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(* reorder ...) comments


At 06:57 PM 8/16/97 -0400, Michael Richardson wrote:
>  I need a *concrete* example of the reorder-* *-forms. The
>socks/pants/tie example didn't quite explain it to me.


BTW, Ron Rivest and I met at CRYPTO to go over the *-forms and we believe we 
can toss most of them, so that might be one real simplification.  In the 
process, we scanned the set of objects and discovered that almost every 
object we have already defined is positional so there's a possibility that 
we don't need (* reorder ...).  However, I need to ask the list.

Background on (* reorder ...):  I believe it was a friend and co-worker of 
mine who first suggested that we should have named parameters which can be 
reordered at will, left out when optional, etc.  This is one style of 
constructing objects.  In S-expression terms, it means that every parameter 
in a tag would be an S-expression whose object name is the parameter name.  
The other form of specifying parameters is the one we're used to in most 
programming languages: positional.  In this case, one might find an 
S-expression whose object name represents a data type, but not one giving 
the parameter name.  The (* reorder ...) form indicates which of these 
programming styles you want to follow.  Namely, if you use the form, you 
mean that you're following the named-parameter model (RFC822-like).

This is one example of a complexity of what Ron called the Leatherman 
variety (or Swiss Army Knife, for those who don't know what a Leatherman 
is).  If we could resolve it on the list, and actually decide to permit only 
positional or only named parameters, we can toss this *-form.

I would like to hear from the list on this subject.

 - Carl

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