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RE: Principle of Least Power (was Re: Agenda of 7 February 2006 T AG teleconference)

From: Bullard, Claude L (Len) <len.bullard@intergraph.com>
Date: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 13:43:42 -0600
Message-ID: <15725CF6AFE2F34DB8A5B4770B7334EE0BB1FE42@hq1.ingr-corp.com>
To: "'Henry S. Thompson'" <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com
Cc: Vincent.Quint@inrialpes.fr, www-tag@w3.org

I wish there were language comparisons that grounded this 
principle in examples.  To repeat from XML-Dev:

When selecting a language, how does one know when it has the 'least power'?

o  Is Assembler less or more powerful than C?

o  Is C less or more powerful than C++?

o  Is Lisp less or more powerful than Prolog?

o  Is RDF less or more powerful than Conceptual Graphs?

o  Are Conceptual Graphs more or less powerful than Topic Maps?

o  Are DTDs less or more powerful than Schematron?

A principle or axiom is of no value without the rules for applying it. 
At least some examples?


From: www-tag-request@w3.org [mailto:www-tag-request@w3.org]

I realise I'm not altogether happy about the degree of vagueness of
the appeal to 'power' in the current draft.

In particular, I think we need to distinguish between expressiveness
on the one hand and formal complexity on the other, whether worst-case
time/space complexity or formal-language-theory complexity.

Expressive richness is not necessarily 'bad' complexity -- consider
boolean logic expressed with 0, 1 and Shaeffer stroke (== exclusive
or) versus boolean logic expressed with and, or, implication and
negation -- the latter is both more complex and _much_ easier to work
with, but at _no_ additional cost.

I think I'd be much happier if this were made clearer.

Received on Tuesday, 7 February 2006 19:43:47 UTC

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