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Notations for functional application
Posted:
Jan 11, 2013 3:15 AM


Newsgroups: comp.lang.lisp,sci.math
IIRC recently, I read in the german Wikipedia that the LISP style functional application notation, such as  for example:
( sin 0 )
was »polish notation«. I deem polish notation to be
sin 0
, while
( sin 0 )
to me is Cambridge notation, of course, we also have UPN:
0 sin
and infix
0 + 0
. Why do I write this post? I am asking a question I already had asked before, but never got an answer:
How is the notation called that is used in most programming languages, i.e.,
sin( 0 )
? It does not seem to have a name! One might be inclined to call it »prefix« notation, but this can be confused with PN:
sin 0
without obligatory parentheses.
Desperately, I even tried to find a name myself, searching for the person who first used this notation in history. But I was even unable to find this person. It seems that Euler did use that notation, but not necessarily with obligatory parentheses and not necessarily as the first one.
Also it should be a name, not a long description as »prefix notation with obligatory parentheses around the argument list and commas used to separate multiple arguments«.
What about calling
sin( 0 )
»standard notation«? Other suggestions?
What about »FORTRANNotation«? Could it be that FORTRAN was the first entity in history where the parentheses around the argument where obligatory, while in mathematics they were always optional?
sin 0 prefix notation, polish notation 0 sin postfix notation, reverse polish notation 0 + 0 infix notation ( sin 0 ) Cambridge notation ( 0 sin ) reverse Cambridge notation sin( 0 ) ???



