. Re: cross-stack globals, also, file inclusion

Rob Cozens rcozens at pon.net
Sat Oct 25 10:58:22 EDT 2003

Hi Martin,

>I would see global constants as a worthwhile
>addition, and while mimicing them with variables is obviously workable
>right now, I don't think it's really equivalent, or as good a solution.

I must note that, while Alex's global constant concept struck a chord 
with me, it isn't getting much support from the XTalks List.  And at 
some point I realized that, just as global variables must be declared 
in each script that uses them, so it would be for global constants.

>Rob's file inclusion idea (if I understand it right) of in effect supplying
>the arguments to a global constant declaration from an included file, would
>seem like a potentially useful and elegant capability too.

Include file support has been around since FORTRAN at least. 
Generally, include files are lines of source code that are compiled 
inline with the source code in which they are nested; thus allowing 
the included logic to appear in multiple applications while 
maintaining just one copy of the source statements.

One common use of include files is to declare variables and record 
structures.  This is a bigger issue in Pascal, PL/1, Modula, etc. 
than Revolution, since one does not have to type variables and one 
cannot define a record structure in Transcript.  However, an include 
facility would allow me to declare all 260+ constants to any script 
via one "include" statement per script instead of the number of 
statements necessary to define any of the 263 constants that appear 
in that script...and to make a change in one source file & 
incorporate the change into every stack that uses it.

It occurs to me that, for what I want to accomplish, perhaps my focus 
should be more on "compiler directives" or symbol tables than a 
generalized include capability.  In essence, what I want is the 
ability to declare symbol names & values to the compiler.  If support 
for data structures and tool box names were included in such symbol 
tables, we would be one step closer to supporting direct access to 
system calls via Transcript.

Rob Cozens
CCW, Serendipity Software Company

"And I, which was two fooles, do so grow three;
Who are a little wise, the best fooles bee."

from "The Triple Foole" by John Donne (1572-1631)

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