[Bioperl-l] use of no_* to mean 'number_of', negative booleans

Florent Angly florent.angly at gmail.com
Tue Jun 9 14:41:51 EDT 2009

Agree! no_* is prone to misunderstandings.
Also, some BioPerl code uses nof_*, which I quite like.

Hilmar Lapp wrote:
> Great suggestions, I'm all for it.
>     -hilmar
> On Jun 9, 2009, at 12:08 PM, Chris Fields wrote:
>> All,
>> I've noticed a few methods in bioperl with names like 'no_Foo' that 
>> mean 'number of Foo' (such as SimpleAlign's no_sequences).  The 
>> problem I foresee are possible ambiguities, particularly with 
>> negative boolean checks (eg 'no_Foo' could also mean 'this instance 
>> contains no Foo'), something that BioPerl also has with various 
>> settings.
>> I suggest we alias these as num_* to disambiguate that.  There's no 
>> easy way to change already in-place flag setting w/o going through a 
>> deprecation cycle, but we can promote using positive booleans where 
>> possible (eg 'is_foo' or 'has_foo' instead of 'no_foo').  We can 
>> leave the older 'no_*' methods as is for the time being and maybe 
>> deprecate them later.
>> If no one has objections I'll add these in as needed.
>> chris
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