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Subject: Re: DOCBOOK: Re: doc domain vs. problem domain semantics (Re[2]:listitem)

Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com> writes:

> / "Matt G." <matt_g_@hotmail.com> was heard to say:
> | As a matter of fact, I'd guess that more often than not, variablelist
> | is used to list things other than variables.
> Ah, the "variable" in variablelist isn't really for programming
> language variables. It's really a description list. In fact, if HTML
> had come first, we probably would have called it a descriptionlist. As
> it is, I don't really recall the etymology.

Seems like "Associativelist" might be a more accurate name. Isn't a
Variablelist basically the same thing as a Lisp/Scheme "alist" -- just
a list of associated pairs? That is, aren't the "keys" paired with
"values" in an alist just more general names for "terms" paired with
"descriptions" (the names used in the Variablelist documentation)?

A Glosslist is a specific list of glossary terms paired with their
associated definitions, so maybe the name "Variablelist" was chosen to
imply a more generic list of associated pairs -- one that could be
used for "variable" purposes, not just for term/definition pairs.

Regardless, I guess "Variablelist" is sort of confusing, not very
precise, because it doesn't imply anything about pairing or
association. If you think of the name as parallel to "Glosslist" (and
don't read the documentation), I guess it might be natural to assume
that a Variablelist is a list of variables.

Michael Smith, Tokyo, Japan    http://sideshowbarker.net

Amalgams are abundant,
but the lone student of the Mines
adores Alloyless things -

  --Emily Dickinson (*340)     http://www.logopoeia.com/ed/

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