From: Mark E. Shoulson (email@example.com)
Date: Tue May 27 2008 - 06:06:31 CDT
Russ Stygall wrote:
> Could any of the users of the word "stateful" tell me what they mean
> by the word, and could they then put an entry into Wikipedia for
> everyone else?
It means something that can can be in one of several "states", by which
we mean that a given action or input or whatever can mean different
things depending on some other information, namely the "state" that the
system is in at the time.
So in some editors, when you're in one mode, the "k" key might mean
"move up one line", and in another mode it might mean "insert the letter
k here." Regarding David Starner's statement:
> Generally, things that are stateful, like language tagging
> and italics are not considered plain text.
which I presume is the origin of this question, the reference is to the
fact that things like language tagging and italics affect some
persistent memory of the system reading the text. When you hit a "begin
English-language text" tag, you have to remember, when interpreting
text, that it should be interpreted according to English-language
conventions, until you hit the "end" tag. That is, you have to remember
you are in English-language state. Same with italics. To a renderer, a
"k" in italic-mode is not the same as a "k" in Roman mode: they get
represented with different glyphs.
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