Science category keyword

James Richard Tyrer tyrerj at
Thu Feb 12 01:23:02 EET 2004

George wrote:
> On Wed, Feb 11, 2004 at 02:27:10PM -0700, James Richard Tyrer wrote:
>> Since you deleted the most important part of my previous e-mail, I 
>> have to conclude that you just don't get it.  This is not about 
>> whether you think that Mathematics is a Science.  It is about the best
>>  placement of the terms: "Math" & "Science" in a menu structure.  You
>>  have said nothing about this -- the actual issue.
> From this comment I now ralize that people still do not understand the 
> vfolder menu system and how it works.  'Science' is a keyword and not 
> user visible.  It needs to work in ALL countries not just english 
> speaking ones. We could have named it HHGJFUUUDE, but using the english
>  word seems appropriate.

It doesn't matter what the keywords are.  What matters is how they are used.

> As standard usage is by all accounts to include Mathematics in Science 
> (using the standard definition of science here since it's not ... NOT 
> user visible),

I again notice that he makes this unsubstantiated assumption.  But it isn't
really relevant to the use of the Science tag.

> then it seems like a good idea to have the Science keyword for all 
> Mathematics tagged software.

So I will explain why if *some* do not wish to include Math in their
Science menu category that it is NOT a good idea to redundantly tag all
applications tags as Math with the Science tag.

> If some distribution, sysadmin, user, desktop environment or whoever is 
> creating the vfolder info file decides that 'Science' is for some reason
> confusing as a name for a folder that queries the 'Science' keyword,
> then they can name that folder 'Science & Mathematics' or whateer they
> wish. Or they can create a new toplevel folder which they would call
> 'Mathematics' and query for 'Mathematics' there and in their 'Science'
> folder they would query for 'Science & NOT Mathematics', or some other
> combination of that.

Precisely!  If a distro chose to have separate top level menu categories
for Math & Science (actually this applies to any such usage) they would
have to know that Math apps would also be tagged Science and query for
'Science & NOT Math' which is not obvious.

OTOH, if Math applications were only tagged Math and a distro chose to
combine Math & Science into one top level menu category they would need to
query for 'Science & Math' which *is* obvious.

> So perhaps to clear this up, the spec should be appended to have a blurb
>  next to the 'Science' keyword that this in fact includes Mathematics.

No, I am suggesting that Math should not have the: "Science" in the:
"Related Categories" column.

> So unless a good case can be made that the vast majority of THE ENTIRE 
> WORLD (not just US) regards Mathematics as separate from Science,

This is a straw man -- a fallacious argument.

I suggest this because a significant number of people do not regard Math as
part of Science.

A standard should not contain things on which there is disagreement.  He is 
reversing the argument.  It should only include Mathematics as a division 
of Science if "the vast majority of THE ENTIRE WORLD (not just US) regards 
Mathematics as" part of Science.

> then english speakers that do consider this their common usage will just
> be at a disadvantage for creating vfolder info files by hand.

I hope that the above makes it clear how this would make it more difficult
to have Math applications tagged:


rather than:


This has nothing to do with being an English speaker.

> So, if you do wish to make sure that the 'Science' folder is called 
> 'Science & Mathematics' then take it up with the vfolder info file 
> distributors, but that does not affect the spec at all.

Yes, I understand that you don't see that it affects the spec, but it does.

But, the bottom line is, does it serve any useful purpose to have the spec 
include: "Science" in the "Related Categories" column for Math?  And, does 
any such useful purpose outweigh the disadvantage I have described.


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