onion petition-s? wrong word in English!

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Basile Starynkevitch

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Jun 30, 2018, 5:34:02 AM6/30/18
to onion-dev, Basile Starynkevitch
Hello All,

I believe that libonion is using the petition word in a bizarre sense (I guess it could be related to some false friend word in Spanish, but I don't know which one, because I don't speak Spanish). BTW, I have signaled that terminological issue several years ago, here (in 2014). A petition is usually some list of signatures related to a written request (or that written request with a great number of signatures). There are ten occurrences of that petition word (in the source files of libonion, but only in comments).

On dictionnary.com one can find this definition of petition (and that definition is consistent with all the dictionnaries I have checked; it is also consistent with the French word pétition, from which the English word derived in the Middle Ages, at that ancient time -around 1300- the French spelling was apparently peticion).
petition: noun
  1. a formally drawn request, often bearing the names of a number of those making the request, that is addressed to a person or group of persons in authority or power, soliciting some favor, right, mercy, or other benefit: a petition for clemency; a petition for the repeal of an unfair law.
  2. a request made for something desired, especially a respectful or humble request, as to a superior or to one of those in authority; a supplication or prayer: a petition for aid; a petition to God for courage and strength.
  3. something that is sought by request or entreaty: to receive one's full petition.
I notice that petition is not used in descriptions of HTTP. For example, a good (but old) HTTP book like Shiflett's HTTP developer's handbook dont mention at all the petition word. And the RFC7230 standard (defining HTTP1.1) don't mention petition (no occurrence of that word in the entire document).

I am guessing that petition might mean for David Moreno a pair of one HTTP request and its corresponding HTTP response. Both are well defined terms (explained in in RFC7230 and every book on HTTP).

My wish: remove all the ten occurrences of petition word in the comments inside libonion. You could (and probably should) use "request & response" instead - or maybe HTTP exchange, it indeed is a few letters longer, but much less confusing. (I cannot imagine what something signed by many people means within HTTP).

David Moreno, If you need to define your own terminology (but please avoid that when possible and stick the usual habits and terminological conventions), add an explicit definition. At the very least something like "a petition is an HTTP request combined with its related HTTP response". But I believe you should not do that. You might need (but so far you did not) to group both onion_request-s & onion_response-s in a common data structure, but so far (and for very good reasons) you did not (and I would guess you would want to call that some onion_petition type, but so far you have resisted that temptation, and you are right).

So please David, don't speak of petitions when talking about HTTP. Nobody (non-Spanish speaker) understands what that means, because in such a context that English word is confusing! My brain is hurt when I read petition in libonion source or comments, because in the HTTP and web world, nobody uses that terminology.
If you know some technical report or conference article in English, related to HTTP and web technology, mentioning petition, please give the reference. Otherwise, please improve the wording in your comments.

Cheers

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Basile Starynkevitch  - http://starynkevitch.net/Basile/
Bourg La Reine, France

Joseph B. Ottinger

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Jun 30, 2018, 7:35:32 AM6/30/18
to Basile Starynkevitch, onion-dev
Meh, I thought "petition" as a grouping of a request and response makes sense; calling it a RequestResponse structure would seem overly formal. The request to change teh word also seems overly formal to me. I understand the language difficulty, but a request (and its response) CAN be easily colloquially considered a "petition" (did the petition pass or fail? That's the response) and I think in context it's okay.

For a stable library to respond to a petition for formal English grammar seems... I dunno, I guess if the change is applied, it's fine (it's easily enough to specify, as you said) but I don't think it's especially necessary myself.

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Basile Starynkevitch

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Jun 30, 2018, 8:13:32 AM6/30/18
to onion-dev, bas...@starynkevitch.net, jos...@autumncode.com


On Saturday, June 30, 2018 at 1:35:32 PM UTC+2, Joseph B. Ottinger wrote:
Meh, I thought "petition" as a grouping of a request and response makes sense; calling it a RequestResponse structure would seem overly formal.

We don'( currently have any public structure mixing onion_request-s and onion_response-s. And I am very fine with that (it is a wise decision to keep them separate). AFAIK, we don't need to mix them (even if some application routines could want to mix these).
 
The request to change teh word also seems overly formal to me. I understand the language difficulty, but a request (and its response) CAN be easily colloquially considered a "petition" (did the petition pass or fail? That's the response) and I think in context it's okay.

The petition word carries implicitly a notion of many people. And we don't have that in HTTP. And this is something that confuses me a lot. There is no "plurality" in HTTP: a given HTTP request should have exactly one HTTP response. A petition (in the common sense) is signed by many people so is shared by them.

So if libonion defines what is meant by petition (even a single comment in a header file could be enough) that is ok. But I do believe that the petition word is not used in its usual sense. And it really hurts my brain (without any definition which IMHO is specific to libonion).

Cheers


Zachary Grafton

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Jul 1, 2018, 9:59:42 PM7/1/18
to onion-dev, bas...@starynkevitch.net, jos...@autumncode.com
I agree with Basile. The first time I came across the word petition in the comments, it took me a while to understand what was being discussed. That being said, one of my initial intentions was to submit some pull requests to update the documentation, I just never got around to it, and instead, added some code to avoid lock contention...

David Moreno Montero

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Jul 3, 2018, 3:37:39 AM7/3/18
to Zachary Grafton, onion-dev, Basile Starynkevitch, jos...@autumncode.com
It is absolutely a false friend and I tried to remove them, but some may be crawling around in the code.

It should be all requess and repsonses.

I will try to fix it soon as its an easy fix.

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David Moreno Montero

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Jul 3, 2018, 9:36:16 AM7/3/18
to Zachary Grafton, onion-dev, Basile Starynkevitch, jos...@autumncode.com
Easy peasy. Done in master.

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