I am thinking about decoupling the shape of a Field from the number of components of a Variable.

The current state of affairs is that the field shape defines the components of related variables, but in reality the FE base is always scalar, applied to each component of a vector variable separately. This is in contrast with truely vector FE spaces like the edge elements used for the Maxwell equations.

To fix that I propose:

1. For scalar FE approximations the field shape will ve 1 - this is for all examples we have.

2. Variable syntax will be changed to allow for the number of components.

Apart from the clean-up reasons, it will be IMHO easier to implement the edge elements then.