W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-tag@w3.org > September 2006

Re: Re-expressing our formalisation of Language

From: <noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2006 20:08:12 -0400
To: Dan Connolly <connolly@w3.org>
Cc: "Henry S. Thompson" <ht@inf.ed.ac.uk>, Pat Hayes <phayes@ihmc.us>, www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFC1D467E9.4D307EAD-ON852571E4.00004A5F-852571E4.0000C09B@lotus.com>

Dan Connolly wrote:

> On Wed, 2006-09-06 at 19:01 -0400, noah_mendelsohn@us.ibm.com wrote:
> > Dan Connolly writes:
> > 
> > > I'd be happy to go with the conventions. I find the wikipedia 
> > > article pretty nice to start from
> > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathematical_logic
> > 
> > Gee, I'm really torn about that.  On the one hand, as one 
> who's not expert 
> > in those areas, I'm very excited to discover that these 
> formalisms have 
> > been so carefully developed.  Not reinventing the wheel seemslike the 
> > right approach. 
> > 
> > Having said that, David Orchard was on the call making the 
> case that even 
> > my relatively simple efforts to present set theoretic approaches 
> > separately from programmatic descriptions like XML Schema 
> were a step away 
> > from the sort of approachable commonsense explanations that 
> our readers 
> > will be looking for.  Honestly, I find that wikipedia article
> tough going, 
> yes... it took me about 18 months, somewhere between 1998 and 2003, to
> get it. 

That's a relief.  I'm feeling less stupid already!

> On the other hand, 18 months is not all that long compared to the
> lifetime of the TAG versioning issue

Agreed.  My concern is that, compared to the time most readers want to 
spend with a TAG finding, it's a bit on the long side.  Seriously, I'd 
love to find a way to use whichever existing formalisms as the 
underpinning for something good, but only if we can manage to explain it 
in commonsense terms that would be of value to the typical finding reader 
who's looking for straightforward (if deeply reasonsed) advice on 
versioning their Web languages.   Early returns suggest that I may have as 
much as 17.5 months to go before I'm competent to have an intuition as to 
whether that's practical using these formalisms.  Still, an interesting 

Noah Mendelsohn 
IBM Corporation
One Rogers Street
Cambridge, MA 02142
Received on Saturday, 9 September 2006 00:08:29 UTC

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