opening a text document to show a .txt file through a browserlink

Lemniscate d_blade8 at hotmail.com
Fri Jan 3 00:20:07 CET 2003


Jacek Generowicz <jacek.generowicz at cern.ch> wrote in message news:<tyfd6nhdikf.fsf at lxplus047.cern.ch>...
> d_blade8 at hotmail.com (Lemniscate) writes:
> 
> > If one wants to ignore mark-up languages (XML and/or HTML) because
> > they are just data acted on by an interpreter, than C/C++ falls into
> > the same area.
> 
> Write an HTML program that computes the square of a number that it
> receives as input.
> 
> Turing-complete-ly yours,

On a purely practical level, it is impossible to define something by
exclusion when a definition is lacking.  That is, one cannot say that
since object A cannot perform action B, then object A is not a type of
object C if object C is not defined.

Having said that, do we agree on the definition of a programming
language as "able to compute the square of a number without the
assistance of accessory languages"?  [I added the last part because it
is ridiculously easy to compute the square root if we start using
stuff like javascript or vbscript (however, we were talking about
html, so I excluded them).]  If that is our definition of programming,
then HTML is not a language.  However, I have yet to see that
definition applied.  In other words, I think your point is pointless. 
Heck, write a C program that doesn't use a compiler, makes its own
operating system and builds a computer using nothing but toilet paper
rolls.  What?  You can't?  Then, by your logic, C is not a programming
language because I asked you to do something that it can't do.

I don't mean to attack you, as I do see your point, but, as I've said,
you can't exclude something unless there is a defined object to
exclude from.  I say this also because there has been a ton of talk
about what is 'intuitive' (which, incidently, is also an opinion,
nothing more and nothing less).

Since this is getting crazy, from now on, I am going to go by the
definition of program as given on
http://whatis.techtarget.com/definition/0,,sid9_gci212834,00.html

(excerpt) 'a program is a specific set of ordered operations for a
computer to perform...(Note that a program is also a special kind of
"data" that tells how to operate on "application or user data.") '

Okay, to me, based on this,
HTML/XML/SGML/ECMAScrpt/ActionScript/C/C++/Java/VB/javascript/Python
are all programming languages.  The 'mark-up' languages represent a
specific set of ordered operation for a computer to perform (and thus,
represent a program;  which feels really odd to say, to be quite
honest).  Since a program can also be 'data', then it fits the
definition both ways.  It's interesting to note that the definition
does NOT:
1) specify whether anything has to be Turing complete (heck, I've
written tons of programs that aren't, but they use python and C, so
are python and c not languages too>)
2) specify the need for the ability to calculate any numbers at all. 
(once again, I would say 99% of all my codes doesn't calculate
squares, are they not programs).

FYI, the reason I hark on the whole calculating the square thing is
that I believe it is a misleading and irrelevant statement.  The W3C
can render it obsolete by allowing html to contain and operate on it's
own variables without the aid of a scripting language.  The argument
would have been more persuasive to me if the author had stated that
he/she believed that all programming languages need to have the
ability to calculate squares for him/her to feel it was a real
language (that would be a statement of opinion, not some kind of
challenge meant to imply what they thought;  of course, he/she would
still be guilty of reaching an illogical conclusion (the ability to
square numbers does not a programming language define), but I would
have respected the opinion.  Anyways, this is opinion on everything. 
Feel free to disagree, I do (;-D).

Lem




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