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Abstract Wikipedia/Wiki of functions naming contest/Wikilambda

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Voting for the 1st round (from 29 September to 13 October, 2020)

This round is terminated.

Voting for the 2nd round (from 2 November to 16 November, 2020)


See Wiki of functions naming contest/Names.


  • The status quo.
  • It's mostly fine. It's somewhat cryptic for people who aren't familiar with lambda calculus and its relationship to the concept of function, but it's a problem because even in the most optimistic scenario I don't expect a lot of people to contribute directly to the functions' code, just like not all Wikipedians directly contribute to the code of templates, modules, gadgets, and extensions. This name is also easy to translate because many languages have a standard way to write the names of Greek letters. --Amir E. Aharoni (talk) 11:01, 16 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • No - it is not easy to translate (not transliterate) to Chinese if the translated name needs to be informative. In Chinese, names of Wikimedia project are never transliterated. See Talk:Abstract_Wikipedia/Name#lambda_is_too_'Western'.--GZWDer (talk) 13:35, 16 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    Shouldn't be the name informative to all those aware of d:Q242028? --CamelCaseNick (talk) 19:21, 16 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    I don't understand this. It's a mathematical symbol, used just as much by Chinese speakers as English speakers. What makes it hard to translate? --Yair rand (talk) 20:36, 16 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    • Agree with GZWDer. There are only transcriptions/transliterations of λ in Chinese. Unlike the romanized “lambda” used in “lambda calculus”, such transcriptions/transliterations are not widely used (and in particular not commonly used in Chinese translation of “lambda calculus”, for which the Greek letter is normally used directly), so cannot easily recognized even by those who are familiar with lambda calculus. --Stevenliuyi (talk) 18:23, 19 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • I like it. I have a strong preference for a name that incorporates (to at least some extent) the Abstract Wikipedia-side of the project. ("Lambdas changed my life" -- Barbara Partee) --Chris.Cooley (talk) 22:36, 16 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • I actually think Wikilambda is great: it means Wikifunction but in a less Anglo and more universal symbol. Admittedly less familiar to non-math/CS types, but there is no denying that unlike any other sister project, this will be largely maintained and cultivated by people with some math/CS familiarity. And math terms are as close as we can practically get to a universal term. I am so convinced of these points, that not only is status quo superior to every alternative proposed so far, but I have a hard time imagining a term that could possibly beat it in more than a single aspect. Ijon (talk) 22:48, 16 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • I could see this abreviated as λ/lambda internally or stylized as Wikiλambda, e.g. in a word mark, see proposal for λ. --CamelCaseNick (talk) 16:24, 18 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • This one is a bit too techie for my taste, but it's growing on me.--Pharos (talk) 18:19, 20 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • Sounds like a copy of AWS (Amazon) Lambda, and thus bit uninventive/corporatey/cloudy. – Jberkel (talk) 08:04, 30 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • I don't think it's at all obvious what a project called wikilambda would contain, compared to, say, Wikifunctions. Ideally someone should be able to reasonably guess what this project is for without knowing any context. EdSaperia (talk) 12:32, 30 September 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • I fully agree with EdSaperia. The name of the wiki must express its purpose obviously and easily-to-understand. However, with the name "Wikilambda", users won't understand that is a wiki of function. --Atmark-chan <T/C> 16:01, 4 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • I agree with users above. Lambda is both unobvious and hard-to-translate. -- 羊羊32521 (talk) 14:35, 6 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • Does pronunciation matter? For a lot of speakers whose first language is not English, this is going to come out like wiki-lama, wiki-larder, wiki-ladder, wiki-lander, or wiki-lunder. (To USA readers: I speak a non-rhotic variety of English, so I'm thinking along the lines of [lama], [laːda], [lada], [lædə], [landa], etc. – i.e. lahduh not larrderr.) I imagine some awkward feelings for people giving speeches on the topic. We could make it an item of pride by turning it into an in-joke. Picture a promotional image banner: “wiki- 🦙? … wiki- λ!” On the other hand function and algorithm also have difficult sound combinations. Pelagic (talk) 01:21, 8 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    • Unfortunately puns and wordplay are very language- and culture- specific. Applies also to func ↔ funk. Pelagic (talk) 01:21, 8 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    • Anyone know how λ is pronounced in Modern Greek? Alfa, vita, yama, thelta, ... l—?
  • If I thought that I needed to understand lambda calculus to participate, that would be a turn-off. “Lambda” or “λ” is fine as an abstract label, but then apart from lambda calculus it doesn’t convey any sense of programming or building blocks to me. Pelagic (talk) 01:21, 8 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]
I found that “Wikilambda contains a full implementation of the Lambda calculus” here. So maybe the name “Wikilambda” is more applicable than I thought. (But seriously, Church numerals?)Pelagic (talk) 23:35, 9 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]
  • The wiki will also includes things are not lambda calculus, won't it? "Lambda" isn't enough to explain the purpose of the wiki. Though I think "lambda" isn't so hard to pronounce in each language (it has its own transliteration system: for example, "lambda" says "ラムダ" ("ra-mu-da") in Japanese (as rhotic consonants are looked same in Japanese), "拉姆达" ("Lā mǔ dá") in Chinese and "람다" ("lam-da") in Korean), similarly, "function(s)" or "algorithm(s)" isn't, too. --Atmark-chan <T/C> 16:32, 8 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]
    • Also, at least in Chinese and Korean, names of Wikimedia Projects wiki are formed like: (the transliteration of "wiki") (not the transliteration but the translation, of the word that follows to "wiki"). But "lambda" cannot be translated (though can be transliterated) because "lambda" is a name of a Greek alphabet, so that won't apply to the custom as mentioned above and the criteria "the name must translate well." --Atmark-chan <T/C> 15:18, 9 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]
      • So wiki is transliterated 維基 wéijī rather than translated as 'quick' / 快 / kuài? I'm not sure that representing the sound of la-mu-da or la-bu-da rather than the meaning of function or algorithm is such a bad thing. But if we didn’t want to break with the established pattern (wiki-encyclopedia, wiki-dictionary, etc.) , then would it be acceptable to have phonemic transliteration of wiki-lambda in most languages, but then translate wiki-function, wiki-algorithm, or wiki-program in Chinese (and in any other languages where the transliteration doesn’t work well)? —Pelagic (talk) 02:48, 10 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]
      • Also, Atmark-chan, GZWDer, and anyone else who knows Chinese languages, what translation do you think best captures the idea of the new project? From Google Translate I get 維基功能 wéijī gōngnéng and 維基算法 wéijī suànfǎ, but these could be way off-base. Wikidata has 函數 / 函数 hánshù at d:Q11348; 函數式 hánshù shì ('letter-number-formula'?) at d:Q193076; 算法 / 演算法 suàn fǎ / yǎnsuàn fǎ ('perform-calculation-law'?) at d:Q8366; 程式 / 程序 chéngshì / chéngxù at d:Q40056. —Pelagic (talk) 02:48, 10 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]
        • I'm not a speaker of Chinese, but I comment as a native speaker of Japanese, a language in the hanzi (kanji) culture region. Hanzi are ideograms, so probably there is not great difference about thing that hanzi mean between each language.
        • First, "函数" has no problem as the best translation of "function" to Chinese, I think. "" means a "box", so the etymology of "函数" is probably a thing like a box that operates with some arguments, numbers (=""), in accordance with an algorithm and returns some values; in other words, that's a function.
        • Second, the best translation of "algorithm" to Chinese is "算法" or "演算法", I think. "" and "演算" means "calculate" and "" means a thing like "way" or "order" in this case, so "(演)算法" means "order to calculate", "algorithm".
        • Third, the best translation of "program" to Chinese is "程序" or "程式", I think. Though the translation of "functions" in "Wiki of functions" to Japanese is "関数" (="函数" in Chinese), that to Chinese is "程序". --Atmark-chan <T/C> 11:04, 11 October 2020 (UTC)[reply]