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My general question is; Is they a way to explain loops (or the traversal of a collection) to customers, without any understanding in informatics ? For example an analogy that everybody could understand.

I'm creating a templating engine designed for users that use Microsoft Word a lot, but don't have a good understanding of how Informatics work.

The aim of the templating engine is to simplify the creation of DocX, so you don't have to enter the name of your client, for each document you create for them. A database (or any backend) can save the corresponding data.

Here's how I planned to demonstrate the library:

Tagged Document

=================>

Document output

Howewer, for more complex documents, data can be added for each element in a collection

The syntax I used is the mustache-like syntax:

when using

{#clients}
{first_name} {last_name}
{/clients}

it will result in

John Doe
Jane Doe
Eric Frank

Here's how I was planning to explain it to customers:

Tagged Loop Document

=================>

enter image description here

Howewer, when testing this with real, it didn't seem very easy to understand.

Is they a way to explain loops (or the traversal of a collection) to customers, without any understanding in informatics ?

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1 Answer

I propose to use colon symbol (:) for loops. It contains appropriate semantics:

A colon is used to explain or start an enumeration.

So, try {clients:} instead.

The ending tag could be:

  • {clients.} – save semantics, but maybe not very visible
  • {:clients} – more consistent with starting tag
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that's an interesting idea. Unfortunately they isn't a symbol to stop an enumeration. Should I just continue using {/clients} for ending an enumeration ? –  edi9999 Jun 19 '13 at 9:27
    
It is you who creates the rules! But continuing the semantic stuff, could you use period as end symbol? {clients.} –  Alexey Kolchenko Jun 19 '13 at 9:36
    
+1 and I prefer the {:clients} ending tag. It is more consistent and more visible/recognisable. –  Marjan Venema Jun 19 '13 at 20:09
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