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Re: [PRD] ACTION-531 Update PRD examples complete

From: Gary Hallmark <gary.hallmark@oracle.com>
Date: Fri, 20 Jun 2008 12:58:51 -0700
Message-ID: <485C0BFB.9090908@oracle.com>
To: Christian de Sainte Marie <csma@ilog.fr>
CC: RIF WG <public-rif-wg@w3.org>

You are arguing that we need 2 presentation syntaxes to cover 2 dialects 
that are (intentionally) 90% or more the same.
None of your arguments are technical, and may never be so without some 
scientific characterization of this mythical "target crowd" of yours.  I 
have no interest in doing that.  Why don't I just insist that my target 
audience has just read BLD and would like to see the very first PRD 
example looking so similar to BLD that they immediately "get it" that we 
have done work to bridge the two communities?  Now I have both a 
technical argument and a "crowd pleasing" argument.

You really think people want to wade through a line by line comparison 
of the XML to find out that in spite of our best efforts to fool them 
with different PS, BLD and PRD are pretty close?

Christian de Sainte Marie wrote:
> </Chair>
> </Editor>
> <OnlyMyOwnHatAsCSMA>
> Gary,
>
> Hmmm... We seem to be deadlocked :-( How do we progress from here?
> And I disagree with almost everything, as applied to the PS!
>
> I perfectly agree to all your arguments below... as applied to the XML 
> syntax!
>
> I do not know if that is a technical argument or not, but the 
> presentation syntax is for human readibility, and the only point of 
> having a human-readable syntax, as I understand it, is to talk a 
> language that is closer to the one your target is using than the XML 
> syntax.
>
> If we decide to use a language that is rather farther from the 
> language our target audience uses than the XML syntax, we miss the 
> point (hence my reference to our target crowd usage; the point is 
> *not* that "we want them to like us", as you put it rather 
> disparagingly).
>
> Especially if the reason to do so is at best arbitrary: if it were 
> really an objective of RIF that the presentation syntaxes of the 
> action and logic branches be as close as possible, then we should 
> redesign the PS of BLD so that it works as well as possible with both 
> communities (that could have been an option, but it is not anymore so 
> close to BLD LC).
>
> But this is not an objective of RIF, as far as I understand: the XML 
> syntax is the interchange format; the PS is only a non-normative, 
> convenience device to make the specification easier to read. According 
> to that criterion, using a PS that is so far away from the widespread 
> usage of the targeted reader misses the point, again. The device to 
> make the overlap between PRD and BLD visible is the comparison table 
> (which is a much better device - in the sense: much more informative 
> and much more precise; and this is a technical argument).
>
> Btw, a simple technical argument to avoid using the PS in the 
> introduction of PRD is that it has not been defined at that point, and 
> that the reader has no clue what it is. It is usually considered good 
> practice not to use a notion or a notation until it has been defined, 
> unless it is informally and the average targeted reader can be 
> expected to understand the notion or notation, at least at an informal 
> level.
>
> Gary Hallmark wrote:
>>
>> I am unmoved by your repeated non-technical worries that "the PR 
>> crowd won't like us".  (And to have a schism based on what comes 
>> first, the "if" or the "then", is truly straight from Gulliver's 
>> Travels)
>
> What comes first is only one tiny part of the issue. The main point is 
> to make it clear at first glance that we are dealing with our target 
> community issues.
>
> Like, using as a running example something they can immediately 
> identify as being their kind of rules, at the level of rule complexety 
> they care about (ok; I agree that that last part of the sentence is 
> more debatable; but, here, the technical argument is that the running 
> example must be complex enough to be used to examplify most if not all 
> of PRD features).
>
>> I would like to hear some technical arguments.  My argument is that 
>> by definition of "rule interchange format", the default should be 
>> that PRD and BLD are aligned.
>
> What is the technically compelling argument for that, again? I mean, 
> wrt the PS?
>
> :-)
>
>> Obviously, from a technical point of view (the only one that I really 
>> care about here) the syntax and semantics should overlap to the 
>> greatest extent possible. [...]  It's not a rule language!  It's a 
>> (mostly) common language for interchange.
>
> Absolutely agree wrt the XML syntax. No idea why this should be true 
> re the PS.
>
>> I certainly don't mind including your informal PS as a "comment" to 
>> the BLD-derived PS I added to the document.
>
> Shouldn't the formal PS be added as a comment to the informal one, 
> instead, on the tune of: this is how it looks like in the 
> non-normative PS that we specify in section 2.5 (but do not be afraid, 
> PRD does not require in any way that you translate your rule in the 
> PRD PS, nor that you change what your rules look like in your own PR 
> language :-)
>
>>  But there is already an equivalent English description, clause for 
>> clause. 
>
> Maybe we can get rid of that one: it is not any easier to understand, 
> anyway, apparently (see Paul comments [1] and Adrian rewriting).
>
> [1] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-rif-wg/2008Jun/0097.html
>
>> But you cannot just throw my work away without a technical reason why 
>> we should not clearly show the large overlap between BLD and PRD 
>> because this is precisely what we've been trying to do with RIF!
>
> I am sorry if I gave the impression that I wanted to just throw your 
> work away: it is not the case at all, and I fully appreciate your 
> contribution.
>
> It seems that the whole point boils down to a diagreement wrt what we 
> are trying to do with RIF: my understanding is that we are trying to 
> have useful and widely adopted dialects that interoperate as much as 
> possible and as transparently as possible for the users; I believe 
> that to "interoperate as much as possible" requires that they share 
> the same XML syntax everywhere their semantics agree and that 
> "usefulness and wide adoption" as well as "transparent interoperation" 
> require that they differ everywhere it makes them more appealing to 
> their own target audience (which includes not only different features, 
> but a different way to talk to the different audiences).
>
> Cheers,
>
> Christian
>
>
Received on Friday, 20 June 2008 20:01:57 GMT

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