How to write like Raymond: The typing-saver

Raymond Chen

Here’s another installment in the extremely sporadic series on How to write like Raymond.

Last time, I discussed how the using statement can be used to create type aliases in C# and C++. The aliases are not types in their own right; they just let you refer to another type in a more convenient way.

The nickname I have for things like type aliases is typing-saver.

In the git source control system, a lightweight tag is just a typing-saver for a commit hash. Tags are not version-controlled, you can’t merge them, you can’t do anything with them except share them with others. They’re just a sticky-note with a hash written on it.

In the Perforce source control system, a branch is just a typing-saver for an integration. Although people casually talk about branches to refer to the set of files on the right-hand side of the branch specification, the branch specification itself is used just for describing the relationship between two sets of files; it is not the files themselves. Although it is common for this relationship to be a direct mapping between trees, a branch specification could in principle establishes relationships between files scattered all over the depot.

So if you want to write like me, pull out the phrase “typing-saver” whenever you talk about things that allow you to type something short instead of something longer, but which doesn’t add any features beyond that.

1 comment

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  • Adam Rosenfield 0

    The pedant in me wants to spell it unhyphenated as typing saver. My linguistics is a bit rusty on this, but it would be analogous with shopping cart, operating system, freezing point, etc. Working class is a noun phrase, while working-class is an adjective.

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