Hi --

On Sat, 26 Oct 2002, Phil Tomson wrote:

> In article <Pine.LNX.4.44.0210250754010.2650-100000 / candle.superlink.net>,
>  <dblack / candle.superlink.net> wrote:
> >Hello --
> >
> >On Fri, 25 Oct 2002, Rudi Cilibrasi wrote:
> >
> >> I am wondering if there is a good reason why Ruby does not by default
> >> support, for instance,
> >> true <=> false  (should be +1 or -1)
> >> or even
> >> false <=> false (should be 0)
> >
> >I guess one reason is that it's not clear (to me, anyway) why true
> >would be > false, or false > true.  Is there ordinality to Boolean
> >values?
>
> Actually if you want to get theoretical and mathematical there is an
> ordering to boolean values in Boolean Algebra.
>
> Here's a definition from one of my textbooks ("Logic Synthesis and
> Verification Algorithms" by Hachtel and Somenzi):
>
> "A complemented, distributive lattice is a Boolean Lattice or Boolean
> Algebra"
>
> What's a lattice:
>
> "A lattice is a poset [partially _ordered_ set] (AXA, <=) [meaning that
> the Cartesian product of the set A with itself with the result ordered by
> the less-than or equal relation] in which any two elements have a meet
> [greatest lower bound] and a join [least upper bound].  Consequently, all
> finite lattices have a _greatest_ element, denoted by 1 [or true], and a
> least element 0 [or false], where 1 [true] is an element of set A and 0
> [false] is an element of set A."
>
> So technically true is greater than false.

We're waaaay over my head mathematically, but I'm finding this
interesting enough that I'll go ahead and ask a couple of stupid
questions :-)

1. Why couldn't one swap 'true' and 'false' in your square-bracket
comments in the above?  That is: why does true have to go with 1 and
false with 0?

2. Does being the greatest and least, in a lattice, have to propagate
to a direct comparison between the two elements?  I'm thinking (by way
of analogy) of an array: [3,1,5,4], where 5 is the greatest element in
one sense, and 4 is the greatest in another sense (highest indexed).

3. Does all of this necessarily apply to Ruby?  That is, does the
presence of true and false in a programming language imply support for
Boolean algebra?

These questions are probably all OT babytalk, but I thought I'd give
it a try, just out of curiosity.


David

-- 
David Alan Black
home: dblack / candle.superlink.net
work: blackdav / shu.edu
Web:  http://pirate.shu.edu/~blackdav