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Re: Syntax and semantics

From: W. E. Perry <wperry@fiduciary.com>
Date: Tue, 16 May 2000 19:45:48 -0400
Message-ID: <3921DDAC.C5DC2F45@fiduciary.com>
To: Andrew Layman <andrewl@microsoft.com>, xml-uri@w3.org
Thank you for your kind words, but I must insist that I am not, nor am I much
interested in, making any broad philosophic statement. If in my postings I
appear dilettantish, then I apologize, as I am in this discussion to help reach
a workable consensus on which functional software can be built. I earn my living
building processes which work, and whatever the W3C decides on this issue will
have a material effect on how I must do that.

I have very recent experience in implementing a solution to what I believe is
the general case of this problem. Not only do I believe my work there to have
direct application to the present subject of relative namespace
names/identifiers, but I am convinced that a solution to that particular problem
must actually be sufficiently broad to cover the general case of processing
markup/content as, for different but simultaneous purposes, both syntax and
semantics. If I have not made clear that my interest is more than casual and my
proposed solution more than vague, then I apologize for my imprecision.

As for your remark for the record that, under  what you imagine is my proposal,
'no communication could ever take place (there would be no way to start and
nothing to talk about)', I have demonstrated publicly (most recently at XTech,
also at XML One London 1999, and on an ongoing basis before the New York XML
SIG) the specific processes by which message content conformant to the XML 1.0
Recommendation, but of minimal semantic weight is exchanged to establish the
basis of a conversation between two previously anonymous nodes, and messages of
increasingly greater semantic content are then exchanged to the point that a
transaction may be executed, then settled, then property delivered, then
regulatory reporting and other requirements met. It is important to me to expand
the potential milieu for such transactions as widely as possible, which is the
specific reason for my participation in this discussion.

Respectfully,

Walter Perry


Andrew Layman wrote:

> With all respect, if I understand Mr. Perry correctly, this is intended to
> be a broad philosophic statement about all communication generally, and in
> addition, to be a claim of metaphysical indefiniteness.  I do not wish to
> argue the deep philosophical principle here, but I would like to be on
> record as disagreeing with it, and observing that if it were literally true,
> no communication could ever take place (there would be no way to start and
> nothing to talk about).  Given that the goals of this W3C endeavor include
> the establishment of standards for communication, the ability to communicate
> is presumed, and it is further presumed in the mere fact of participating in
> discussion that the cosmos permits sufficient lawfullness and continuity
> that one can integrate later events with earlier ones.
>
> I say this, in all friendliness, not to open up a large philosophic debate
> but to avoid an unpromising avenue so that we can concentrate on
> standardizing some of the durable aspects of communication, including taking
> advantage of many of the very valuable things that Mr. Perry points out,
> such as the desirability of negotiation and the advantages of open-world
> designs.
Received on Tuesday, 16 May 2000 19:45:51 UTC

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