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It was all Greek to me: Iota · golang/go

Posted by jpluimers on 2019/05/21

Context is king!

Being Dutch, my association with iota was the phrase “Ik snap er geen iota van” (English: “It’s all Greek to me”), basically indicating iota is extremely small, similar to [WayBack] Iota | Definition of Iota by Merriam-Webster:

1an infinitesimal amount jot  (did not show an iota of interest)
2the 9th letter of the Greek alphabet — see alphabet table

But the first time, I saw iota used in golang, I actually confused it with [WayBack] itoa – C++ Reference, because I am more than slightly wordblind.

So code like this was all Greek to me at first, not understanding the conversion from integer to ASCII**, and slightly later, not understanding iota to be extremely small either. Heck, its usage indicates it is small from infinitesimal:

const (
    _           = iota // ignore first value by assigning to blank identifier
    KB ByteSize = 1 << (10 * iota)
    MB
    GB
    TB
    PB
    EB
    ZB
    YB
)

So it took me a bit of thought to realise that it actually had to mean something completely different, so I found

It makes me wonder why they named it like this.

Slightly related:

–jeroen

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