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"BackFollow", May it RIP.
- To: <xanatech>
- Subject: "BackFollow", May it RIP.
- From: Bob Perez <bobp>
- Date: Thu, 8 Feb 90 10:26:24 PST
As I said in Tuesday's Planning Session, I think the term "Backfollow"
needs to be changed (for outside purposes, at least). Since a
"backfollow" operation doesn't result in following anything,
the term is inaccurate and should be changed on this basis alone.
But when I think of how confusing the whole issue of link
was to me when I first heard it described, I realize now that
"backfollow" contributed to this confusion needlessly.
I've thought of a couple of alternatives. Originally I thought
of "Dereferencing a document", something any programmer would
understand. I rejected this quickly after realizing that even
greater confusion would result because programmers have it all
backwards! That is, one would think that the act of dereferencing
a thing would result in the thing which does the referencing,
rather than the referenced object itself. Oh well.
So then I thought about "BackReferencing a document", which was
equally descriptive but still bothered me for some reason. I
think it's the "back" reference (arrgh) that bothered me,
raising the issue of directionality again. And it sounds awkward.
So how about something plain and simple, like "FindLinks"? The
advantages of this term are also its weakness: simplicity. Backfollow
_sounds_ like something
new and revolutionary. "FindLinks" doesn't inspire a similar
awe in me. Nevertheless, I've started using it. I'm keeping my
Search & Replace guns loaded, though, just in case.
I'm interested in any thoughts people have on this subject. The
revision of the Xanadu System Overview Document is likely to
be the one that developers first start reading, and I plan on
having a new term in place before that happens.