On 06/09/2000 07:02:19 AM <email@example.com> wrote:
>À 09:58 2000-06-09 -0400, François Pinard a écrit:
>>Tom Garland <Tom.Garland@ireland.sun.com> writes:
>> > TC304. Does anyone know if the following logical operators are
>> understood or must they be translated for each language?
>> > AND
>> > OR
>> > ~ (not)
>>There was a discussion on the Python list, last week, on the fact that
>operators do not have a clear intuitive meaning, even in English.
I'm not sure I agree with François here. There are not Enlish words, but
logical operators, and anyone familiar with symbolic logic would know that
their meaning is defined in terms of truth tables, e.g.
A B AND
T T T
T F F
F T F
F F F
>Many years ago, in a "natural-language"-to-data-base interface, just to
>know, it was vicious), I asked the following natural language sentence to
>program called "Intellect" (at the time, it was on an IBM mainframe): "How
>men and women are listed in the database?"... After many minutes going
>relatively big database, I got the single answer: 0 (i.e. ZERO)... (%=
> it was not very
>clever programming... However how many users would believe what a machine
>answer in those occasions? Unfortunately most non-programmers, to whatever
>That is the problem I see. A big one. So yes, operators should be
>explained, and even presented to end-users with a tutorial explaining the
>traps. This, even for English-speaking end-users. It is a matter of good
>user-machine interface. The user must be aware in advance of the kind of
>commitment he/she has contracted with the machine. So far we assume too
>both sides (programmers and end-users), only the machine is
>"Garbage in, garbage out" is still quite of age.
Now this is a different matter, and I definitely agree with François here.
But this is talking about natural language words, not operators of logical
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