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Re: SRFI naming Alben Barkley Petrofsky 20 Aug 2002 15:23 UTC

> From: (Michael Sperber [Mr.  Preprocessor])
> >>>>> "al" == Alpine Petrofsky <> writes:

> al> They are the shortname serial numbers.  Did you ever read the message
> al> that started this thread?
> Yes, I did.  I'm sorry if I expressed myself poorly: I know what it's
> supposed to mean, but I fail to see how it's easier to rememember than
> the SRFI serial number.

I'll try answering that again.  I have a much easier time remembering
whether something was numbered 1 or 2 than I do trying to remember
whether it was numbered 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 ..... or 97.

Suppose that SRFIs had been published as RFCs, and instead of talking
about SRFIs 1, 7, and 11, we called them RFCs 2503, 2641, and 3177.
Suppose that the only standard scheme for referring to these documents
in programs used the identifers rfc-2503, rfc-2641, and rfc-3177.  Now
suppose I proposed that we be able to also call these rfc-srfi-1,
rfc-srfi-7, and rfc-srfi-11, because I found those names to be easier
for the writer to remember, and easier for the reader to comprehend.

My shortnames proposal is along the same lines as that hypothetical
proposal.  We take a large serially-numbered collection of somewhat
related things, and extract a much smaller collection of more closely
related things.  The numbers used to distinguish among the members of
the much smaller collection are much smaller numbers, and thus much
easier to remember.  The smaller collection is distinguished from the
rest of the larger collection by a non-numeric name.

> al> I'm not suggesting that a library system would need to support the
> al> name string-lib as the name for a library that implemented SRFI 13.
> al> I'm only suggesting that if a system allows you to refer in some way
> al> to SRFI 13 with the identifier srfi-13, that it should also allow you
> al> to refer to it as srfi-string-lib-1.
> I still don't get it.  What's preventing you from using any name you like?

I can use the name "Snookums", or any name I like, to refer to the
43rd U.S. president, but I can't expect anyone to understand me
because "Snookums" is not a publicly-recognized name for him.
Fortunately, our presidents do have recognized names, and the
identifier bush-2 suffices to distinguish him from all past and future
presidents.  (Note that the names clinton-1 and bush-2, even though
they are not at all descriptive, are much easier to remember than 42
and 43.  Also, even though presidents johnson-1 and johnson-2 have no
particular connection to each other, these names are still superior to
17 and 36.)