[om] a developer's perspective on CDs

Andrew Solomon andrew at illywhacker.net
Sat Oct 28 23:58:38 CEST 2000

Manfred Riem wrote:

> > Moreover, a six week refereeing process doesn't inspire faith
> > in the outcome. Make CDs public quickly, then people can go
> > ahead and WRITE SOME CODE, being *reasonably* confident that
> > they are heading in a similar direction to at least *someone*
> > else.  We need to loosen up and let the CDs evolve under use.
> > I don't believe that referees can decide whether a CD is right
> > or wrong in six weeks. We need to *use* them and *discover*
> > whether they're right or wrong.
> OK, yes, we need to use them, but a RFC doesn't specify anything
> about how to handle version-numbers of a specific CD. So although
> I'm a big supporters of open models, yet, it still needs to be
> so that we don't have any surprises along the line (like in changing
> a CD over night and not giving it a different name....).

Yes, it is a serious issue, and I think that the following is a feasible solution:

I suggest that two different RFCs can make two different definitions of the 
same CD. Then you can distinguish which definition to take for your symbol 
by referring to the number of the RFC. This way, eventually, people will
be able to agree on meanings of symbols, issue revised CDs and make their 
software adhere to the new RFCs without changing all the symbol names.
It seems to me a far smoother evolutionary path. I  think things can
only get messier if, when I want to slightly change the meaning of 
(arith, times) to say that it only applies in cartesian closed categories,
I have to call it (arith_andrew, times), and then when the community agrees to 
the change, change all my code back to using (arith, times). It would be better
if I could just change the RFC number in the comment at the top of my source file.

om at openmath.org  -  general discussion on OpenMath
Post public announcements to om-announce at openmath.org
Automatic list maintenance software at majordomo at openmath.org
Mail om-owner at openmath.org for assistance with any problems

More information about the Om mailing list