[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: A possible GFDL compromise: a proposal

MJ Ray <markj@cloaked.freeserve.co.uk> writes:
> On 2003-09-24 23:12:06 +0100 Carl Witty <cwitty@newtonlabs.com> wrote:
>         "Software" is a controversial word in English.
> "Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the
> automatic gainsaying of any statement the other person makes." --
> Monty Python's Flying Circus.

While there are very few things which can be properly argued with mere
contradictions, I believe that "does controversy exist" is one of them. 

>         In an informal survey,
>         two out of two people surveyed (my officemate and myself)
>         agreed that we
>         would not, by default, call an arbitrary collection of bits
>         "software"
> That is not stronger statistical evidence than what that has gone
> before. I am sorry that the people in your office do not know the word
> "software" very well.

Thank you for your sympathy.

> [...]
>         I assure you that my definition of software (roughly,
>         software==programs) was not adopted to "further my agenda";
> I never said that it was. Do you have a different definition of the
> word "some" too?

I now realize that the sentence "Some people advocate a bizarre
definition of it in order to further their agenda." is silent on the
question of whether you believe that everybody with the bizarre
definition advocates it in order to further their agenda.  I apologize
for my assumption that you intended the more extreme possible meaning of
this sentence.

>         I have no idea where these different definitions of software
>         came from,
>         but I don't think it's useful to attack people who use a
>         different
>         definition.
> I have explained in some detail where the word "software" comes from.
> I am sorry you have missed it. I suggest you look in the archives. I
> believe it was under the subject "Unidentified Subject!" during the
> last week. I do not know where this attempt to define it as a synonym
> for "stored program" started.

I saw an explanation of the origin of the word software, but no argument
as to why your definition should still be considered the One True
Definition today.  (Starting from the origin of the word is only
indicative, not conclusive, unless you believe that words have only a
single meaning which is locked in stone forever.)

I apologize for my word "attack", which stems (again) from my misreading
of your words.

Carl Witty

Reply to: