Mailing List Archive: 49091 messages
  • Home
  • Script library
  • AltME Archive
  • Mailing list
  • Articles Index
  • Site search

[REBOL] Re: What computers are for (was: Perl is to stupid ...)

From: chris:starforge:demon at: 18-Dec-2001 10:11

Carl Read wrote:
> Perhaps, instead of trying to make software understand documents > written any old which way by humans, we should create strictly formal > versions of current human languages that can be tested for > correctness by computer? We'd then be able to have documents that > could be examined by computer without the need to worry about an > infinate number of special cases.
I hope this is a tongue-in-cheek comment! If not, you are making the fatal error that practically every computer scientist has made at one point or another: expecting that human beings will modify their behaviour to suit the computer rather than the opposite. This isn't impossible (voice-recoginition software was, and to a large extent still is, a good example of this), but it is far from ideal. It appears to me that the computing industry seems to have lost sight of the real purpose of computers: they are (or at least were) supposed to make life easier for the user. It's more than a bit of a kludge when you tell a user "this program can understand your documents, but only provided that you write them in this very constrained, artificial form which allows little of the form and structure you typical documents contain". It's a bit like expecting a user to learn C just so that they can type in a letter! (not that I'm complaining about C you understand - I use it every day - but it's hardly something you can expect the average user to learn) No, either we solve the problems caused by rule set size without forcing the user into overly artifical situations or automatic document parsing will be constrained to simplistic and case-specific situations. Chris -- .------{ }-----. .--------------------------. =[ Explorer2260, Designer and Coder \=\ P: TexMaker, ROACH, site \ =[___You_will_obey_your_corporate_masters___]==[ Stack: EETmTmTRRSS------ ]