n.— «A tuple is neither an exotic fungus nor an adults-only entertainment. Defined with misleading simplicity as “a series of typed values,” the tuple can be to distributed computing what a base pair is to a molecule of DNA: Tuples carry information and provide their own form of organization—in a manner that may seem inefficient—but they enable adaptation to situations not foreseeable when a system was conceived. A simple tuple might be something like “‘John Doe,’ 2/25/1980, 123-45-6789”: a series comprising a character string, a date and a Social Security number. Pattern-matching algorithms readily match such “tuple signatures,” with or without mechanisms for “don’t care” values or for binding pieces of tuples to the variables in a computer program.» —“Tuple Data Model Faces Real World” by Peter Coffee eWeek Aug. 27, 2001. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

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