Hash and Associative Array by Larry Wall himself

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Hi All,

Found this wonderful quote from Larry Wall himself on why
he picked the name "hash" for "associative array".  Basically,
he got tired of writing "associative array": 'I seem to recall
getting extremely tired of typing "associative array"'.  I can
see his point.

And, I might also point out, that the two are the same thing,
just one is easier to type out:  four letter, versus ~17.
What me misspell "associative"?  Never!  I went to Publik

It really did help me to understand what a "hash" was after
I realized it was another shorter and easier to name for
"associative array".  And I can't blame Mr Wall for shortening
it.  I misspell "associative" every other time I write it.
Then I have to stare at to try to figure out what I did wrong
this time.



From: Larry Wall
Date: June 1, 2007 10:08
Subject: Re: propose renaming Hash to Dict

: Are you the one who originally came up with "hash" for %vars?  IIRC,
: they were officially called just "associative arrays" through Perl4,
: but "hash" was a well-understood community nickname for them for some
: time before you canonized it with ref($var) eq 'HASH' in Perl5...

Yes, I believe I was the one who decided that associative arrays needed
a shorter name, and after a period of discussion on perl5-porters,
settled on "hash" as the new technical term in Perl culture.  But I'm
not sure the mailing list archive goes back far enough to verify the
exact sequence of events.  Certainly I made the final decision, but
it's quite possible someone else suggested it first.  But I seem to
recall getting extremely tired of typing "associative array" while
working on Camel II, and that was likely the instigation.


Re: Hash and Associative Array by Larry Wall himself

Quoted text here. Click to load it

'Associative array' is the general name for the abstract data structure
and 'a hash table' is one way to implement it.

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