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Re: All hail Neo!

From: Marshall Spight <>
Date: 26 Apr 2006 20:48:47 -0700
Message-ID: <>

Bob Badour wrote:
> Marshall Spight wrote:
> >
> > Yes, that's exactly what I am saying. A good logical model
> > would be based on sparing use of the empty set, rather
> > than on something like SQL's null, which taints most every
> > calculation it takes part in.
> It might or might not use an empty set. I suspect it would not in most
> cases.

What would you use instead? The decent tools that I'm aware of are empty sets and tagged unions. You can get whatever semantics you want from tagged unions and functions over same. The behavior of fold (or aggregates) over incomplete sets is well-defined; the functional programming crown has beat fold to death. I don't see any reason for the system to supply an UNKNOWN special value out of the box, but as I say you can code one up if you want it.

Falling back to the "we have no good theory" yet is not going to help the people that are building systems today. They have to put in something; I propose empty sets and tagged unions. If you have better candidates, let's hear it.

> > Okay. Did you ever do any HCI testing? I expect not; it
> > doesn't seem like something that would appeal to you.
> With all due respect, what do you think HCI testing is other than
> observing users in action?

Building use cases. Role-based interaction modelling. Questionaires. User scenarios. And yes, observing users in action, in a controlled setting. So far you haven't said anything that describes a situation beyond sitting next to someone typing SQL in a lab, which doesn't qualify. If you have done more than that, you haven't said so.

> Nielsen would recommend successive samples of
> about three users with intervening refinements in the user interface.

>From memory, Nielsen's current recommendation is five subjects.

> I suggest you stop making assumptions about me, which I generally take
> as projection in any case. You know absolutely nothing about what
> appeals to me,

I know you get a big kick out of talking trash!

> and I can say with certainty that you have been
> absolutely wrong in every assumption about me.

Okay, so you're saying HCI testing does appeal to you? You could simply say so instead of giving me the runaround every time I ask.

> You speak from a position of total ignorance when
> you claim I am being pedantic.

"Characterized by a narrow, often ostentatious concern for book learning and formal rules." You don't think that you come across that way on the net?

Marshall Received on Wed Apr 26 2006 - 22:48:47 CDT

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