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Re: A path for CSP-based

Lawrence Dickson wrote:

> Yes but you also have to answer, "Why bother with that nasty math
> when the web stuff is good enough"?

At the risk of going off-topic and diluting the main point, can I just
ask how many people are put off by "all that nasty math(s)"? 

I happily programmed in occam for several years without knowing any CSP.
At all. I still remember the disbelief on Geraint Jones' face when I
asked him what CSP was :-) I didn't know at the time that his thesis was
on CSP: the first attempt at a timed version, IIRC.

I am sure that people on this list won't be surprised to hear that I
think that language designers and probably implementers need a
reasonable understanding of the CSP language. I am not convinced that
they need a very deep understanding of any of the semantic theories,
although obviously that is desirable if they are so inclined, or wish to
extend either CSP or occam.

The end user will also benefit from an introduction to CSP syntax and a
little insight into the semantics, but many of us here used occam
successfully without knowing CSP. Indeed some of the misconceptions that
arise in this newsgroup originate because so many of us have come along
that route, and confused the particular implementation and trade-offs in
occam with pure CSP.

For the minority who require complete rigorous proof of the correctness
of a design will require some of the mathematics, at least. Even that
requirement may diminish as more proof tools become available. But that
is true of any formal method.

As long as our designs are built on secure mathematics, people who are
phobic about mathematics need not be put off. The fact that they are
able to use occam successfully shows that they are really capable of
doing mathematics whether they realize it or not. The phobia is nearly
always traced back to bad teaching or books in their past!

After all, the whole point of mathematics is that it is simple and
straightforward. Without all the fuzzy waffle where there are no
definite answers to questions. {Incompleteness, undecidability, ...
aside ;-)}

Dr A E Lawrence