Chrestomathy

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What Does Chrestomathy Mean?

Chrestomathy is a certain type of comparative resource for computer programming. It involves looking at different kinds of program syntax side by side, to understand the semantics and structure of each programming language.

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Techopedia Explains Chrestomathy

In general, the word chrestomathy is used for a set of literary passages in a text, or a set of comparative phrases or passages for learning foreign languages. Its use is slightly different in computer programming, where chrestomathy typically serves to display the variations between commands, operations or functions in different programming languages. Some online resources provide chrestomathy for languages like C, C++ and C# as well as others like Java or PHP.

By setting up different code functions side by side, developers and others can easily see how these parameters were designed to function differently. This is an example of "comparative semantics" that is less quantitative than linguistic in terms of how people are approaching code. Overall, chrestomathy has become a popular way to distinguish different elements of a given programming language.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.