[ENH] CharacterTimes-rsb

Richard A. O'Keefe ok at cs.otago.ac.nz
Tue Jun 22 06:30:47 UTC 2004

Brian Rice <water at tunes.org> wrote:
	I fully agree, but that's not a tight enough idiom.
	How about repeatedTimes:, one method for characters to make
	strings, one for objects to make arrays?
The obvious question is, "just how common is this operation, anyway?"
The only time I've ever wanted $c repeatedTimes: n, $c has been
Character space, and what I've _really_ wanted has been aStream space: n.

I strongly dislike Brian Rice's recommendation; there's an assumption here
that no-one ever wants an Array of Characters, or any other kind of
indexed collection than Array or String.  We have one simple way to do

    String new: n withAll: $c
    ByteArray new: n withAll: 255
    FloatArray new: n withAll: 1.0
    Array new: n withAll: Character cr
    OrderedCollection new: n withAll: (string last)

or whatever takes our fancy, and the name says pretty clearly what it does.
It really is an intention-revealing method name.

In contrast, #repeatedTimes: strongly suggests #timesRepeat: to me, so
if I see
    x repeatedTimes: n
I am *definitely* going to misread this for the next couple of years as
    n timesRepeat: x    

But above all, why do we need a "tight idiom" for an operation so rare?

Maybe it's used a lot in Python, but the Smalltalk way to build up large
strings is via Streams.

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