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Re: Nearest Common Ancestor Report (XDb1's $1000 Challenge)

From: Nick Landsberg <>
Date: Tue, 08 Jun 2004 00:31:37 GMT
Message-ID: <JN7xc.45914$>

Neo wrote:

[SNIP] I'm not sure it's worth the effot to reply to this, but what the heck ...

> The challenge hasn't change. Understanding of the challenge has. I
> didn't expect most to understand the entirety of it from the start
> because of level of genericness and normalization that I desire is
> uncommon. I expected an iterative process to comparable solution.

Huh? Rough translation as I understand the above. "I know what I said, but I really didn't know what I was saying, because I didn't know what I was trying to prove, I was trying to do wierd ('uncommon') stuff, and I shoulda been more specific with the words I used. No matter what solution was proposed, I was gonna re-write my stuff to be better ('iterative process')."


>>I'll give Neo one or two days to see if he will unconditionally accept 
>>Nick Landberg's suggestion to let an arbitrator decide. 
>>After that, I'll stop this sillyness.


I guess I'm no longer eligible to be an arbitrator, then :)

> I would rather one keep iterating to achieve the original intent of
> the challenge: Represent any hierarchy without NULLs or redundancy in
> as generic a manner. One test of genericness being the ability to
> handle various hierarchies.

Opinions (in no particular order):
- "Various" is not a number nor an objective criteria. (Does the expression "carrot and stick" ring a bell? It should, the concept has been used in this thread already.) - Hierarchies do not necessarily reflect the "real world." (I.e. how does this apply to the
real-world of "matrix-managed" organizations for example? Or is this just an academic exercise?_
- When you set a "challenge" without any *quantified* criteria for success, both the challenger and the responder open the door to pissing contests like we have seen here. Neo should have been more clear in *his" definition of normalized, etc. This may or may not have influenced Hugo's solution.

[I'm probably going to regret this post... oh well.]


"It is impossible to make anything foolproof
because fools are so ingenious"
  - A. Bloch
Received on Mon Jun 07 2004 - 19:31:37 CDT

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