From: Jonathan Turkanis (technews_at_[hidden])
Date: 2005-09-23 11:55:12
Simon Buchan wrote:
> Jonathan Turkanis wrote:
>> Robert Ramey wrote:
>>> I've concluded that the concept of Semantic really isn't formal.
>>> Its a narrative description of
>>> what someone expects an expression to do.
>> Right. Coming from mathematical logic it's clear to me that usual
>> concept definitions aren't really formal. I'd call them
>> 'semi-formal'. If you wanted to write a truly formal specification,
>> you'd first have to describe an abstract machine to represent C++
>> programs and their execution environments, because the C++ standard
>> isn't really formal, either.
> Interesting: an 'abstract machine' representing the compiler is almost
> exactly the informal description used by version of the standard I saw
But it's not defined precisely enoung to be called 'formal' by my standards.
Compare it with the definition of abstract state machines
(http://www.eecs.umich.edu/gasm/), for example.
Note that I'm not criticising the standard (although it certainly has some
problems with lack of precision). It would be nice to have a truly formal
specification, but in the case of C++ it's probably not realistic.
-- Jonathan Turkanis www.kangaroologic.com
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