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Shriram Krishnamurthi <shriram@xxxxxxxxxxx> writes: > Keywords in your implementation are wholly unnecesary. This is a data > language, not a procedure call context. The XML collection could just > as well have used the syntax you propose, or indeed many others. Even in this context of pure data (as opposed to procedure calls), builtin keyword support has teh advantage that keywords are self-evaluating, and they are distinct from normal symbols. When you use the `NAME:' syntax they also have a nice read/-print-syntax that is natural for specifying name-value pairs. (Languages that have keywords may also have some mechanism that automates processing of keyword arguments passed to procedures, but keywords can be useful independent of that - as in my example.) > And this is without even getting into the cost of keywords, Keywords per se are cheap. Processing keyword parameters can be expensive, but you only pay for it when you use it. > indeed even their appropriateness (as a poor man's substitute for > objects -- why bother when you have real objects?), I don't know where this is coming from - I see keywords as completely orthogonal to objects. (Keywords make it nice to specify initial attributes of objects, though.) > PS: Now that I think about it even more, I *can't* reuse the > implementation of keywords built into the implementation (using, > say, APPLY), because the set of keywords used by the set of all > documents is naturally limitless, whereas keyword syntaxes use a > fixed set of keywords. So keywords don't help any. I agree a general XML-processing applications cannot take much advantage of the keyword processing done for keyword parameters. Thus keywords don't help in any *fundamental* way. Where they do help is in the *syntax*: They allow a more readable, more concise, less error-prone syntax, since they don't depend on as many parentheses. This is mainly a matter of personal preference, but I suspect the keyword style will be more natural for most people. -- --Per Bothner per@xxxxxxxxxxx http://www.bothner.com/~per/