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Re: more M4sh documentation

From: Paul Eggert
Subject: Re: more M4sh documentation
Date: Wed, 22 Mar 2006 15:20:24 -0800
User-agent: Gnus/5.1007 (Gnus v5.10.7) Emacs/21.4 (gnu/linux)

Stepan Kasal <address@hidden> writes:

>> First, this is backwards (the if- and the if-not).
> No, I think Ralf has it right.

My mistake; thanks.

> Your formulation is not exact either.  In my eyes, the string '$' cannot 
> contain
> indirection, so it's an imperfectness of AS_LITERAL_IF.


>> > The macro
>> > +only approximates the answer, as some literals will not be recognized as
>> > +such.
> Actually, I prefer Ralf's wording; the macro is an approximation, with a skew
> to one side.  But it usually doesn't mind if certain literals are treated as 
> if
> they were not literals.

This is all clear in our heads, but I still think the wording in
Ralf's proposal is fuzzy.  Perhaps examples will help.

As far as wording goes, the usual phrase for this in English is
"conservative approximation", but to understand this phrase we need to
know what we're conserving.

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