1. <*theory*> (Or "finite", "isolated") In domain theory, an
element d of a cpo D is compact if and only if, for any
chain S, a subset of D,

d <= lub S => there exists s in S such that d <= s.I.e. you always reach d (or better) after a finite number of steps up the chain.

("<=" is written in LaTeX as \sqsubseteq).

Last updated: 1995-01-13

2. <*jargon*> Of a design, describes the valuable property that
it can all be apprehended at once in one's head. This
generally means the thing created from the design can be used
with greater facility and fewer errors than an equivalent tool
that is not compact. Compactness does not imply triviality or
lack of power; for example, C is compact and Fortran is
not, but C is more powerful than Fortran. Designs become
non-compact through accreting features and cruft that
don't merge cleanly into the overall design scheme (thus, some
fans of Classic C maintain that ANSI C is no longer
compact).

Last updated: 2008-10-13

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Copyright Denis Howe 1985