RE: terminology

From: Murray Sargent (
Date: Thu May 02 2002 - 15:59:23 EDT

"Sentinel" is fairly commonly used in computer science and program code for data delimiters. "Delimiter" is also a good word for this (I use it in RichEdit code), but one may well use "delimiter" to describe a quote character (like U+0022), whereas I've never seen "sentinel" used for a quote. As such "sentinel" seems less ambiguous for Unicode code points like U+FDD0 - U+FDEF. It would be interesting to know if anyone is using these Unicode "noncharacters" for purposes other than sentinels.

        -----Original Message-----
        From: Michael Everson []
        Sent: Thu 2002/05/02 09:25
        Subject: Re: terminology

        At 15:15 -0400 2002-05-02, Tex Texin wrote:
>Sentinel does have a meaning in software, an extension of "guard" to
>mean a delimiting value.
>For instance of usage, see:
        Try finding another software meaning using this word, please, not one
        from Unicode.
>Besides, we are creating terms and definitions here. Like Humpty Dumpty
>says "words mean exactly what I want them to mean." ;-)
        And in the world of internationalization this stuff has to be
        translated. It has to make sense. Quick-and-dirty Californian
        "definitions" cause problems for other people in the world because
        the images or idioms may not be universal. Sentinal does not seem to
        me to be equivalent to "literal". "Delimiter" seems better.
        Michael Everson *** Everson Typography ***

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