[pmwiki-users] Re: recipes on core elements

Joachim Durchholz jo at durchholz.org
Thu Sep 1 16:54:47 CDT 2005

Radu schrieb:
> Of course, those blessed with unix development machines can use shell 
> scripts to grep all this stuff.
> I suggested php in order to uniformly fit all platforms where pmwiki 
> runs. There may be better alternatives I could not think of...

No, PHP would be good enough for simply finding and comparing lines of text.

There's a more serious problem: any comparison technology won't be able 
to see what changes are relevant to it. You can try to analyse the PHP 
code and filter out changes that are irrelevant to the recipe, but that 
filtering step will constantlich over- and underestimate the relevance 
of any given change, and that will happen relatively independently of 
the sophistication of the change-checking code. On top of that, since 
the change-checking code will most likely require hints from the recipe 
writer, there's the possibility of bugs in these hints on top of it all.

In other words: Not really doable, and not worth the effort even if it were.


Stay tuned for programming languages that allow the usage of abstract 
specifications. With such a language, Pm would be able to annotate his 
code with guarantees for recipe writers, and the compiler could check 
each new version of PmWiki to see whether these guarantees still hold. 
This kind of technology is actually researched and ready for 
implementation in a mainstream language, but don't hold your breath - it 
hasn't been done yet, and that means at least a decade-long wait until 
it becomes even remotely mainstream... plus it would take a while until 
people knew how to best use this kind of checking in programming practice.

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