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> While working on an "isomorphic" app

now you should say "universal", "isomorphic" was a poor choice of words at first place and led to a lot of misunderstanding(and bad blood between js developers and mathematicians)

http://www.infoq.com/news/2015/08/netflix-universal-javascri...

> As applied to JavaScript, Charlie Robbins presented the idea in 2011. He called it "Isomorphic JavaScript" which has resulted in years of debate over the poor name. In recent months, the term Universal JavaScript has gained acceptance.




Words take on new, unintended, and incorrect meanings all the time. It's how language works.

When someone says "isomorphic JS" I know exactly what they are talking about. I understand why some people might push back against it, but there's nothing wrong with the term.


"Being abstract is something profoundly different from being vague … The purpose of abstraction is not to be vague, but to create a new semantic level in which one can be absolutely precise." -Dikstra

When you overload an existing term you make it more vague, thus destroying the precision of an abstraction.


> Words take on new, unintended, and incorrect meanings all the time. It's how language works.

No, that's how marketing works. We are developers not salesmen. and as computer scientists respecting other science branches is a duty. Using the expression "isomorphic" in that context is just confusing. And it makes developers sound like they haven't a fn clue what they are talking about.


We are developers not salesmen

Speak for yourself. Some of us are both.

and as computer scientists respecting other science branches is a duty. Using the expression "isomorphic" in that context is just confusing.

That's a fair point, but "context" is the key word. Using "isomorphic" incorrectly in a mathematical context would be one thing. But borrowing the word to use in a largely unrelated context seems fine to me. And it isn't like this is the first time a word has been borrowed and used to mean something "similar or related, but not quite the same". I'm pretty sure this has even happened inside other scientific disciplines, although I'll grant you that I don't have an example at my fingertips.


I would be more sympathetic if they had "borrowed" (more like appropriated) a term from, say, biology or french literature, but mathematics is not exactly a "largely unrelated context" from programming, even if it's JS that we're talking about. What's next, abusing "binomial" to mean "binary"?



We detached this from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10043822 and marked it off-topic (though agree about the word isomorphic).


Never.




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