Silly newbie question - Caret character (^)

Lawrence D'Oliveiro ldo at geek-central.gen.new_zealand
Sun Nov 7 11:26:51 CET 2010


In message <pan.2010.11.06.23.19.11.0 at nowhere.com>, Nobody wrote:

> A reference manual tells you how to use the language. A specification
> tells you how to implement it.

Speaking as someone who has read more reference 
manuals/specifications/whatever you want to call them than I can count, I 
have never come across any such distinction. Both programmers and 
implementors need to understand exactly how the language is defined. Because 
if there is any disagreement between their respective interpretations, 
things are not going to work well, are they?

> It's possible to /deduce/ how to use the language from a specification,
> but it could take significant time and effort.

That’s what “tutorials” are for.

> A specification is typically designed to be read in its entirety, and may
> yield little usable information until you've read a substantial portion of
> it.

Sounds like you’re describing a novel, rather than actual technical 
documentation.

> A reference manual is structured such that you can easily locate the
> portion which is necessary for the task immediately to hand, and only
> need to read that portion.

So is a specification.



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