[r-t] What is a method? (long message, sorry)

Don Morrison dfm at ringing.org
Sat Aug 9 04:37:39 UTC 2008

On Fri, Aug 8, 2008 at 7:00 PM, Mark Davies <mark at snowtiger.net> wrote:
> Well, you could certainly append a Dixonoid class. I'm not sure it's
> essential though - the two namespaces could be implicit. We could have
> "Dixons" and "Dixons", one being a principle and one a Dixonoid, and people
> would find ways to distinguish them. "Dixons the principles" and "Dixons the
> dixonoid".

You could make the same argument about surprise and treble bob. We
don't have to have surprise methods and treble bob methods. We could
have surprises and treble bobs, and "Oxford (the treble bob one), and
"Oxford (the surprise one)". Sensibly we don't choose to do that,
because the larger class is more useful. That way Oxford Treble Bob
and Oxford Surprise are unambiguous members of the same name space. We
simply partition this name space by class.

Similarly the larger class of "all the ways we generate rows" is
especially useful, and really deserves to be the thing to which we
apply "method". We don't want to have to talk about "a peal is rung
using methods, and/or Dixonoids, and/or other processes of generating
rows such that the methods and/or Dixonoids and/or other processes of
generating rows are at the same stage as blah, blah, blah". It's much
easier to talk about just "methods" in general, and restrict it to
certain kinds only when necessary.

Don Morrison <dfm at ringing.org>
"For the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric
acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might
have been, is half owing to the number who have lived faithfully a
hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs."  -- George Eliot, _Middlemarch_

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