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[REBOL] Re: Bug! in assignment to date! values with stackedset-pathvalues

From: lmecir::mbox::vol::cz at: 13-Nov-2002 13:58

> When faced with the question of "What does this do?": > > - Computing Scientists say, "Let's derive it from basic principles!"
Yes, I like this one and a lot of list members at least tried to pretend, that this was the case.
> - Software Engineers say, "Let's look it up in the specification!"
This is more desirable, than the last one, but...
> - Hackers say, "Let's try it and see what happens!"
This is what happened, (at least in this case).
> I think it would be easier to get a description of what REBOL > currently does (and *then* discuss possible changes) than to begin > with a request for changes in the absence of any clear statement of > intent.
Well, the question is, if we *can* get that. If this was an unknown feature (for implementors), they couldn't have documented it. I think, that the only complete behaviour documentation is the interpreter. (or the source code of it, which we aren't supposed to get, are we?) Every software project can contain some bugs. What you are asking for is some form of specification, which was used to build the interpreter. I don't know, whether this is/isn't considered a trade secret? Moreover, there is still a possibility, that such a thing isn't complete.
> Past discussions about cases where REBOLS behavior has > surprised its users (even the most supportive ones) have drawn a > response of, "Let REBOL be REBOL!" Hence my position of, "OK! Then > first tell me clearly what REBOL is!"
I think, that instead of letting REBOL be whatever, it is more useful to propose an improvement/ask for a feature that we think is missing. (like a referential transparency etc.) The only trouble is, that every user has his/her own list of preferences and they may be incompatible. But, let me play a devill's advocate: "REBOL is a moving target.":-)
> However, I'm sure we agree in the hope that documenting REBOL's > current behavior wouldn't be the end of the conversation!!!
I think, that it neither would be the start nor the end of the conversation, because even now we may say, that some features are documented, but the documentation isn't in agreement with the real state of affairs! Curiously, some things are better than the documentation is suggesting.