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Subject: DOCBOOK: Re: packagename proposal/RFE

Okay, only 1 week behind, this time.

>From: Elliotte Rusty Harold <elharo@metalab.unc.edu>
>To: docbook <docbook@lists.oasis-open.org>
>Subject: DOCBOOK: packagename proposal/RFE
>Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 11:28:41 -0400
>Issues for discussion:
>1. Is "packagename" the right name for symmetry with classname and
>interfacename or should this be simply "package"? Or perhapps
>"oopackage" for symmetry with ooclass and oointerface?

Personally, I fail to see why 'package' wouldn't work just as well.  Unless 
'package' is desired as a structural element, there would be no meaningful 
distinction between using 'package' and 'packagename', for an inline 

>3. I'm mostly familiar with Java. Is there anything similar in
>other language we should address here;

The concept of a package is pretty general.  Even if the semantics aren't 
exactly uniform, across languages, others (e.g. Python) would definitely 
benefit from having a 'package' element.  In general, I think use of the 
term "package", to describe a distributable form of software, is pretty 

>e.g. C++ or C# namespaces or Perl modules?

Arg!  Please don't confuse namespaces and packages!!  Even though Java may 
align the two (which only works, by virtue of the fact that DNS is used as a 
globally-unique package/namespace naming mechanism), THEY ARE ORTHOGONAL 
CONCEPTS, ESPECIALLY IN C++ (though I'm in no position to speak about C#).

If anything, a separate element should be added, for denoting namespaces, as 
in the context of C++ or XML.

>If so, how does this affect the choice of name for this element?

It shouldn't, IMO, as the two concepts should be kept distinct.  Since Java 
couples them (or so I infer), it's not important to speak about namespaces, 
as a separate concept, in that context.

>Also, do any of these languages ever put a single class or interface
>in more than one package?

Class?  You absolutely have as many classes as you want, per package.  By 
'interface', I believe you mean a syntactic construct akin to Java's 
interfaces, which C++ lacks.  As far as logical interfaces - of course, 
since packages aren't a language-level construct, in C++.  As far as 
namespaces go, C++ provides namespaces in a very pure, flexible manner.  
There are differing usage models, for C++ namespaces, so I think it's a 
mistake to try to load any semantics on a namespace, beyond the pure 
definition of a namespace (which we're assuming to be named).

Thanks for considering my opinions.

Matt Gruenke

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