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Re: On schema quality and schema limitations

From: Dominique HazaŽl-Massieux <dom@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 15:31:56 +0200
To: Alex Rousskov <rousskov@measurement-factory.com>
Cc: www-qa@w3.org
Message-Id: <1081863116.17227.265.camel@stratustier>
Le ven 09/04/2004 ŗ 17:37, Alex Rousskov a ťcrit :
> I believe going down the path outlined by the above questions may be a
> mistake. Since formal language is formal and English language is not,
> it is not possible to establish their formal equivalence without
> converting English to something formal (which would defeat the
> original purpose).

Well, except in the case where that's what you actually want to do (see

> A good specification must not duplicate formal-language requirements
> in English prose. 

But in the given case, the English prose specification pre-exists to the
formal one ; and the formal specification is in fact mainly used for
validation and formalization purposes ; more generally, given that the
expressive power of English is much larger than the expressive power of
any formal language, you cannot necessarily transform all the
requirements you want to set in formal language requirements ; in
particular, there may always be cases that cannot be expressed in the
formal language that would be refined by the prose.

BTW, I've started a Wiki page on this topic, since I found it quite
Formal Language Vs Prose

It's probably better to continue the discussion on this thread for now,
but my hope is that this page can be used to capture the gist of it.


Dominique HazaŽl-Massieux - http://www.w3.org/People/Dom/

Received on Tuesday, 13 April 2004 09:32:03 UTC

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