I am a programmer and my native language is not English. And we have interesting question with naming.

We have a command for our software that we call "reshape".

This name is used widely in math and some people use "reshape" as a noun (1, 2) even though English dictionary says that "reshape" is a verb.

So. the question is this.

There are two types of "reshape" (in terms of how it operates) and we want to call them something like "soft reshape" and "hard reshape".

I am wondering if a new command named "soft reshape" sounds OK to native English speakers who already understand what "reshape" command is.

Thanks you!

closed as primarily opinion-based by Jim, Jason Bassford, TimLymington, Lawrence, JJJ Jun 5 at 16:48

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Sorry Eric, we just don’t have enough details to make any kind of a determination. This is a bit like asking whether it’s correct to name my new twins Jackie and Erica. – Jim May 29 at 4:55
  • It would help if you explained how the two were different. – eyeballfrog May 29 at 5:20
  • There is a word, shaping which already expresses the idea in your phrase, soft reshape." Your "hard reshape" is *to correct. // There are associated nouns: shaping, correcting. – aparente001 May 29 at 5:33
  • @eyeballfrog, It is too technical but let's say that "soft" and "hard" are related to types of arrangement. We were thinking that "soft reshape" could be a term for a command for reshaping numbers more flexible way and "hard reshape" could be a term for a command for reshaping numbers in pre-defined way. – eric May 29 at 5:50
  • People will probably understand what you mean if you use "reshape" as a noun but technically "reshaping" (the gerund) is the proper word ... Or even "reshapement" – max pleaner May 29 at 8:27

You could use the following terminology, which would be readily understood by anyone who works with structured data in the common interactive tools.

Given a collection of elements that can be unravelled or flattened into a list:

  • hard reshape assigns the elements of the list to a new structured variable (essentially a list of lists) where the lengths of the component lists are determined by a “shape vector” passed as an argument, and if the number of elements is insufficient for the construction, the assignment fails.

  • soft reshape, where the assignment does not fail, and where the “missing data” is filled with padding elements, repetition of the original list elements, etc.

The main problem with this approach is that the rules for soft reshape are often hard to nail down exactly. Some users want the rules to work one way, and others want them to work some other way.

You might be better off sticking to a single reshape function implemented as a hard reshape, but allowing the shape vector to be calculated by a function.

In my view, difficulties in naming frequently reveal a deeper problem, as much in software as they do in ordinary English writing.

  • Thank you for the answer. – eric May 30 at 4:19
  • @eric - Have you thought about giving the answer the green checkmark to accept it? – aparente001 Jun 2 at 13:41

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