Re: What is a "state"?

> 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.


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