Use of abbreviations in scripts

Richard Gaskin ambassador at
Sat Oct 14 22:38:25 EDT 2006

Dar Scott wrote:
> I get the impressions that lots of folks use abbreviations.
> I didn't realize this at first and in learning to use Revolution I  
> ending up abbreviating only two places (I think).  I abbreviate  
> 'char' and--since I have trouble remembering color properties--I  
> might sometimes use a color property that is an abbreviation.  (My  
> abbreviation of 'char' has nothing to do with C.)  Maybe I abbreviate  
> other places but don't know it.  For me, 'card' and 'graphic' are  
> easier to read and type than 'cd' and 'grc'.  I saw a 'grc' once in a  
> script and didn't know what it was.
> I am curious.  Is this so the text editor window can be narrower or  
> expressions longer?  Is this kind of a club recognition signal?  Is  
> this easier to type for those who use these.  I suppose I could get  
> used to typing and reading them, so I don't want to make too big of a  
> deal about their being harder to read and type.  What about scripts  
> delivered to a customer?

Abbreviations in xTalk go back to the mother tongue, HyperTalk. 
Presumably abbreviations were implemented for the same benefit they 
provide in natural language:  They provide a convenient alternative 
which makes writing more streamlined.

I started out using only a few ("bg" is an easy choice over 
"background"), but a while back I was a one-armed typist for a year and 
during that time every character was critical so I loved finding ways to 
type as little as possible.  Even though I've been typing "normally" for 
many years since, I still love saving a few milliseconds -- and 
thousands of lines later those savings add up.

Abbreviations are well documented in the Dictionary so I feel confident 
using them liberally, even in code for clients and in published 
libraries.   Abbreviations are a useful feature of xTalks, and since 
they have benefit for the user I see no harm and some good in helping 
share awareness of the benefit of that feature.

Interestingly, the "abbreviated" token also has an abbreviated form: 
"abbrev".  :)

  Richard Gaskin
  Managing Editor, revJournal
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