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I am a software developer. I would like to use an adjective to name a set of items where each item has its own unique identifier (ID). The name should not necessary stress that the items are unique, but it has to stress that all the items have IDs.

The result would look like [adjective] set.

The words i would rather not use are:

  • Identified
  • Unique
  • Indexed

Any better variants? Thank you in advance!

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    Someone amply endowed with Id is perhaps lusty. Just messing with you! You mean ID. Perhaps nominated or nominee? – Brian Donovan Feb 26 '16 at 16:24
  • Is set in your example a noun meaning "collection" or is it a past participle describing a value which has been assigned? – Andrew Leach Feb 26 '16 at 16:24
  • @AndrewLeach this is the noun meaning "collection" in my case – bashis Feb 26 '16 at 17:34
  • @BrianDonovan - I was going to say that it's obviously an IDiot. – Hot Licks Feb 26 '16 at 20:57
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    If there is a test for inclusion in the set, how about "vetted". – Phil Sweet Feb 27 '16 at 1:08
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Even in software development, there is nuance. Are you talking about a set of OO objects with unique OIDs? Or, for example, rows in a database with unique primary keys?

"Unique" on its own is inappropriate as it only means that the objects are all different - not that they each have a unique identifier.

"Indexed" means that they have an associated index used for identifying, and/or sorting. Sorting not happen on something other than a unique identifier so again is ambiguous. Sorting unique people by an indexed state of residence for example.

"Identified" would imply that the elements of the set each have some sort of unique identifier, but does not neccessarily imply that the entire set is unique (a query bringing back duplicates for example)

So if you want real specificity (and in software development, oh boy do you want that!) then brevity is not always best. If you want to say that the set is all identified and no duplicates exist, then say so! "This distinct (or unique) set of identified objects". And if you need to express HOW they are identified - add that too.

Shortcuts in technical docs almost always lead to imperfect documentation. You say that "The name should not necessary stress that the items are unique"? Yes, yes it should if that is what you mean! If you don't mean it - then be specific in the other way.

  • I completely agree with what you say on technical documentation, but in my case I am trying to specify the type name so that it would be descriptive and concise at the same time. – bashis Feb 26 '16 at 17:37
  • In my case I have a collection containing unique items (that would mean a Set in my language naming conventions) but I would also like to stress that all of the items have unique IDs as well, that is what the adjective is required for. – bashis Feb 26 '16 at 17:41
  • And the inappropriateness of the examples I have given is quite obvious to me, that is why I specified I would rather avoid them – bashis Feb 26 '16 at 17:43
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    yes, mixing clarity and brevity in naming conventions is always a challenge. If your type is a collection of unique, identified objects, then I would ask if you have naming conventions in play? And is it a derived object from another type or class? Even the language you are using often has some common naming conventions that may be of use. The word "enumerated" (Enum for short) is often used for distinct sets, although often only for pre-defined sets. – Michael Broughton Feb 26 '16 at 18:01
  • well, if it would make any difference, the language I write on is C#. In the C# land we actually call all the collections "Enumerables". The collection you can also add elements to would be, well, a "Collection". The collection containing unique elements is a "Set". And the collection where you also have indices of elements is generally called a "List". I am not aware of any convention about collections where the elements have unique IDs and in fact I doubt such a convention exists. – bashis Feb 26 '16 at 18:10
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Depending on your age and perhaps nationality, you may have studied the Dewey Decimal System as a child. If a card catalog is capable of providing both a unique identifier for individual books and a systematic means of ordering vast library collections into retrievable sets, I should think that a cataloged set would suit your purposes. You might even be magnanimous and call it a Dewey set.

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The elements of a labeled set have labels.

label – merriam-webster.com

  • a word or phrase that describes or identifies something or someone
  • to put a word or name on something to describe or identify it

Colleagues and I often use the term labeled exactly as you describe, in reference both to computer data and to experimental subjects. Labels may or may not be unique.

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