[whatwg] Section 1.7 "abstract language"

Kevin Benson kevin.m.benson at gmail.com
Thu Aug 13 20:20:09 PDT 2009

On Thu, Aug 13, 2009 at 10:10 PM, Ian Hickson<ian at hixie.ch> wrote:
> On Thu, 6 Aug 2009, Elliotte Rusty Harold wrote:
>> "This specification defines an abstract language for describing
>> documents and applications, and some APIs for interacting with in-memory
>> representations of resources that use this language."
>> The phrase "abstract language" concerns me. It's not clear to me that a
>> language can be abstract, nor is it clear to me what this phrase refers
>> to, especially since it seems to be distinguished from the "concrete
>> syntaxes that can be used to transmit resources that use this abstract
>> language, two of which are defined in this specification."
>> Perhaps there's some sort of abstract data model or information model
>> here; but I don't believe that the word "language" is appropriate to
>> describe this. Language as normally understood is a collection of actual
>> words or symbols, written or spoken. It is not a collection of abstract
>> concepts, at least not in any definition of the term I was able to find.
>> http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=define%3Alanguage&aq=f&oq=&aqi=g10
> What term would you recommend rather than "language" that is more
> understandable than "data model" or "information model"?
> Would "vocabulary" be ok?
> --
> Ian Hickson
Pardon me for interjecting myself into your exchange.

Rather than changing the word "language", how about changing the the
word "abstract" instead...
...to an adjective such as "prescriptive" or "normative"...
in order to describe the usage of the word "language" more purposefully ?

Just a thought.

    K e V i N

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