on the philosophical aspects of a specification

Bowerbird at aol.com Bowerbird at aol.com
Thu Mar 6 15:22:22 EST 2008

aristotle said:

> The reasoning I outlined in questions

> [I've taken the liberty to re-insert the quotation you elided]

> shows that the premises do not support the argument.

your questions created a straw-man.

i agreed that the exact same input should create the same output.
it'd be ludicrous to say anything else. that's why it's a straw-man...

then i went on to the _real_ question, which is whether or not
_similar_ input interpretable by human beings in different ways
should be "regularized" by a spec for implementer convenience,
which i opined would seem contrary to markdown's philosophy...

> That means, like it or not, that the argument is fallacious.

your straw-man was fallacious. straw-men always are.

> Users can very well be wrong according to Markdown.

> As John has said, if a human would have trouble figuring out

> what structure some piece of text is supposed to signify,

> the computer can be forgiven for likewise failing to infer

> a useful meaning.

and here we have another straw-man. get over it. please.

a situation where "a human would have trouble figuring out"
the interpretation is _not_ the situation that's troubling to me.
it's patently obvious that doesn't meet the spirit of markdown.

the situation that's troubling is where one set of input is clear,
while another set of similar-but-not-identical input leads to
an interpretation that is _different_ yet still _equally-clear_,
but you can't easily write routines to differentiate the two, so
you have the spec disallow one of 'em because that's an easy
"solution", even though it disenfranchises one of the users...

the question is "who is the boss?" -- the spec, or the users?


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