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10:22 AM
4 days left of the contest for this week's tag!
Ask and answer questions!
4 hours later…
2:16 PM
@YannisRizos Oh Yannis, stop hating my question so much :)
Q: When programmers talk about "data structures", what are they referring to?

RachelWhen programmers talk about "data structures", are they only talking about abstract data types like Lists, Trees, Hashes, Graphs, etc? Or does that term include any structure that holds data, such as composite types (class objects, structs, enums, etc) and primitive types (boolean, int, char, e...

It was an honest question, sparked by our contest tag. I wasn't sure if questions about classes or primitive data types could be considered [data-structure] tagged questions or not
hi Rachel
Hi @mapleshaft :)
I was talking with Yannis and he did show me this...
It's a trivial question that's sufficiently answered by Wikipedia. Is it not?
Q: Would the "General Reference" close reason be useful here on Programmers?

ChrisFThis question on terminology was asked earlier. Should the "General Reference" close reason as outlined in this blog post and this Meta Stack Overflow answer be enabled here on Programmers? Are there any other questions that would fit this bill, or was this just a one-off that we can live with?...

2:19 PM
Talk about trivial questions... The feed!
@YannisRizos I don't think so, because "data structures" to a programmer is typically an abstract data structure, and not a primitive data type
Hi shoq9, I guess we are getting interest in this
@maple_shaft Meh, I've been lurking here for a week. Normally no one talks.
@Rachel Care to provide some references for that claim?
Is it something you read somewhere, or just your opinion?
@YannisRizos The [data-structure] tag wiki says "Questions regarding efficient storing and representing data within a software application."
2:20 PM
@Shog9 We ask people to take comment discussions to chat, yet almost nobody does :(
And all data-structure questions I've seen on the site have been about complex structures or abstract data structures
@Rachel Yeah but how many were about defining "data structure"?
@mapleshaft I took my comments to chat :)
Q: Removing "expert" from the site description?

Rachel Programmers - Stack Exchange is for expert programmers who are interested in conceptual questions on software development. Can we consider removing the word "expert" from our site description? I've seen a few meta question that quote our FAQ description, and I feel it gives the wrong impr...

"Primitive" completely depends on scope. At the binary level there is no such thing as an int, for example. At an even lower level there aren't even bits - just electrical bias. Again, this is a self defining term - not a good question at all. — Michael K 4 mins ago
2:22 PM
Mark had a good answer to your question here
Q: Is StackExchange supposed to be just for experts?

hippietrailIt seems that the word "expert" is used a lot in the descriptions Stack Exchange sites. But in searching I can't really find anything canonical about this. Is Stack Exchange supposed to be just for experts, or mainly for experts, or is that up to the individual sites and not something really se...

Besides, I thought software terminology is on-topic here
let me see if I can find the meta post about it
@Rachel It is on topic
No need to look for it.
The problem isn't topicality, it's triviality.
So is the semi-colon question
@Rachel Yes, which is why it was closed
But the question is open
not closed
2:25 PM
it was re-opened...
@YannisRizos I hate that question
we should historical lock it
It's a valid question imo
@Rachel I think it is useful yeah...
but still has a lot of problems as evidenced by the answers
which is why I wouldn't want to delete it
I think its important to know if programmers talking about data structures are only referring to abstract data types, or if they are also referring to primititive data types or composite data types
Sorry to butt in, but why? If the answer is "because that's what they chose" how is the question valid?
2:27 PM
@MichaelK Historical purposees
We aren't here to cover history.
@Rachel Well there is no such thing as a primitive data structure
@Rachel Is that question not answered sufficiently on Wikipedia?
a data structure is more complex than a primitive because it has references to other values
2:28 PM
@YannisRizos No it wasn't, because wikipedia gave a definition I didn't expect at all
The reason you don't find many primitive data types questions on Programmers, is because those questions are usually trivial, and their answers are easily found with a simple web search.
@mapleshaft Sorry, that should have read "primitive type"
@Rachel I don't agree that history is part of our scope.
@MichaelK Perhaps you should bring it up on meta
@MichaelK It is, but the question has to be non trivial
2:30 PM
@Rachel Perhaps it should be, I don't know. But it doesn't seem like SE is a good platform for history - that's what Wikipedia and blogs(essays and research articles) are for.
Any counter argument to the question's triviality?
@YannisRizos Only problem is defining trivial.
The point of my question is that wikipedia said one thing, while typically programmers refer to data structures as something else
@MichaelK If you can find the answer with a simple web search or on wikipedia, it's trivial.
@Rachel That would be a valid question if you had some references to back up the typically programmers refer to data structures as something else claim
I think I found my answer though. Data Structures refers to both a broad term used to cover the items listed on wikipedia, but also a specific term for abstract data structures. Typically when programmers are talking about data structures, they're talking about the more specific term
2:33 PM
@Rachel Problem solved then :)
@YannisRizos I can't help feeling like you're discriminating against my question because a) it's me and b) it's a contest tag
Software terminology IS on topic here
and the answer is not as simple as you might think
@Rachel Software terminology is on topic, trivial questions are not.
@YannisRizos Please tell me why this is trivial
And of course we need to safeguard contest questions.
what words you use when communicating with someone is important, particularly in the software industry
2:35 PM
so b) is partly true.
@YannisRizos So leave the question be. It probably won't win anything since its asked later in the week and there are other good questions with higher scores out there
Not the way it works. It's a bad question, will close. If the community decides to re-open, so be it.
@YannisRizos I disagree with that decision
You shouldn't be closing questions just because you don't like them
or don't like the person posting, and it's a contest week
Once again, please explain to me why this is trivial? Like I said, software terminology is on-topic and the answer is not as simple as you would expect
It's as simple as I would expect.
@Rachel he is not discriminating against you Rachel, we both agreed that it should be closed, we just disagreed about why.
2:39 PM
@mapleshaft What is your reason for why it should be closed?
Offtopic, per the meta post I linked above
too easy to answer with a quick google search
Yannis was thinking NARQ
@maple_shaft But software terminlogy is on-topic, and the "quick google search" returned a result that isn't usually what programmers are talking about when they talk about data structures
Come on we've been explaining this to you for more than half an hour. All you've offered so far in the discussion is that I'm discriminating against you. Wasted my time yet again...
@YannisRizos Not true, I've pointed out that it's on-topic, and has a not-so-clear answer
And you've agreed you're slightly discriminating because it's a contest tag
and mapleshaft is raising concerns about it being a "common-knowledge" question, which I am disagreeing withi
The question is now closed. If you decide to revise it to address the issues identified, please flag it so we can review it.
2:44 PM
@YannisRizos Please tell me the "issues identified", since NARQ is not true
Scroll up. Plenty of issues identified.
@Rachel sorry we couldn't come to an understanding, but I have to move on. Anytime you have any questions you are unsure about asking then tag me in the Whiteboard and I can try to help.
@YannisRizos I see two issues you have identified with it: 1) that it is too trivial, but you won't tell me WHY it's trivial, and 2) its a common-knowledge question, which I disagree with because the "common knowledge" definition happens to be different from what the actual "common-knowledge" usage is
Q: Reopening "When programmers talk about "data structures", what are they referring to?"

RachelSoftware terminology is on-topic here, however my question When programmers talk about "data structures", what are they referring to? got closed as "not a real question" The question was asked because when looking up the exact definition of a data structure, I noticed that wikipedia provides a l...

I know you'll downvote it Yannis :)
1 hour later…
4:29 PM
@Rachel I did down vote. As did others. And look, I'm not the only one saying the question is bad, for exactly the same reasons I wrote in my very first comment to the question.
As phrased this is polling for opinions, and it's borderline "not constructive". If you are asking for what a data structure is, then you need to tell us why the Wikipedia article doesn't answer your question, if you are asking for a list of data structures programmers consider data structures I'll have to close this. Why primitive data types are considered data structures (or not) might be a better version of your question (if not answered on Wikipedia). — Yannis Rizos 3 hours ago
If only you have bothered to listen, and improve the question, instead of wasting everyone's time yet again...
@YannisRizos I've made some edits to the question to clarify I am trying to figure out if programmers have a different definition for the term than the dictionary definition, and cited my own experience with developers using the term and some online references to back up the claim
@mapleshaft Thank you :)
Ah the references are good, missed that.
@Rachel See how easy it was. Next time let's do that instead. Now prompt the answerers to update their answers accordingly (if you feel they should)
4:49 PM
@Rachel YW!

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