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Re: understandings maths

From: Sandro Hawke <sandro@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 01 May 2012 08:29:05 -0400
To: Antoine Zimmermann <antoine.zimmermann@emse.fr>
Cc: Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, public-rdf-wg@w3.org
Message-ID: <1335875345.27977.52.camel@waldron>
On Tue, 2012-05-01 at 09:53 +0200, Antoine Zimmermann wrote:
> Thanks for writing this, Sandro.
> 
> Of course, I understand that there are different skills at different 
> levels and people are not necessarily checking everything. I was never 
> assuming that everyone is willing to check the dirty details. But my 
> assumption is that the people who are interested in the matter of a 
> specific question (like Pat and I are for the semantics, like Eric, Andy 
> and Gavin are for the Turtle grammar) will spend the effort to 
> understand the technicalities, and they'll manage.
> That's what I meant: we all have the capacities to understand the 
> details of what we are interested in, when we decide to spend the effort 
> (at least that's what I presume).
> 
> But my point was actually to say that you can't avoid putting the 
> technical details with the excuse that most people won't read them. You 
> can't avoid putting the grammar in place, even if only 3 or 4 people are 
> going to read it through. You can't define a formal semantics with 
> "just" English sentences.
> That's the important message, sorry if it was awkwardly formulated.

Thanks, yes.

Part of what's awkward here is that we need to keep going back and forth
in level of technical detail, in this discussion, because yes, we need
to be precise, but we also need to avoid drifting too far from what the
rest of the group wants.  I expect we'll handle this now by just being a
little more clear who we're addressing, and responding with that
understanding -- that sometimes a message was phrased for a different
audience than one of us, but now that person really wants to rephrased
for them.

   -- Sandro


> 
> --AZ
> 
> Le 01/05/2012 03:35, Sandro Hawke a écrit :
> > 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 12:29:16 GMT

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