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Falsehoods Programmers Believe - Input Junkie
July 30th, 2015
07:42 am

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Falsehoods Programmers Believe
This isn't because programmers are especially likely to be more wrong than anyone else, it's just that programming offers a better opportunity than most people get to find out how incomplete their model of the world is.

The classic (and I think the first) was about names.

There have been a few more lists created since then.

Time. And time zones. Crowd-sourced time errors.

Addresses.

Possibly more about addresses. I haven't compared the lists.

Gender. This is so short I assume it's seriously incomplete.

Networks. Weirdly, there is no list of falsehoods programmers believe about html (or at least a fast search didn't turn anything up). Don't trust the words in the url.

Distributed computing

Build systems.

Poem about character conversion.

I got started on the subject because of this about testing your code, which was posted by andrewducker.

This entry was posted at http://nancylebov.dreamwidth.org/1071695.html. Comments are welcome here or there. comment count unavailable comments so far on that entry.

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From:metahacker
Date:July 30th, 2015 01:42 pm (UTC)
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Great round-up!
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From:whswhs
Date:July 30th, 2015 02:15 pm (UTC)
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In the one on addresses, the line about "Hill Street" reads oddly to me. It takes "Hill" to be a classifier for type of street, like "Street" or "Road" or "Circle." I don't think I have ever encountered it used that way, whereas "Hill" seems to me like a perfectly normal street name—either for a street that's on a hill or for a street named for someone named "Hill" (it was the thirty-third most common surname on the 1990 U.S. census). I don't deny that it might be used as a classifier somewhere, but I've never seen it and that would not be my first hypothesis about "Hill Street."
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From:nancylebov
Date:July 30th, 2015 02:35 pm (UTC)
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It took me a while to get used to South Street in Philadelphia. I kept thinking South WHAT? Street.
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From:inquisitiveravn
Date:August 3rd, 2015 07:38 am (UTC)
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I dunno. I think Street Road is worse.

Note for non-Philadelphians: the Streets are a notable family in local politics. One of them (John) was mayor for eight years and managed to have his tenure mired in scandal. Oddly enough, Street Road isn't actually in Philadelphia; it runs through some of the suburbs north of Philly.
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From:pozorvlak
Date:July 30th, 2015 02:58 pm (UTC)
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The article gives an example of such a street - Saffron Hill, London.
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From:whswhs
Date:July 30th, 2015 04:01 pm (UTC)
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As I said, "I don't deny it might be used as a classifier somewhere." But I've never encountered it, and it's not the interpretation that would occur to me. On the other hand, typing Hill Street into Google maps brings up nine instances, including one here in San Diego. That looks as if "Hill" is being used just as a name and not as a classifier. And there's no reason that it shouldn't, as it's both a common word for a geographic location and a common surname. I mean, you might have a "River Street" or "Island Road" or "Forest Way" and you wouldn't assume that those were classifiers rather than names in that context, even though they are all classifiers in a broader geographic context.

Edited at 2015-07-30 04:07 pm (UTC)
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From:madfilkentist
Date:July 30th, 2015 06:10 pm (UTC)
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Germany has some interesting street names. I once encountered one called "Graben" — not "Grabenstrasse," just "Graben," which means "ditch." A lot of streets, mostly short ones near landmarks, are called "Am something" or "An der something," where "an" means "at" and "am" is a contraction for "an dem."

Bischöflich-Geistlicher-Rat-Josef-Zinnbauer-Straße, in case anyone's wondering, means "episcopal spiritual councilor Joseh Zinnbauer Street."
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From:supergee
Date:July 30th, 2015 02:25 pm (UTC)
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Blogging this; thanx
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From:thnidu
Date:July 30th, 2015 07:31 pm (UTC)
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Time zones:
The "S" in time zone abbreviations means the same thing everywhere.

(In the US it's "Standard". In the UK it's "Summer".)
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