W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-rdf-wg@w3.org > May 2012

understandings maths

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 30 Apr 2012 21:35:49 -0400
To: Antoine Zimmermann <antoine.zimmermann@emse.fr>
Cc: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, public-rdf-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <1335836150.9663.1088.camel@waldron>
On Sun, 2012-04-29 at 12:47 +0200, Antoine Zimmermann wrote:
> 
> It is the most important part. It provides the technical details that 
> allow one to implement it. In order to be able to compare it to the 
> other existing proposal, you need to get the definitions straight. 
> People of this working group, all being highly educated I suppose, 
> understand maths. 

Everyone brings different skills, abilities, interests, and background
to this group.  One has to make some assumptions in order to
communicate, but for this kind of group we have to be willing to
accommodate everyone, rethinking our assumptions, hopefully without too
much grumbling.  I don't think everyone in this group understands the
math you're using.  

What I've seen in past WGs which issued Recommendations using formal
semantics was that (1) some people were confident they understood them,
(2) some people had a general understanding but probably wouldn't notice
a bug, and (3) some people didn't even try.   [I'm somewhere between 2
and 3.]  Even people in group 3 felt confident voting for the spec,
however, because they trusted that when the people in group 1 all agreed
about a factual matter, it was probably true.   So people in the
previous RDF WG could generally understand an entailment test case, and
took the word of the experts that the model theory supported that test
case. 

Of course this kind of thing applies to all corners of the work, not
just formal semantics.   When Eric, Andy, and Gavin claim the turtle
grammar is LL(1), do we all check?  Do we all know what LL(1) means?
Probably not, but that's okay.  We trust that if the experts who care
about it talk it through and come to an agreement, that's probably good
enough.   So it's fine for the experts to talk in the appropriate
jargon, but at the end of the day, they also need to bring it down to
some language everyone understands.

    -- Sandro
Received on Tuesday, 1 May 2012 01:36:00 GMT

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