RE: define 'comma'?

Subject: RE: define 'comma'?
From: Andy -dot- Kubrin -at- tanner -dot- com
To: "Techwr-l (E-mail)" <TECHWR-L -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 4 Nov 1999 14:13:08 -0800


You asked

> In a manual, where name_pairs are separated by a comma, is it
> appropriate to
> include a comma in brackets after the word 'comma'?
> Like this:
> The name_pairs are separated by a comma ( , ).
> Who doesn't know what a comma is? Well, maybe lots of people
> don't... hm.
> Opinions?

In a syntax diagram, you want to differentiate between what is variable and
what the user must literally type. So in a syntax diagram, the line might
look something like:

name_pair[,name_pair ...]

with the variable name_pair in italics and the literal comma in boldface.
If additional name_pairs are optional, you would enclose them brackets in
plain type--neither italic nor bold. The plain type ellipsis points would
indicate that the name_pair parameter is repeatable.

But I think it's also useful to put an explicit statement in the text, like
the one in your message.

Hope this helps.


Andy Kubrin
Manager, Documentation Group
Tanner Research, Inc. E-mail
andy -dot- kubrin -at- tanner -dot- com
2650 E. Foothill Blvd. Phone (626) 792-3000
Pasadena, CA 91107 Fax (626) 432-5705

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