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Re: ABNF, and miscellany

2005-05-11 13:24:27

No, there are other problems that were mentioned on rfc-interest
but not subsequently; e.g. the unused
construct.  After some thought, you may realize that that's
equivalent to *5foo (i.e. the first number is meaningless -- it
could be anything, and the brackets as well).  Normally when
advancing a specification to Draft status, unused features are
removed -- they tend to result in interoperability problems and
are a ripe source of security exploits.  

Excellent point.  For that matter, it seems like some changes to
mathematical notation are long overdue.  For instance, in the

[0 * (foo + bar)] 

the whole (foo + bar) expression is irrelevant.  It should be 
forbidden to write such constructs.   And yet this bug has been
allowed to persist for several centuries!  Surely this has resulted
in massive failures in engineering and economics, and widespread
misunderstanding in science.

Don't even get me started about dividing by zero, roots of 
negative numbers, etc.  These are products of deranged minds.