- At this point the program starts printfing the pot value.
- At this point the program starts printingf the pot value.
Both sound wrong, and yet... one of them must be used.
No, you actually have another choice:
"At this point the program starts to printf the pot value."
Similarly, if you have another case like "Don't interrupt the program while it's printfing", you can also reword that:
"Don't interrupt the program during printf"
In short, printf is a programming-language token, not an English-language verb; so if you try to conjugate it you may cause confusion or at least a double-take (unless that's your intention).
"printf" shouldn't be a verb in any context, but if that's irrelevant you can set off the piece of code with punctuation as
Though I would describe the actions of a computer by function and not by the implementation (meaning that I would say: "while the computer is printing") I would not break up the token if converting it into a verb.
While the computer was printf-ing...
I would say "At this point the program starts printing the output value using printf". This is, in my opinion, a case of taking verbing too far.
To be honest, I'm not sure why you can't just use the term printing.
At this point the program starts printing the pot value.
Is it really important to include the letter f, just because the printf function is used? (I mean, it's not as though the output gets printf-ed on the printfer – right?).
If it's absolutely critical to include the name of the function, simply write:
At this point the program starts printing the pot value, using printf.