A conversation that was too delightful not to share (with permission). Very lightly edited for flow and readability, but this is me and Ian Smith and John Ying nerding out about some of the sign drafts for ASLCore Computer Science, as a “here’s what this can look like” glimpse.

Mel: Hey Ian - my friend John (also a deaf engineer, Boston) found aslcore stuff and had a thought re package vs library

John: i didn’t want to bombard the other thread, but i’d thought package and library are conceptually the same thing. i saw the suggestion for package and had assumed the same for library until just now.

to me it’s just a collection of code put together as one unit to be reused. there’s dependencies and all that, those are additional details to me.

Ian: Hmm! Need to think on that. But maybe. Also, like, package includes debs and rpms, which are not (to me) libraries, so…

John: hmm true. packages are like, things to distribute around, while libraries can be contained just within the program

Mel: Yeah, “package” strongly hints at that encapsulation-for-distribution thing. (the sign, I mean). And I was also thinking about rpms, etc. (former red hat employee and really active fedora contributor, here)

Ian: there’s a reason i ermembered to specify “and rpms” :laugh:)

And a library may be contained by a package, but the package may also contain binaries, etc

Mel: So I think - this is me backwards reconstructing, but I think the distinction was - Package: a bunch of software encapsulated together in a chunk you can use. Library: software bits pulled in from outside the specific piece of code you’re working on and used as dependencies.

John: thanks i think that makes sense

Mel: We need to get these kinds of discussions out and visible too, though, so people can see how we discuss language… Would the two of you mind if I blogged out this convo real quick?

John: not at all

Ian: Do it!

John: also, i’m not familiar with the classifier used for parameter / argument. it’s the one that looks like an L handshape being stuffed in a package? same question goes for key / value / key-value.

Mel: Yes! L to bent-L, I think! (Ian? actual linguistics term?) There’s an expansion that might help clarify why, lemme see if I can find.

Ok, for the parameter/argument one, see the expansion of “function” at https://aslcore.org/computerscience/entries/?id=function&src=search

Last video there, “execute a function.” She doesn’t use the sign for “argument” until the very end, so wait for it.

John: ahh i see it now

Mel: What was the question about key/value/pair?

John: just watched the suggestion for key-value again, and realized that i’d misunderstood the bent L handshape as something else. looks like the bent L handshape is used to represent a variable or some value in general

Mel: I think that started with the sign for “variable” Because of how we sign things like… (one sec, video) [makes video of herself using the same bent-L handshape to explain the concept of compound words]

John: yeah, i saw that in the suggestion for variable - so key-value is something you “unlock” to get the value within some “thing” / variable.

not sure how i feel about using the actual sign for “key” but then it’s the same idea. just watching it make me think of some actual door key

Mel: Yeah, using the actual sign for key also makes me go “ehhhh?” but… pilot/placeholder/draft

Ian: what was the q for me? how to gloss that? how to transcribe it phonetically?

Mel: “what is that handshape called”

Ian: I think i think of that handshape as open-C? Or there’s some variation on C. But “bent-L” works

John: at this point i’m just thinking aloud here, no specific q at the moment

Mel: Yeah, that handshape (which we’ve been calling bent-L) has a pretty common usage as “here’s this placeholder for some kind of content!” - at least to me, and seems to be how many people use it.

John: yeah bent-L works for me. the open-C one might be for code in general like how it’s used in pull/push

Mel: A small bit of content ex: a string, a word, etc.

John: i’ve seen it used in math, as a classifier for number

Mel: So it’s used for all the places we need to refer to variables for that reason

Ian: I think of that classifier as “small thing”

John: and, nice highlights, you’ve come a long way since i saw you… last year

Mel: [re: long way - ] the signing, or the hair? ;)

Ian: :snort:

Mel: Well, you met me as a totally beginning signer. (Ian met me as a completely oral kid, in undergrad, which was hilarious.)

Ian: And a defensive oral kid, sorta :laugh:, though to be fair I was not much less oral

John: me three, oral kid growing up, learned ASL after undergrad, yay?

Mel: And look at us now.

John: buncha computer science nerds discussing ASL lingustics