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As simply as I ever heard it put, (Eric Clapton and
Peter Robinson), on the meaning of meaning:
"It's in the way that you use it.
It comes and it goes."
Computer scientists get irked by that. We
are steeped in writing instructions. That is
the imperialism of programming. Even a label is
just a way of coordinating a point of view in time
There are few fixed meanings, but there are ones
that persist. We call the latter systems.
From: W. E. Perry [mailto:email@example.com]
At the crucial moment of his argument in a piece called 'On Semantics
Bray strikes a pose of Socratic agnosis with: "To oversimplify, XML is
winning and ASN.1 is losing. There are a variety of reasons for this,
but one of them is that it seems to be more important to know what
something is called than what data type it is. This result is not
obvious from first principles, and has to count as something of a
surprise in the big picture."