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"Team Ada: Ada Advocacy Issues (83 & 95)" <[log in to unmask]>
Tue, 24 Nov 1998 09:59:20 -0600
Samuel Mize <[log in to unmask]>
<4.1.19981123113414.00b56e20@puumba> from "Keith Shillington" at Nov 23, 98 12:49:33 pm
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Samuel Mize <[log in to unmask]>
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Keith Shillington wrote:
> Syntax is mostly irrelevant.

Perhaps you are using a more restrictive definition of "syntax" than
I would.  You say:

> Well-built Object paradigm software cannot be intelligently viewed at the
> source level.  A graphical representation of the design is required.

It's trivially true that a higher-level representation makes the
design clearer.  I assume you're comparing a graphical representation
to an equal-level textual representation.

But I would call that a change at the level of syntax, not semantics.

The change from text to graphics is a syntactic change, however
radical it may be.  Both represent the same meaning, just in different
formats.  (As a counter-example, using "enumeration" to represent
mutually exclusive values, instead of integer codes, is a change at
the semantic level, however small.)

Your own example shows where a syntactic difference can present the
semantics of the program in a more clear and useful way.

If the developer is working only with diagrams, it doesn't matter if
the tool generates Ada or C or assembler or Forth.

If the developer is going to work in the source code at some point, I
think it is useful to represent more of the semantics in the code.

> It is high time that we, the community of software movers and shakers, bring
> forth the reality of a new higher level of abstraction.

Conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition...

Well, maybe so.  My own mind and experience are more suited to
"tuning" the current level of abstraction.  While, perhaps, less
important in the overall scheme of things, I think such issues are
still worth considering.

Sam Mize

Samuel Mize -- [log in to unmask] (home email) -- Team Ada
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