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Re: Argument names in Elisp Reference vs docstrings

From: Juri Linkov
Subject: Re: Argument names in Elisp Reference vs docstrings
Date: Sat, 17 Sep 2005 02:48:42 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.110004 (No Gnus v0.4) Emacs/22.0.50 (gnu/linux)

> I didn't realize this was already decided. Are these default values
> accessed via repeated M-n?

Yes, very much like values from the history list are accessed via
repeated M-p.

> Is there any limit (or guideline) on their number?

Do you mean a cardinal or ordinal number?

Their amount is limited by the length of the list of default values.

There are no guidelines for their ordinal number in the minibuffer,
like there are no guidelines for the history list.

> My point was that "init" or "initial" does not by itself indicate an initial
> _value_. There are other things that might be initial in this context.
> "initial" is not clear in the same way that "default" is clear. People don't
> say, "What is the "initial?"

I agree with your reasoning.  But OTOH there are many argument names
which are adjectives like "existing" and "special".  And "initial" is
widely used too.  My goal was not to make such arguments clearer, but
to make argument names of related functions consistent between each other
and between docstrings and manuals.

> All of the following are clearer than "initial": "init-val", "init-value",
> "initial-value".

As there exist already only three different argument names: "initial",
"initial-contents" and "initial-input", I'd choose one of existing names
instead of introducing new names like "init-val" or "initial-value".

Juri Linkov

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