On Mar 3, 2014, at 12:35 AM, Joe Niederberger <email@example.com> wrote:
> R Hansen says: >> I see. But that is the layman?s version. > > As opposed to the R Hansen version. Exactly. Nevertheless, > its just an example of mathematical considerations and influence. It did have considerable influence, if not on you. > > Getting back to algol, BNF is essentially just a notation for specifying a context free grammar. > > http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Backus%E2%80%93Naur_Form > - --------------------------------------------- > "Meanwhile, string rewriting rules as formal, abstract systems were introduced and studied by mathematicians such as Axel Thue (in 1914), Emil Post (1920s?40s) and Alan Turing (1936). Noam Chomsky, teaching linguistics to students of information theory at MIT, combined linguistics and mathematics, by taking what is essentially Thue's formalism as the basis for the description of the syntax of natural language; he also introduced a clear distinction between generative rules (those of context-free grammars) and transformation rules (1956). > > John Backus, a programming language designer at IBM, proposed "metalinguistic formulas" to describe the syntax of the new programming language IAL, known today as ALGOL 58 (1959), using the BNF notation." > - --------------------------------------------------- > > See -- mathematical to the layman, since mathematicians had been studying formal grammars and languages for some time already. I'm not telling you how to view it.
But that is not the view reflected in the documented discussions of the ALGOL team in the 50?s. Who am I to believe? Them or you? Plus, I feel what they were going through. I can?t for the life of me equate your message to all of that. I understand your message, but it doesn?t equate to all of that.
> The block structures in algol are pretty clearly influenced/inspired/intertwined with the choice to use a CFG.
What do you mean by ?choice to use a CFG??. They had no choice. All such computer languages are CFGs. That is like telling me that Beethoven's music is what it is because he choose to use harmony. Do you listen to Beethoven and think ?Yep, just as I thought, music theory."
> Did you read the Backus Turing lecture? Interesting stuff though its time may still be ahead.
Yes I read it. I also recall the feeling. Programming left mathematics. I went through those thoughts and emotions years ago. You?re obviously still holding out hope that they get back together. That?s ridiculous because they are so far apart now as it is, and AI is just going take CS even further away. Mathematics will still always be involved in fundamental formal research and the machine will always be its baby. But it grew up. That isn?t a bad thing.
On a more serious note, because this discussion has involved a lot more than just PLD, the reason you are having so much trouble grasping what I am saying is that you suffer from "artistic autism". Yes, I just invented this new diagnosis from this discussion (and a few prior ones). It means that you are incapable of recognizing the art in things. Whereas I grasp and *feel* every school taught notion you keep throwing out, you haven?t been impressed at all by any of the art I have shown you. The only explanation can be is that you are incapable of seeing or feeling said art.
Remember that conversation about imaginary numbers and AC circuit analysis. I said something like ?Some bright person saw the mathematics of complex numbers and connected it to the mathematics of AC circuits and poof, reduced the mathematics of AC circuits to arithmetic!? You replied ?Says you!?. Your reply was unexpected and caught me off guard. Instead of the argument that ensued, I should have asked you ?Says I what?? Because now, I don?t think you even understood what I said. I mean like really understood. The same pattern transpired with the ?particular? discussion. You still don?t understand what I did then, do you?
Likewise, in the beginning of this discussion I floated an idea that is more than just common amongst programmers, that PLD is driven by usage and programming. Again, your reply ?Says you!? along with ?Uneducated!? and ?Folk art!?. And, I was caught off guard, yet again. At first I thought, and stated, that your reaction was due to a lack of experience and so I dutifully dug through the annals of PLD history to piece it together for you. To no avail.
And it will always be to no avail. Because if you are unable to recognize artistry then I can never use that channel with you. I might as well be talking to myself. As long as I stay off that channel, we are fine, well, you are fine. But as soon as I start talking on that channel, your radio goes silent, and your frustration hits the roof. You probably don?t even recognize that your radio is missing a channel, because it hasn?t worked ever since you?ve had it. You may have experience with programming but that isn?t the same as experiencing programming. And this time, before you spout off ?Says you!?, I want you to tell me what that sentence means. Because unless you can properly explain that sentence, we can't communicate on that *other* channel. My point isn?t to frustrate you, but I also can?t be held responsible for you having a radio with a broken channel.