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

/ Michael Smith <smith@xml-doc.org> was heard to say:
| Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com> writes:
| 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)?

Well, varlistentrys can have multiple terms, but yes. However, wanna bet
the number of people confused by assoclist is roughly equal to the number
of people confused by variablelist? :-)

| 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.

My guess is the etymology is something like that. I don't think that
the "variable" ever meant programming language variables, but I could
be wrong.

| 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.

Yes, I suppose. RTFM, I guess. Renaming variablelist at this point
would create a significant legacy problem for a very small return,

                                        Be seeing you,

Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>      | As a general rule, the most
http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/ | successful man in life is the man
Chair, DocBook Technical Committee | who has the best
                                   | information.--Benjamin Disraeli

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