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RE: [css-variables] Last call comments

From: Liam R E Quin <liam@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 11 Feb 2013 16:47:58 -0500
To: François REMY <francois.remy.dev@outlook.com>
Cc: "Tab Atkins Jr." <jackalmage@gmail.com>, Brian Kardell <bkardell@gmail.com>, "www-style@w3.org" <www-style@w3.org>
Message-ID: <1360619278.25254.22.camel@localhost.localdomain>
On Mon, 2013-02-11 at 22:06 +0100, François REMY wrote:
> [...]The var() notation is a *reference* or a *data binding* to a
> custom property, in no case a "variable". In the programming language
> world, a variable is a box referencable statically via a memory
> address relative to the stack. When you reference something
> dynamically this is not a variable, this is a property, because it's
> relative to a heap address, the address of the object where the data
> belong.
> I maintain that calling var() a variable is a mistake.

The declarative and functional programming communities have used
"variable" in the sense of mathematics, since the 1960s, and still use
the word that way.

In algebra, saying,
  x = y + z
  x = x + 1
is a nonsense.

It's not about memory addresses or stacks or heaps, and it's not about
compile-time or runtime.

Having said that, it's a common cause of confusion - we get it in XSLT
and XQuery too, which use mathematical-style variables.

User-Defined Properties might be easier for people to grok.


Liam Quin - XML Activity Lead, W3C, http://www.w3.org/People/Quin/
Pictures from old books: http://fromoldbooks.org/
Ankh: irc.sorcery.net irc.gnome.org freenode/#xml
The barefoot typographer.
Received on Monday, 11 February 2013 21:48:01 UTC

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