on the philosophical aspects of a specification

Aristotle Pagaltzis pagaltzis at gmx.de
Mon Mar 3 06:36:33 EST 2008

* Bowerbird at aol.com <Bowerbird at aol.com> [2008-03-03 07:00]:

> i would prefer that implementers get more sophisticated

> about teasing out the user's intent in "ambiguous" cases.

If every implementor teases a different intent out the same
document, the user loses.

Is it possible for everyone to agree in all cases about how the
user’s intent should be teased out? Clearly it is conceivable
that enough effort could be made to write all agreements down.

And if you write down what intent should be teased out of
particular inputs, what have you created but a spec? And if the
effort has been made to agree on all possible cases, would this
spec not be unambiguous? And is it not yet obviously the case
that such a spec would not need to be inflexible about the syntax
it admits?

Why then does the fallacious argument that a spec would represent
a loss for the user continue?

Aristotle Pagaltzis // <http://plasmasturm.org/>

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