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[REBOL] Re: On mutability and sameness

From: jeff:rebol at: 19-Jun-2001 7:45

>> .... Having followed this thread with interest, I believe,
barring the disclaimer above, that both Joel & Ladislav are WRONG in the sense that some REBOL behaviour can only be explained and understood fully in terms of the way it has been implemented.<< That's a very bottom up way to think of things. When we implement parts of REBOL we first sit down and say "how is this supposed to work-- what are the rules it obeys." Once we understand what something is supposed to do, then we write the lower level code that does that thing we've figured out. It's a process of describing in a low level, something you understand at a high level. You're claiming to want to understand something at a high level by considering how it is expressed at a low level. That's like trying to understand what an Elephant IS by looking at one of its cells under a microscope. How do you even know what you're looking at is an Elephant? The way functionality is implemented is arbitrary as long as it is reasonably space and cpu efficient and the implementation behaves according to the high level functionality that's desired. Joel's got this one on the head. You gain little understanding of something like series by trying to build series in C. You'll miss the forest for the trees, so to speak. Robbo:
>>To fully understand the behviour of any-block! or
any-string! series! values you have to have a model of how series! values are implemented at the C code level from which REBOL is built. ... Whilst any C code model we might build for REBOL values... will most probably NOT exactly match the RT official implementation, I think it is important conceptually that we do TRY to conceptually build an implementation model.<< Joel:
>> C may be OK for giving examples, but it is certainly not
the only way to think about computing, IMHO.<< Yes, but I think Mark's interest in having things "explained" in terms of C code has less to do with "understanding REBOL" at a high level, and more to do with having people help "paint his fence", if you've ever read Tom Sawyer. ;-) -jeff