list corner case

Bowerbird at Bowerbird at
Mon Sep 8 13:48:27 EDT 2008

waylan said:

> So, then, how do we interpret "do nothing".

"nothing" is exactly as john put it in his e-mail:

> -  one

> 2. two

or, in aristotle's examples:

> *  foo

> *  bar

> 1. baz

> 2. quux

> *  qux


> -  foo

> -  bar

> 1. baz

> 1. quux

> -  qux

ambiguous markdown = straight text with no markup at all,
spitting out exactly what was put in...

> I also think that the above option D is

> not only a lot harder to implement,

> but also not intuitive at all.

that's the point. it's not meant to be "intuitive".

it's meant to signal "i don't know what you want,
so you'll need to be a little bit less ambiguous..."

after all, whenever you fail to get the desired effect,
it causes you to go in and see what you "did wrong".

i think that's the right course of action for ambiguity.

it's certainly better than doing something that will be
_non-intuitive_ for a certain percentage of the users.


p.s. and what's interesting here is the fact that
-- over and above not knowing _what_ to do --
we cannot clearly say what the user _intended_...
(well, we can, but will disagree among ourselves.)
given that we don't know the underlying intention,
it seems it would be impossible to know what to do.
the cornerstone of the philosophy is that we _do_
know what the user intended, so we will just do it.
but if the underlying intention isn't clearly specified...
it's not that i'm afraid of the "edge cases" -- they are
_delicious_ -- but they fly in the face of the philosophy,
and thus can -- for good reasons -- be ignored entirely
with a do-nothing approach that forces users to be clear.
...again, though, this is just a stance for your consideration.

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