I am adding a new (extraction) function to my program thus I am thinking to give it a better name.

  • The old extraction function is more structured, guided, & rigid.
  • The new extraction function breaks away from such restriction and will be more at will, or sometimes called free form.

Is there a shorter word for that? Function names are better short, but convey the precise meaning.


  • 1
    ad hoc - made or happening only for a particular purpose or need, not planned before it happens. In the modern computer context, your distinction is often made using wizard (which offers the rigid "guided" approach), or advanced (where the user gets more control of options). Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 17:42
  • I thought it should be ad lib
    – V.V.
    Commented Jun 18, 2016 at 20:11
  • Maybe it's better to rephrase the sentence? Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 6:54
  • @SovereignSun, I don't know what exactly you mean, but I'm looking for a word or phrase. Today, when revisiting the topic, I think "liberated" might be closer to what I was looking for.
    – xpt
    Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 15:46
  • In my programming i have long function names with _ sign for space Commented Dec 16, 2016 at 16:36

2 Answers 2


"Flexible" emphasizes the fact that the requirements of the new function are less restrictive than the old one.

"Generic" emphasizes that the new function handles more cases, where the old function only handled a subset.

"Advanced" is a programmer's favorite word to say that something is newer, more powerful, and more complicated than the thing it replaces. It's a lazy word, but that doesn't mean that using it is always wrong.


Technical terms synonymous with "free form" are


Please keep in mind, it is better to name your function for what it does, than how it does it.
The "how" is usually mentioned in comments.

  • 3
    All of those words mean something other than "free form" to me. An adaptive function is not necessarily unstructured. Responsive is completely different from fluid or agile or dynamic.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Jun 19, 2016 at 5:11

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