[swift-evolution] SE-0025: Scoped Access Level, next steps

Paul Ossenbruggen possen at gmail.com
Tue Mar 29 08:23:16 CDT 2016

> On Mar 29, 2016, at 12:32 AM, Andrey Tarantsov via swift-evolution <swift-evolution at swift.org> wrote:
>> public (unchanged)
>> external (module access)
>> internal (file access)
>> private (scoped access)
> This seems logical and something I could live with, but how is it better than moduleprivate and fileprivate? Also, internal has contradictory prior art in C# and Swift 2 (not that it stops us).
> And I see the length of moduleprivate and fileprivate as a feature, and external/internal lacks it.

It is better than moduleprivate and fileprivate in that it is a single word which is easier to to read and there is less typing. Less typing even with autocomplete is a benefit. Once you know its meaning, that both are relative to file access, you won’t have to look it up. Also, just noticed this, when I type multiword keywords in an email program or chat program autocorrect butts in. This is of practical value because much work is done in chat and email programs. 

Simpler is better if it sufficiently conveys the meaning and it does in this case. The expectation with most keywords are that they be single words, especially ones that are used the most. 

There is a nice symmetry to internal/external and public/private.

If external/internal refer to the file, then we don’t need the multiword descriptive versions.  Also, if we decide later that scoping to namespaces is desired these same already reserved keywords give us more flexibility than the more specific keywords would allow. Internal/external could refer to the namespace scope rather than the file scope if it is inside a namespace (this is beyond the scope of the proposal but trying to think ahead). By not explicitly stating the scope you gain flexibility 

- Paul

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