Object Naming UnConventions

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Fri Oct 7 12:26:19 EDT 2011

dunbarx wrote:

 > I rarely get to act like a pedantic jerk, especially towards a highly
 > respected and iconic personage such as Richard Gaskin.
 > Not kidding about any of item 2 of line 1.
 > But ordinal would be 'first control". Cardinal would be "control 1"
 > That felt better than I thought it would.
 > I am sure I will regret it, though.
 > No kidding about item 1 of line 5.

Damn - there goes my writing career. :)

Thank you very much for the kind words, but if you've read many of the 
lengthy posts I write you'll find they're often riddled with all sorts 
of errors.  A good friends suggests that one reason I write long posts 
is that the sheer volume of materials makes it harder to spot the 
mistakes. :)

But on this issue of "ordinal" vs "cardinal", I may be thinking of a 
more colloquial usage than perhaps programming vernacular.

It's my understanding that "ordinal" simply refers to the order or rank 
of things, such as layer numbering would impose, whether the reference 
is expressed numerically or textually (i.e., it would seem to apply to 
both "2" or "second").

"Cardinal" means "prime" or "most important", which had led me to 
sometimes use "cardinal" when describing object references by ID, since 
those are (or that is, were until very recently) immutably fixed and 
therefore the most reliable form of reference.

That said, I program in relatively few languages (these days only 
LiveCode and JavaScript; haven't touched a C compiler in many years, and 
Lisp sadly remains on my untouched to-do list), so there may be widely 
used conventions for these terms among programmers that I'm merely 
ignorant of.

In my book "ignorant" is a good word, since no one knows everything so 
all of us are ignorant of one thing or another, and being ignorant 
simply means there's something new to learn.  I'll wear that label with 
pride. :)

Is this a common convention to use "cardinal" when describing numeric 
ordering references, and "ordinal" only for their textual equivalent?

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World
  LiveCode training and consulting: http://www.fourthworld.com
  Webzine for LiveCode developers: http://www.LiveCodeJournal.com
  LiveCode Journal blog: http://LiveCodejournal.com/blog.irv

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