groups and background

Dar Scott dsc at
Sat Dec 28 14:01:01 EST 2002

On Saturday, December 28, 2002, at 04:19 AM, Geoff Canyon wrote:

> First, forget about the backgroundBehavior property. It has nothing to 
> do with the use of the terms "background" and "group"

Well, one might assume that "backgrounds" is the plural of "background" 
and this is not the case in "the backgrounds".

Also, you might say "forget", but that does not address the issue of any 
newbie who reads about setting the backgroundBehavior to true and thinks 
he is creating a "background".  Yeah, I was perhaps adding to the 
confusion in calling groups with backgroundBehavior set to true 
backgrounds; I was thinking of "background" as stack group as aberrant.

What word would you suggest for "a group or background whose 
backgroundBehavior is true".  Are we to use that long phrase?

What word would you suggest for "a group whether referenced as a group 
or as a background"?

> Just realized I haven't answered the actual question. The number of 
> backgrounds on both cards is 2 because it's relative to the stack: the 
> number of backgrounds is _always_ the same across all the cards of a 
> stack.

Yes.  I noticed that and that is a good thing.

> It's 2 rather than 3 because groups that are nested in other groups 
> don't count as backgrounds.

That is what I suspected, but I didn't run the tests, so I didn't 
mention it above.

Now this is just weird.  And I claim it is confusing.

The only way I can think of to get the real number of backgrounds (in 
this sense, that is, the total number of groups in a stack including 
nested groups) is to iterate through them until an error occurs.

> The number of groups on card 1 is 3 because all three groups are on 
> that card. The number of groups on card 2 is 1 because there is only 
> one group -- c -- placed on it.


Thanks for the info on what the number of backgrounds actually counts.  
I guess that was a question.

But the bigger question (the one I had in mind in illustrating that 
"background" is confusing) is how to think about and how to communicate 
about these concepts.

The related question that perhaps should be asked is whether we should 
ask for or suggest that this whole area is simplified, cleaned up and 
made more powerful as well as easier to understand.

Dar Scott

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