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Re: What is a "state"?

From: Henrik Dvergsdal <henrik.dvergsdal@hibo.no>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2007 02:34:50 +0200
Message-Id: <99DD8D9D-D7E3-4772-8CCA-EB673D81B6DC@hibo.no>
To: HTML WG <public-html@w3.org>

> This discussion has become far too philosophical. At the end of the  
> day I
> still don't understand what is wrong with the use of the word  
> "default". I
> don't think it does any harm.

Well, I do. The notion of "default state" just isn't compatible with  
a conceptual model that maps from concrete instances to states. First  
of all, an attribute is always in some state, so a default state will  
never apply. Secondly, even if we define some instances as being  
"stateless", designating some state as "default" will be an ambiguous  
statement, except for very simple cases:

Let's say we map the keywords "true", "on" and "yes" to the true  
state. We then define this as the default state. What value should  
the attribute take by default?

I definitely think there is something to gain here in terms of  
readability and precision. For instance, instead of saying: "the  
illegal value default is the false state" we can drop the notion of  
default state and simply say: "all other values map to the false  
state". That statement is more explicit, easier to understand and  
it's more precise because it doesn't spoil the conceptual model.

--
Henrik
Received on Friday, 15 June 2007 00:34:57 UTC

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