[XML-SIG] Ugh! Why are DOM access methods spelled with a leading '_'?

Uche Ogbuji uogbuji@fourthought.com
Sun, 25 Jun 2000 18:13:14 -0600

> On Sun, Jun 25, 2000 at 10:08:38AM -0600, Uche Ogbuji wrote:
> > > > Jim Fulton wrote:
> > 
> > > I've also looked at http://www.omg.org/cgi-bin/doc?ptc/00-01-12,
> > > which is similar and also leaves attribute mapping unspecified. :(
> > 
> > Just as a note to all, on the do-sig, Jim was already pointed to the right 
> > clause in the Python/CORBA mapping, and Martin von Lowis also explained why it 
> > is so (avoiding IDL name-clashes).
> > 
> > The remaining debate is whether to follow the Python/CORBA mapping.  I say, no 
> > reason not to do so.  There is nothing normative about leading "_" being 
> > private that I know of.  It ends up being a question of style versus spec 
> > unification, and I'm always wont to go for the latter.
> Nothing normative? Come on. That is simply an antagonistic position.

That is simply unfair.

> "from foo import *" is bad taste, but it codifies the notion of "_" being
> private. (symbols starting with "_" are not imported)

I was not aware of this (I never use from foo import *).  It is definitely a 
point in the leading-underscore-haters camp.

> Years and years of "_" usage meaning "private" also codify it. And you say
> "normative" ... what? Do we need to write an RFC to satisfy you? And do you
> also recognize that many things that occur in the RFC are there simply
> because they *ARE* de facto standards?

The use of leading "__" to indicate private is not in any RFC as I know it, 
yet I'm understand it to be normative.  So it's not so hard to convince me.

> I believe it is an entirely untenable position to state that "_" does not
> mean "private".

So you believe.  Maybe you can make me believe the same.

> IMO, the Python/CORBA mapping is simply stupid if it demands leading
> underscores for any public item. Way stupid, and totally ignorant of
> Python's de facto standards.

Strongly stated, but hardly conclusive, I think.  The "from foo import *" is 
the closest you came to actually justifying why the Python/CORBA mapping is 
"stupid".  Even that, IMO, is not conclusive because it has about the strength 
of its own obverse: "never use 'from foo import *'".

Uche Ogbuji                               Principal Consultant
uche.ogbuji@fourthought.com               +01 303 583 9900 x 101
Fourthought, Inc.                         http://Fourthought.com 
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