Konrad Hinsen09/21/2023, 7:06 AM
Where do you think a language like Inform fall on the ‘formal’ vs ‘informal’ spectrum?Preliminary question; what exactly changes from one end to the other of that spectrum? My current answer is: how much of the total information conveyed is formal. I'd love to hear from others who have thought about this question, or know about work on this topic in the literature. To illustrate my definition, a few examples: • Machine code is near 100% formal. • Standard programming languages are mostly formal, the informal part being the variable names, which convey context-dependent information to humans but nothing to the compiler/interpreter. • Markup languages (HTML, Markdown, ...) are mostly informal, because the formalized information is not the most relevant part. You could strip it away and the rest would still fulfill its purpose. There are lots of subtleties I am glossing over. Example: A Python program saying
with a 100 KB string is basically just decorated informal prose. My definition applies to typical or intended use, not possible extremes. Back to Inform: I cannot judge from the example which information is extracted from the code by formal processing. Is this a controlled natural language, like Attempto ? Or plain English from which some engine extracts isolated keywords?
Alex McLean09/21/2023, 8:07 AM
guitarvydas09/21/2023, 11:16 AM
and compiling them to executable Odin code (thanks to Zac Nowicki). I am using this, also, as a visual shell (VSH) to plumb together Ohm-JS and ‘.RWR’ (“rewrite” nano-DSL) specifications to form transpilers (e.g. Scheme->JS). I firmly believe in what I learned in Physics - invent multiple notations suited to expressing the task(s) using “simplifying assumptions” and bolt them all together to form solutions using divide-and-conquer mentality.
Konrad Hinsen09/21/2023, 1:40 PM
Alex McLean09/21/2023, 1:41 PM
Konrad Hinsen09/21/2023, 2:55 PM
Alex McLean09/22/2023, 8:38 AM
Konrad Hinsen09/22/2023, 2:09 PM