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Re: Lawyers. Re: XPointer and Sun patent

Paul Tchistopolskii <paul@qub.com> writes:

<disclaimer> I have nothing agains lawyers. </disclaimer>

The following proves you wrong.

>The goal of lawyer is to write down simple constructions
>in complex form to make it hard for  other people to
>understand those constructions.

People often accuse programmers of the same thing, because what they write,
using the languages that they learned to achieve their specific technical
goals, is difficult to understand for people without the same training. As a
programmer married to a lawyer, I can tell you that they actually have a
good deal in common. The most important is that a key skill of  good
programmers (and engineers in general) and lawyers is the ability to fully
follow through on the implications of Murphy's Law: assuming that what can
go wrong will go wrong, they're supposed to figure out what could go wrong
and plan ahead for it. That's why contracts have so many clauses to deal
with contingencies; that's why good programs have more error checking than
bad programs.

>The goal of programmer is to write down complex  constructions
>in simple form to make it easy for  other people to
>understand those constructions.

Ideally, you and I should understand each other's code because we have
similar backgrounds and use similar tools. A lawyer without any programming
background won't understand your code or my code, and it would be silly to
write every program with a built-in in tutorial in the programming language
being used so that non-programmers could understand it.

Specialists use specific language to achieve their goals efficiently. Other
people either learn the language and put it to use or hire people to put it
to use for them. When this hiring is expensive, the hirers often complain.

All that being said, I've often wished that the lawyer who designed SGML had
more computer science background before he did so...

Bob DuCharme          www.snee.com/bob           <bob@
snee.com>  "The elements be kind to thee, and make thy
spirits all of comfort!" Anthony and Cleopatra, III ii