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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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What are the hardest coding terms to search for?

My favorite conspiration theory is that the names go and swift were chosen specifically to make it hard to google stuff.

If I invent a programming language, I will call it the.

Discussion (82)

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cassandraspruit profile image
Cassandra Spruit

SOAP. Back in the day when I was first learning how it worked, I wondered if I could make Ajax work with it somehow.

So I googled "ajax soap".

I don't know what I expected

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Valentin Baca

The other day I had two idiotic moments:

  1. Forgot how to expand out a JAR file (is it just unzip? or something special?)

  2. Proceeded to automatically google "how to open jar". I immediately facepalmed at my desk.

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SavagePixie

open jar

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Corey McCarty

you can actually rename jar and war (maybe also ear) files to zip and unzip with any utility

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Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄ • Edited on

On my comment, swift itself is easy to google.

But then you have Taylor in Swift, good luck :)

GitHub logo izqui / Taylor

A lightweight library for writing HTTP web servers with Swift

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haris_secic profile image
Haris Secic

This is the most epic thig so far, as in funny software stuff

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Amara Graham

GraphQL was up there until I trained my search engine that I indeed wanted "graphql" and not "graphical".

But when I was in school I took at look at learning F# and that was a nightmare as there is both and F and F* programming language and we hadn't yet really allowed # to be called "sharp" in search. I'm sure this contributed to me thinking that language was just not for me.

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Matei Adriel

F# is one of the best languages in my opinion

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Amara Graham

I was writing in Scala at that point and didn't see any real advantages for me personally.

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Matei Adriel • Edited on

Did you hear about computational expressions? Some go as far as calling then generalised do notation / async await! Those are amazing, maybe some langs have similar features as well, idk, but it's one of the reasons I love f# now

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missamarakay profile image
Amara Graham

Oh wow! I just looked at some of the docs and examples for those and they look super powerful.

How long have you been writing F#? I think I looked at it in 2011 or 2012.

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Seanmclem • Edited on

"SQL Server"... You know, the specific SQL implementation from Microsoft... A little ambiguous for a search engine. Took me a little while to realize it's Transact-SQL, tsql, or ssms that I should put in my queries

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Patryk

Ms-sql? Haven't used it since Windows 2003, but I believe that's what I used to Google.

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Sheldon

FYI I've learned that everyone outside of SQL Server uses MSSQL for the abbreviation. That take helps when you start digging into RDS SQL Server πŸ˜„

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Seanmclem

Yeah whatever works. It was a fun little game trying to Google any issue I had.

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Zane Milakovic

When I was developing for Adobe Experience Manager, it had been rebranded twice.

Microsoft also has this issue with Cosmo DB.

Adobe renamed the template language sightly to something else.

Sight Catalyst was renamed to Adobe Analytics.

In general every time a product gets renamed, it makes it incredibly difficult. Google does not really understand legacy documents vs new documentation, or that rebranding happened.

You end up searching for solutions to problems, swapping out the branded name. Just because the name changed, often the API and issues didn’t.

Naming this is hard as a dev. Marketing switching names on us, makes it even harder on us to adopt the technology.

To make matters worse, once a rename happens, the old language has to be removed from the new documentation and distanced from it. Yet the legacy docs are still present.

Even adding β€œpreviously called x” somewhere on the page would help inform google. But instead the old branding is scarce, because they want to move on.

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Ashley Sheridan

When I first started learning Angular I was using Angular 2 beta. At that time the earlier version was being re-branded as Angularjs (both architectures completely different, of course!) which made Googling a bit hit or miss for a year or so as you could never be immediately sure which one you had the answers for.

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Roelof Jan Elsinga

I've had a great time trying to search for "manipulating state in children". I was not prepared for the results...

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TKDMzq

ahh clasic one also how to kill parents without killing childrens

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Ali Spittel

Gatsby is pretty difficult because "The Great Gatsby" stuff dominates the SEO!

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Brian Barbour

Ahhhh I feel this pain.

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Michael Puckett

Prefixed CSS properties like -webkit-overflow-scrolling because search engines think the first hyphen is a negation πŸ™ƒ

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sheldonhull profile image
Sheldon

I always have to remember to quote the string after I paste that type of code or PowerShell.

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Ben Lovy • Edited on

It always took me two or three queries to find help for boot, a build tool for Clojure. Once you narrow down that you mean it in a computing sense, not footwear, it's still a ridiculously overloaded term and my use case is one of the more niche ones. Runners up: rust, BASIC, forth.

Naming things is hard.

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MurrayVarey

Naming things is hard.

Amen. (But we'll still moan when people don't get it 100% perfect.)

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Paulo • Edited on

Not exactly "hard", but searching for "Rust tutorial" will bring a bunch of stuff about base building in a survival video game. Especially if you search on youtube.

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nuculabs_dev profile image
Nucu Labs

If you search DuckDuckGo for Rust you'll get Rust, real Rust

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Haris Secic • Edited on

I get this which is not bad as it's top 3 Results rust

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Matei Adriel

And what if you play the game -_-

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justgage profile image
Gage

Some ones for me:

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Cobus Kruger

Since Google created both AngularJS and Angular, one would think their search would know the difference, but alas not.

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tkdmzq profile image
TKDMzq

soo there is diffrence?

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Jesse M. Holmes

Angular now refers to Angular2+, whereas AngularJS refers to Angular 1.X.X. They are very different animals. 😊

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Cobus Kruger • Edited on

Yes, but I think that's exactly Google Search's response πŸ˜†

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Khalyomede • Edited on

I just had a nightmare searching where to find GitLab runners, and could only find GitLab runners API documentation, but not a single doc on where to view the runners on the web app (or I am very tired)!

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Patryk

Do you mean the gitlab.com page? Under your project's Settings / CI/CD, there is a list of specific runners you've registered with your project, and available shared runners. It's that what you had in mind? (Click expand next to Runners).

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Khalyomede

Damn, I just spend a day realizing I was not using my admin account but my developer account, that's why I could not find this menu πŸ˜‚ thank you for the guidance!

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Ben Halpern Author • Edited on

Microsoft comes out with a lot of impossible to search programming concepts, like the language "P".

microsoft.com/en-us/research/blog/...

Of course, "C" and all that stuff really started this mess. I guess when we dealt with manuals instead of search engines that made sense. But considering "P" was developed ~2017, that's not much of an excuse.

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Joshua Tzucker

I love all the true, yet comical answers so far. As a lighthearted answer, I'll add "LESS" as another example. Or ".net" (let's name something the same as a TLD!)

On a more serious note, my real answer to this question would be "the hardest coding terms to search for are those you do not yet know". Let me elaborate.

  1. A lot of languages use symbols, or syntax that might seem unusual to a beginner, that makes it hard to search for. For example, using @... for dependency injection in some languages. If you have never used DI before, you might have no idea what to even search for in order to learn more.

  2. A lot of things (languages, frameworks, libraries, etc) use what I often call "magic", but most know as "abstractions". Most of the time these make our jobs easier as coders, but when things go wrong and you need to figure out more about how they work, it make searching for answers difficult.

    • The more something resembles a "black box", the harder it is to know how to search for information. How can you get answers when you don't even know the question?
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Glenn Stovall

?:

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melissamcewen profile image
Melissa McEwen

For a long time when I was writing tutorials I didn't know what to call "=>" TBH I'm still not sure.

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Haris Secic

Since there's a lot of arrow things like "fat arrow" I say be creative let's call it "to the right pointy thingy" because why not

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Melissa McEwen

Arrow McArrowface πŸ˜‚

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haris_secic profile image
Haris Secic

Love it

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Corey McCarty

it's the nominal part of an arrow function, so I'd go with arrow

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patryktech profile image
Patryk

"fat arrow"... Its name comes from Coffeescript, where there are also"thin" arrows (->), I believe.

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melissamcewen profile image
Melissa McEwen

Someone in PHP told me "hash rocket"

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Phil Nash

There's a serverless framework built for AWS called Architect. It's really neat to work with and encodes mountains of config into a really simple .arc file.

But try searching for "Architect". Or "AWS Architect" or "AWS serverless architect".

I swear my work thinks I'm looking for a new job because those are the only results I find. 😬

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adrienpoly profile image
Adrien Poly

well finding information about Github actions or in general, any Github feature is quite hard

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Matei Adriel

Exactly

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Jonathan Apodaca

Anything with special characters in the name: looking at you "A*" (an algorithm).

I also got confused recently by searching for "brew service", and was surprised when I did not get results pertaining to Homebrew.

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Garrett

I've had a lot of trouble back when I first started learning Processing, the programming language for visual stuff.

The search engines seem to be a lot better now but back when I first started learning it, it was hard to find much of because the word "processing", especially in the context of "programming", has a lot of options.

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Luke Inglis

That’s why it’s commonly called p5 for short

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MurrayVarey

I once had the same theory same about C. Nightmare to google. Sure, the language pre-dates the internet ... but they knew, man.

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Cole Walker

x.y is incredibly annoying to google since I can't just type it into my address bar.

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Patryk

In Google Chrome, just press ctrl-k instead of ctrl-l to open the address bar in search mode, or add a ? before, as in ?x.y

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Haris Secic

"g x.y" in address bar will work on Opera and there's a lot of those examples where I have to use g in front of things I search and you can do same for other search engines just change the first letter

haris_secic profile image
Haris Secic

I knew it! Google search is getting worse. Lately when I Google things i takes a while. Before it was type in and click first result no questions asked. Joking aside I thing searching negative stuff is quite hard. Like how to do this WITHOUT that.

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Haris Secic • Edited on

Just remembered while using Micronaut wanted to search for GORM. Now given the popularity of Go language recently it's translated to Go ORM library. If you need Groovy thing you need to specify Grails GORM

EDIT: While commenting at this thread just remembered "negative" searches are quite hard to figure out. Like if you need "How to make this without that", or "Using this NO that", or any way you try to force machine to read negative word, at least 80% of the time top results will include basic result you get by googling it in opposite meaning. If you exclude word by using search engine utility you also end up still on the same pages as most of them won't use that word inside of the ext but rather an implicit connection will be made like if you search "azure java deploy" and exclude spring and maven you will still end up in some of those pages where both maven and spring are used or no results at all

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Brandon

"How do I make a child kill its parents, refuse to become an orphan, and then become its own parent?"
It was for a computer systems exam. Don't ask why this would ever be useful knowledge. It isn't.

The top result for this search term is:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_abando...

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Adam Crockett

Rust, because the game.

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TKDMzq

I've played and googled a lot of rust(game) and then i tried to learn it... "Rust tutroial" wasn't returning as expected. I was glad that "rustlang tutorial" worked well

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Ben Greenberg

Recently, I've had some fun results when I've searched on topics relating to the new Ruby static typing gem, Sorbet 🍦

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Clive Da

how about next ?

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Kasey Speakman • Edited on

Searching for Actor Model usually turns up pictures of celebrities.

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Mike

C#

On Google, it's fine. But internal searches on other sites... Often have to spell out sharp.

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Paceaux

Stack overflow

mateiadrielrafael profile image
Matei Adriel

Re: how log I've been writing f# for

Not a long time, about 3 months at this point

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Sunny pranay

Angular terms are harder to search and get meaning about those terms. The learning curve is very steep when we consider angular as a front end frame work

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Haris Secic

And C# was hard for me as browsers did C/# and then results came back for C

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Patrik Jajcay • Edited on

Angular / Angular 2,4,7...

It was a mistake.

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Ross Henderson

A lot of Oracle APEX stuff gets responses regarding Salesforce. So I always have to type in "Oracle APEX -salesforce". It's so annoying.

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Francis Booth

(function() {
})()

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Dennis Ploeger

Not related to dev, but searching for the electric music genre "hardcore" can also lead you on a quite different track. 😊

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Aiman Ismail

Kill child, parent

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Paul • Edited on

FBI has entered the chat