmers. What
I find odd is that other contries seem (on a very small sample!) to have
less gender bias than the UK.

The answer is yes. There are plenty of people who have chosen a career
exclusively due to financial reasons instead of having a honest interest in
the subject.

If that wasn't the case then we wouldn't have accountants.


Rui Maciel
 
J

James Kuyper

really? seriously? How can you have a career in computer programming
without an interest in programming? Can you have a career as a chef
without an interest in cooking?

Sure; lots of people pursue careers in fields that they're not
particularly interested in. Money is the most common reason. In fact,
one of the key purposes of money is to encourage more people to work at
certain jobs than would be willing to do so if it weren't for the high
salary paid to people who do those jobs.

You don't reach the top of a profession without having a real interest
in it, but the bottom of almost every profession is filled with people
who are not very interested in what they're doing for a living.
 
T

Tim Rentsch

Edward Rutherford said:
jacob said:
Le 18/05/12 14:51, Rui Maciel a @C3{A9}crit :

The programmer is not "forced " to do anything. He is a free man

Sorry, but this sort of casual sexism really gets my goat - [snip]

Billy or nanny?
 
K

Kaz Kylheku

really? seriously? How can you have a career in computer programming without
an interest in programming?

Yes. It means that outside of the hours 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, you wouldn't
even think about doing programming, and the computer you have at home is
completely devoid of anything resembling a programming tool.

Malcolm's meaning is perfectly clear there.
Can you have a career as a chef without an
interest in cooking?

Absolutely. To someone, this can just be a stable job that earns money.

Enough money to eat out so you can avoid cooking when you come home.

There was that Alicia Carla Longstreet years ago, who turned out to be a
transgender person, originally male.
 
K

Kaz Kylheku

Sure; lots of people pursue careers in fields that they're not
particularly interested in. Money is the most common reason. In fact,
one of the key purposes of money is to encourage more people to work at
certain jobs than would be willing to do so if it weren't for the high
salary paid to people who do those jobs.

Or, in some cases, if it were not for the meagre salary.

If a building has washrooms that need cleaning, you don't need to offer
a king's ransom to find someone willing to do it.
 
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J

Johannes Bauer

i32 __stdcall pelm(u32 elm){R P("0x%x(%u) ", elm, elm)<=0 ? -1 : 0; }

Good god. I sure hope we never end up in the same company coding in a
project together. I'd strangle you for the above, promised.

Best regards,
Joe

--
Zumindest nicht öffentlich!
Ah, der neueste und bis heute genialste Streich unsere großen
Kosmologen: Die Geheim-Vorhersage.
- Karl Kaos über Rüdiger Thomas in dsa <[email protected]>
 
G

Guest

Sorry, but this sort of casual sexism really gets my goat - it
embarrasses our whole discipline.

sorry^W this sort of cheap reflexive political correctness gets on *my* goat.
It's no wonder that so few women pursue careers in software engineering
when this sort of neanderthal attitude is omnipresent, seeking to exclude
them.

are you serious? Or is this some sort of parody?
Using gender-neutral language costs the author nothing and is simple
politeness.

IMO. YMMV.

//EPR

"I am not a number, I am a free man" was a cult British TV show perhaps Jacob was paraphrashing
 
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G

Guest

It's no wonder that so few women pursue careers in software engineering
when this sort of neanderthal attitude is omnipresent, seeking to exclude
them.

While we are being all PC it should be noted the Neanderthals had larger brains than us, buried their dead and looked after their disabled and elderly.. Quite why you feel able to take cheap shots at them to furthur your politi-social aims is quite beyond me.
 

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