Discussion:
THUNK?
(too old to reply)
gareth evans
2020-08-15 13:50:04 UTC
Permalink
In my older computing books, as I remember, the word
THUNK is used as an interface between two otherwise
incompatible programs (Definitely programs because
software was unheard of in them thar days!)

I wonder where the word THUNK originated? Is it
possibly a fun way to express the past tense of THINK,
as in, "I thunk of the solution"?
John Levine
2020-08-15 15:06:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by gareth evans
I wonder where the word THUNK originated? Is it
possibly a fun way to express the past tense of THINK,
as in, "I thunk of the solution"?
I am pretty sure it was first used to describe the little anonymous routines
that implement Algol 60 call by name arguments.

See this 1961 article in CACM:

http://archive.computerhistory.org/resources/text/algol/ACM_Algol_bulletin/1064045/frontmatter.pdf
--
Regards,
John Levine, ***@taugh.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. https://jl.ly
gareth evans
2020-08-15 15:50:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Levine
Post by gareth evans
I wonder where the word THUNK originated? Is it
possibly a fun way to express the past tense of THINK,
as in, "I thunk of the solution"?
I am pretty sure it was first used to describe the little anonymous routines
that implement Algol 60 call by name arguments.
http://archive.computerhistory.org/resources/text/algol/ACM_Algol_bulletin/1064045/frontmatter.pdf
OK, but how was the name derived, for it is such a strange word!?
John Levine
2020-08-15 16:39:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by gareth evans
Post by John Levine
I am pretty sure it was first used to describe the little anonymous routines
that implement Algol 60 call by name arguments.
http://archive.computerhistory.org/resources/text/algol/ACM_Algol_bulletin/1064045/frontmatter.pdf
OK, but how was the name derived, for it is such a strange word!?
http://www.catb.org/jargon/html/T/thunk.html

Historical note: There are a couple of onomatopoeic myths
circulating about the origin of this term. The most common is that it
is the sound made by data hitting the stack; another holds that the
sound is that of the data hitting an accumulator. Yet another suggests
that it is the sound of the expression being unfrozen at
argument-evaluation time. In fact, according to the inventors, it was
coined after they realized (in the wee hours after hours of
discussion) that the type of an argument in Algol-60 could be figured
out in advance with a little compile-time thought, simplifying the
evaluation machinery. In other words, it had ‘already been thought
of’; thus it was christened a thunk, which is “the past tense of
‘think’ at two in the morning”.
--
Regards,
John Levine, ***@taugh.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. https://jl.ly
Louis Krupp
2020-08-17 04:29:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Levine
Post by gareth evans
I wonder where the word THUNK originated? Is it
possibly a fun way to express the past tense of THINK,
as in, "I thunk of the solution"?
I am pretty sure it was first used to describe the little anonymous routines
that implement Algol 60 call by name arguments.
http://archive.computerhistory.org/resources/text/algol/ACM_Algol_bulletin/1064045/frontmatter.pdf
In case it hasn't been mentioned, and for what it's worth, a thunk is
also known as an "accidental entry." A search for both terms yields
several links and some context.

Louis
Peter Flass
2020-08-17 17:25:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Louis Krupp
Post by John Levine
Post by gareth evans
I wonder where the word THUNK originated? Is it
possibly a fun way to express the past tense of THINK,
as in, "I thunk of the solution"?
I am pretty sure it was first used to describe the little anonymous routines
that implement Algol 60 call by name arguments.
http://archive.computerhistory.org/resources/text/algol/ACM_Algol_bulletin/1064045/frontmatter.pdf
In case it hasn't been mentioned, and for what it's worth, a thunk is
also known as an "accidental entry." A search for both terms yields
several links and some context.
First time I’ve heard that term.
--
Pete
John Levine
2020-08-17 18:03:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Louis Krupp
In case it hasn't been mentioned, and for what it's worth, a thunk is
also known as an "accidental entry." A search for both terms yields
several links and some context.
I have never ever heard that term, and my thesis advisor was a member
of the Algol 60 committee.

When I do a web search for "accidental entry" or "accidental entry
thunk" I find nothing. Where have you seen it used?
--
Regards,
John Levine, ***@taugh.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. https://jl.ly
Scott Lurndal
2020-08-17 19:33:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Levine
Post by Louis Krupp
In case it hasn't been mentioned, and for what it's worth, a thunk is
also known as an "accidental entry." A search for both terms yields
several links and some context.
I have never ever heard that term, and my thesis advisor was a member
of the Algol 60 committee.
The term has been used by unix shared objects since SVR4/Solaris for
the code that indirectly calls the position independent library function
via the procedure linkage table (PLT).

It's still used by glibc.
John Levine
2020-08-17 20:20:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by John Levine
Post by Louis Krupp
In case it hasn't been mentioned, and for what it's worth, a thunk is
also known as an "accidental entry." A search for both terms yields
several links and some context.
I have never ever heard that term, and my thesis advisor was a member
of the Algol 60 committee.
The term has been used by unix shared objects since SVR4/Solaris for
the code that indirectly calls the position independent library function
via the procedure linkage table (PLT).
It's still used by glibc.
In case it wasn't clear, I never heard of accidental entry.

Thunk was originally the anonymous routines to implement call-by-name
but you're right it's been used for other stuff like glue between almost
but not quite compatible shared libraries.
--
Regards,
John Levine, ***@taugh.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. https://jl.ly
Louis Krupp
2020-08-17 19:47:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Levine
Post by Louis Krupp
In case it hasn't been mentioned, and for what it's worth, a thunk is
also known as an "accidental entry." A search for both terms yields
several links and some context.
I have never ever heard that term, and my thesis advisor was a member
of the Algol 60 committee.
When I do a web search for "accidental entry" or "accidental entry
thunk" I find nothing. Where have you seen it used?
I did a search for "thunk" and "accidental entry." I got these, among
other links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk%3ABurroughs_large_systems

https://public.support.unisys.com/framework/publicterms.aspx?returnurl=%2faseries%2fdocs%2fClearPath-MCP-18.0%2f86000098-516%2fsection-000026582.html

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjRodL6_aLrAhWbXc0KHccSBRAQFjACegQICRAB&url=https%3A%2F%2Fresearch.tue.nl%2Ffiles%2F46775892%2F349706-1.pdf&usg=AOvVaw0MJEY0IWKlOu9da3yAFN5e
(You'll have to search for "accidental.")

Louis
Mike Spencer
2020-08-15 19:56:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by gareth evans
In my older computing books, as I remember, the word
THUNK is used as an interface between two otherwise
incompatible programs (Definitely programs because
software was unheard of in them thar days!)
I wonder where the word THUNK originated? Is it
possibly a fun way to express the past tense of THINK,
as in, "I thunk of the solution"?
Cira 1948:

"Who'da thunk it?" (My mother, possibly quoting some radio
personality or possibly recalling something heard in her very rural
Texas childhood, circa 1910.)

1958:

"I Have Thunk, So I Cannot Am!", Frederick Winsor in The Space Child's
Mother Goose.

Also from that source:

This is the Theory Jack built.
This is the Flaw
That lay in the Theory Jack built.
This is the Mummery
Hiding the Flaw
That lay in the Theory that Jack built.
This is the Summary
Based on the Mummery
Hiding the Flaw
That lay in the Theory that Jack built.
This is the Constant K
That saved the Summary
Based on the Mummery
Hiding the Flaw
That lay in the Theory that Jack built.
This is the Erudite Verbal Haze
Cloaking Constant K
That saved the Summary
Based on the Mummery
Hiding the Flaw
That lay in the Theory that Jack built.
This is the Turn of a Plausible Phrase
That thickened the Erudite Verbal Haze
Cloaking Constant K
That saved the Summary
Based on the Mummery
Hiding the Flaw
That lay in the Theory that Jack built.
This is the Chaotic Confusion and Bluff
That hung on the Turn of a Plausible Phrase
That thickened the Erudite Verbal Haze
Cloaking Constant K
That saved the Summary
Based on the Mummery
Hiding the Flaw
That lay in the Theory that Jack built.
This is the Cybernetics and Stuff
That covered Chaotic Confusion and Bluff
That hung on the Turn of a Plausible Phrase
That thickened the Erudite Verbal Haze
Cloaking Constant K
That saved the Summary
Based on the Mummery
Hiding the Flaw
That lay in the Theory that Jack built.
This is the button to Start the Machine
To make with the Cybernetics and Stuff
To cover Chaotic Confusion and Bluff
That hung on the Turn of a Plausible Phrase
That thickened the Erudite Verbal Haze
Cloaking Constant K
That saved the Summary
Based on the Mummery
Hiding the Flaw
That lay in the Theory that Jack built.
This is the Space Child with Brow Serene
Who Pushed the Button to Start the Machine
That made with the Cybernetics and Stuff
Without Confusion, exposing the Bluff
That hung on the Turn of a Plausible Phrase
And, shredding the Erudite Verbal Haze
Cloaking Constant K
Wrecked the Summary
Based on Mummery
Hiding the Flaw
And Demolished the Theory that Jack built.

(Parenthetically, the PoMo establishment in academe has gotten as far
as line 55. We'uns in a.f.c. with chops in "Cybernetics and Stuff"
should have a go at pushing the button. The world has changed since
Alan Sokal and "Transgressing...", even more since C.P. Snow's Two
Cultures but PoMo has shingled too far off onto the fog. I won't even
start on US politics.)
--
Mike Spencer Nova Scotia, Canada
John Levine
2020-08-16 02:24:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mike Spencer
Post by gareth evans
I wonder where the word THUNK originated? Is it
possibly a fun way to express the past tense of THINK,
as in, "I thunk of the solution"?
"Who'da thunk it?" (My mother, possibly quoting some radio
personality or possibly recalling something heard in her very rural
Texas childhood, circa 1910.)
It was a catch phrase on Edgar Bergen's popular US radio show in the
1940s and 1950s so the authors of the 1961 CACM paper would have been
familiar with it.

R's,
John
--
Regards,
John Levine, ***@taugh.com, Primary Perpetrator of "The Internet for Dummies",
Please consider the environment before reading this e-mail. https://jl.ly
Mike Spencer
2020-08-16 19:41:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Levine
Post by Mike Spencer
Post by gareth evans
I wonder where the word THUNK originated? Is it
possibly a fun way to express the past tense of THINK,
as in, "I thunk of the solution"?
"Who'da thunk it?" (My mother, possibly quoting some radio
personality or possibly recalling something heard in her very rural
Texas childhood, circa 1910.)
It was a catch phrase on Edgar Bergen's popular US radio show in the
1940s and 1950s so the authors of the 1961 CACM paper would have been
familiar with it.
That would be about right. My mother liked Bergen. I recall
listening to that show circa 1950 although not the "thunk it" line.
--
Mike Spencer Nova Scotia, Canada
JimP
2020-08-16 20:10:49 UTC
Permalink
On 16 Aug 2020 16:41:38 -0300, Mike Spencer
Post by Mike Spencer
Post by John Levine
Post by Mike Spencer
Post by gareth evans
I wonder where the word THUNK originated? Is it
possibly a fun way to express the past tense of THINK,
as in, "I thunk of the solution"?
"Who'da thunk it?" (My mother, possibly quoting some radio
personality or possibly recalling something heard in her very rural
Texas childhood, circa 1910.)
It was a catch phrase on Edgar Bergen's popular US radio show in the
1940s and 1950s so the authors of the 1961 CACM paper would have been
familiar with it.
That would be about right. My mother liked Bergen. I recall
listening to that show circa 1950 although not the "thunk it" line.
And he wore a suit and tie, for a radio broadcast. In one movie, he
and Charlie wore tuxedos.
--
Jim
Sarr Blumson
2020-08-16 01:19:21 UTC
Permalink
In my older computing books, as I remember, the wordTHUNK is used as an interface between two otherwiseincompatible programs (Definitely programs becausesoftware was unheard of in them thar days!)I wonder where the word THUNK originated? Is itpossibly a fun way to express the past tense of THINK,as in, "I thunk of the solution"?
Thunks: a way of compiling procedure statements with some comments
on procedure declarations, PZ Ingerman, CACM, Jan
1961
--
----Android NewsGroup Reader----
http://usenet.sinaapp.com/
J. Clarke
2020-08-16 03:59:06 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 15 Aug 2020 21:19:21 -0400 (EDT), Sarr Blumson
Post by Sarr Blumson
In my older computing books, as I remember, the wordTHUNK is used as an interface between two otherwiseincompatible programs (Definitely programs becausesoftware was unheard of in them thar days!)I wonder where the word THUNK originated? Is itpossibly a fun way to express the past tense of THINK,as in, "I thunk of the solution"?
Thunks: a way of compiling procedure statements with some comments
on procedure declarations, PZ Ingerman, CACM, Jan
1961
English she is a peculiar language.

Why is it "sink, sank, sunk" but not "think, thank, thunk"?
maus
2020-08-16 07:34:13 UTC
Permalink
Post by J. Clarke
On Sat, 15 Aug 2020 21:19:21 -0400 (EDT), Sarr Blumson
Post by Sarr Blumson
In my older computing books, as I remember, the wordTHUNK is used as an interface between two otherwiseincompatible programs (Definitely programs becausesoftware was unheard of in them thar days!)I wonder where the word THUNK originated? Is itpossibly a fun way to express the past tense of THINK,as in, "I thunk of the solution"?
Thunks: a way of compiling procedure statements with some comments
on procedure declarations, PZ Ingerman, CACM, Jan
1961
English she is a peculiar language.
Why is it "sink, sank, sunk" but not "think, thank, thunk"?
"English as she is spoken", famous book by a portugese man who didn't
speak English, but French, and had access to a French-English dictionary
gareth evans
2020-08-16 11:51:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by maus
Post by J. Clarke
On Sat, 15 Aug 2020 21:19:21 -0400 (EDT), Sarr Blumson
Post by Sarr Blumson
In my older computing books, as I remember, the wordTHUNK is used as an interface between two otherwiseincompatible programs (Definitely programs becausesoftware was unheard of in them thar days!)I wonder where the word THUNK originated? Is itpossibly a fun way to express the past tense of THINK,as in, "I thunk of the solution"?
Thunks: a way of compiling procedure statements with some comments
on procedure declarations, PZ Ingerman, CACM, Jan
1961
English she is a peculiar language.
Why is it "sink, sank, sunk" but not "think, thank, thunk"?
"English as she is spoken", famous book by a portugese man who didn't
speak English, but French, and had access to a French-English dictionary
For Monty Python fans ...

My hovercraft is full of eels
Ahem A Rivet's Shot
2020-08-17 08:34:58 UTC
Permalink
On Sat, 15 Aug 2020 23:59:06 -0400
Post by J. Clarke
English she is a peculiar language.
Chaotic even.
Post by J. Clarke
Why is it "sink, sank, sunk" but not "think, thank, thunk"?
A few examples can be found here, anyone care to attempt reading
aloud ? http://ncf.idallen.com/english.html
--
Steve O'Hara-Smith | Directable Mirror Arrays
C:\>WIN | A better way to focus the sun
The computer obeys and wins. | licences available see
You lose and Bill collects. | http://www.sohara.org/
Charlie Gibbs
2020-08-17 16:54:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Ahem A Rivet's Shot
On Sat, 15 Aug 2020 23:59:06 -0400
Post by J. Clarke
English she is a peculiar language.
Chaotic even.
Post by J. Clarke
Why is it "sink, sank, sunk" but not "think, thank, thunk"?
A few examples can be found here, anyone care to attempt reading
aloud ? http://ncf.idallen.com/english.html
I slank off and dug up this one:

The wind was rough,
And cold and blough.
She kept her hands inside her mough.

It chilled her through.
Her nose turned blough.
And still the squall the faster flough.

And yet although
There was no snough,
The weather was a cruel fough.

It made her cough.
(Please do not scough.)
She coughed until her hat blew ough.

-- Bennett Cerf
--
/~\ Charlie Gibbs | Microsoft is a dictatorship.
\ / <***@kltpzyxm.invalid> | Apple is a cult.
X I'm really at ac.dekanfrus | Linux is anarchy.
/ \ if you read it the right way. | Pick your poison.
Thomas Koenig
2020-08-17 18:12:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Charlie Gibbs
The wind was rough,
And cold and blough.
[...]

And we all what "ughoti" means, right?

Vg zrnaf "svfu". "htu" nf va "gbhtu", "b" nf va "jbzra", naq "gv"
nf va "angvba".
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