"All non-trivial abstractions, to some degree, are leaky."
Well, some pretty trivial abstractions are leaky too. What is the type you use most in your programs? Probably int, but after that? For me it is String (currently java.lang.String or scala.String to be annoyingly more precise).
That is a pretty shitty* abstraction, don't you think? String is supposed to be short for StringOfCharacters. Leaving aside the fact that shorthanding is a bad practice, the name may not be wrong, per se, but it does nothing to characterize the meaning of the type in our programs. Why not Text? It is semantically more accurate and actually shorter than "String".
* To retain the plumbing analogy.
You can break text (the concept) into paragraphs, segments, phrases, sentences, and finally characters. Really, it's only making the whole thing worse :)
Yet, there're people using String like a reason to use metaphor principle in XP: 'Hey. Java guys did use string metaphor, remember!? Why can we not use xyz for our metaphor' _ where xyz is another stupid metaphor too.
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