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From Ralph Goers <ralph.go...@dslextreme.com>
Subject Re: Should included public domain source code be tagged with ASF headers and be under ALv2
Date Thu, 06 Aug 2009 06:05:43 GMT

On Aug 5, 2009, at 10:23 PM, Niclas Hedhman wrote:
>
> Why can't law be like a computer program, complete with a test  
> suite???
>

Because the law isn't written in a language where everything is  
executed by a machine that interprets the language in only one way,  
consistently, every time. Consider that the English language is filled  
with words that have different meaning depending on the context in  
which they are used, that may sound the same but are spelled various  
ways, and that virtually every rule in the language has an exception.  
If Java, C++ and other high level languages were based on such an  
ambiguous construct every computer would need an AI engine just to  
figure out what it was being told to do. Of course, I'm told that the  
legal system has invented its own words with specific legal meanings  
that us laymen don't understand to try to address that problem.  
Personally, I think that is just an excuse to require us to hire  
lawyers - I'm just kidding Larry - ;)

OTOH, even with languages like Java and C++, we mere mortals manage to  
infuse our software with tons of faulty logic. So perhaps we do need  
the AI engine to figure out what the programmer really intended to do  
anyway.

By the way, I realize that this was really a rhetorical question, but  
it really was fun to answer.

Ralph
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