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Re: objecting to $ alone (was Re: SPARQL 2004-10-12 syntax and grammar issues)

From: Kendall Clark <kendall@monkeyfist.com>
Date: Mon, 8 Nov 2004 09:58:47 -0500
To: Dave Beckett <dave.beckett@bristol.ac.uk>
Cc: kendall@monkeyfist.com, RDF Data Access Working Group <public-rdf-dawg@w3.org>
Message-ID: <20041108145847.GB7401@monkeyfist.com>

On Mon, Nov 08, 2004 at 02:26:18PM +0000, Dave Beckett wrote:
> > 2. "?" says, in my estimation, variable more than "$". (The
> >    "usability argument".)
> 
> However perl, php and in particular XQuery use $ for variables,
> so I'd say this is weaker as a usability argument.

My three least favorite languages. Sure, "$" is a better choice than,
say, something totally arbitrary. I still think, since a variable is
something that is unknown to the query writer, presumably, and since
"?", at least to most English speakers, suggests asking a question in
order to discover something unknown, that "?" is a better variable
marker.

I appreciate, however, that mileage may vary on this point.

> I don't recall hearing that $ would cause problems.  It might be
> that it's on the comments list or we don't hear about this till we make
> a new document and ask for feedback.

I haven't heard that it will either. But I have no reason to believe
that it *won't*. I simply don't know. Which makes it seem like a
rather localized choice.

> summary above answers that for me.  I don't plan to spend more time myself
> worrying about this symbol choice.

Sorry, didn't mean to be so pointed.  I'm *not sure* I will formally
object, which is one reason I couched my objection in a bit of
ambiguity. I do want to make it known that I think "$" only is a big
fat dripping wart. And now I have a URI to refer to the next time (?)
this comes up.

Kendall Clark
-- 
Sometimes it's appropriate, even patriotic, to be ashamed
of your country. -- James Howard Kunstler
Received on Monday, 8 November 2004 15:00:11 GMT

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