[om] Specfun CD's (was: library)
andrew at illywhacker.net
Fri Aug 10 03:11:28 CEST 2001
I found p.7 of James' paper a bit disturbing.
I really think that core OM CDs should stick to expressions, not commands.
Therefore "factor" should be a predicate factor(a,b) which expresses
that a is a factor of b, not a command "go factor this polynomial".
One could also have factors(a) which refers to the list/set of
factors of a polynomial a.
I don't think that actions/behaviours should be encoded in these
"standard" CDs. Such specifications are only relevant to a particular
application of OM - computer algebra. Behaviours could be encoded
in special "computer algebra" CDs or even in some other format
like an LDAP style directory for describing computer algebra services and
There's nothing wrong with the symbols themselves,
it's just the evocative words like "call" and "result" and interpreting
the symbol name as a verb that bothers me.
I realize that the clause "(if this result is being used computationally)"
addresses my concerns, but putting it in as an afterthought sends
the wrong message.
On Thu, Aug 09, 2001 at 12:42:11PM -0700, Richard Fateman wrote:
> I found James' paper at
> Having scanned through it, I do not see what questions
> of style are being raised. Perhaps I must read it more
> carefully, but a hint as to a page number (1-14) would help.
> I find it odd to try to defend terms like "factor", clearly
> an imperative command, as not an indication of an operation, but
> as some object. The description is on page 7 of the document.
> If you were writing in lisp, you could distinguish easily between
> 'factor [a symbol with print-name "factor"]
> factor [which could denote its value, perhaps an executable program]
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