"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.
From: Michael Everson [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
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
>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 *** http://www.evertype.com
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