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Re: New XT release

Subject: Re: New XT release
From: Paul Prescod <paul@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 21 Apr 1999 12:46:12 -0500

> G. Ken Holman]
> >You can calculate and bind values to variables (a bit of a misnomer since
> >they can't vary!) within a given (let) scope, you can bind a fixed value to
> >a top level variable, but you can't change the value of a variable once
> bound.
[Frank Christoph]
> I can't resist replying to your appalling suggestion that "variable" is a
> misnomer here.

> If I write, for example,
> (define x 6)
> then I am saying that 1) x is a DSSSL variable, and hence it varies over
> the set of DSSSL values, and 2) its _value_ happens to be the constant, 6. 

There is something too subtle for me to follow there. x does not vary. It
is "6". Is c as in e=mc^2 a variable or a constant? In terms of type
theory its type may be "real number" and thus from a type system point of
view one could say that it could be any real number. But in this universe
it can only ever take one value -- thus we call it a constant. Perhaps
from Frank's point of view, named constants are a special case of
"variables." If so, then I still say that we should use the more precise
word "constant" in XSL. This will save hundreds of questions about "how do
I change the value of the variable?"

 Paul Prescod  - ISOGEN Consulting Engineer speaking for only himself

"The Excursion [Sport Utility Vehicle] is so large that it will come
equipped with adjustable pedals to fit smaller drivers and sensor 
devices that warn the driver when he or she is about to back into a
Toyota or some other object." -- Dallas Morning News

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