Procrustean assignment

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

After the legendary highwayman Procrustes, who stretched or cut his victims to make them fit a bed.

Noun[edit]

Procrustean assignment (uncountable)

  1. (computing, dated, rare) A form of assignment to fixed-length string variables in which a shorter value is padded to the necessary length while a longer one is truncated.
    • 1982, Steven Vickers, Robin Bradbeer, Sinclair ZX Spectrum: BASIC Programming
      [] the string that is being assigned to it is cut off on the right if it is too long, or filled out with spaces if it is too short - this is called Procrustean assignment []
    • 1983, Ian Stewart, Robin Jones, Machine code and better BASIC (page 51)
      [] that Procrustean assignment that the Manual goes on about: string arrays always have a fixed length of word.
    • 1985, Sharon Zardetto Aker, T/S 2068 basics and beyond (page 38)
      Because the T/S uses procrustean assignment for string arrays, there are some uses for single-element arrays.