Special states

Gregor Hagedorn G.Hagedorn at BBA.DE
Wed Sep 3 12:55:57 CEST 2003

Steve wrote:
> Yes, Kevin's interpretation is the same as the way I see it.  But this
> is only a small part of what Gregor presented in his last email.  I
> really don't understand where all the other stuff fits into this.  I
> get the feeling Gregor has designed the entire system and is now
> feeding us little bits at a time (currently "special states").  When
> we suggest alternatives Gregor seems to respond "No, that won't work
> because all the rest of it will break".  I find this very frustrating
> as we seem to be going around in circles.  I don't know what the
> solution is, but I'm pretty sure this isn't it.

First: I do not have the solution and am feeding it! I am searching
it together with you. On the other hand, I have some vague ideas what
may work, and naturally these ideas influence me in the direction I
am going.

I tried to be very serious in stepping back and explaining why I
consider it a progress that made in the Brazil discussion: The
general sorting out of how to treat categorical states, numerical
statistical parameter, and coding states in a model that supports
extension in future SDD versions and multiple languages. Note that
text characters or states and numerical value lists are not yet
touched at all.

Steve: can you be more specific about what "doesn't make much sense"
to you? I often feel that my communication skills are inadequate.
However, I really did not want to give the impression in the
"stepping back to the generalized character definition..." posting
"No, that won't work because all the rest of it will break". I truly
welcome proposals that show alternative ways that are easier to

However, the problems are connected. This is not specific to SDD. For
example, you cannot talk in DELTA about character dependency and
ignore how characters and states are modeled. The "Special states"
which I am very grateful you criticized in so much detail, is
embedded in the context of the Brazil proposal. In "stepping back" I
tried to summarize the relevant context and throw the discussion open
whether this should be changed.

Steve, we need much more input and feedback from you and others. Tell
me what do you propose to do that it is less frustrating?

Gregor Hagedorn (G.Hagedorn at bba.de)
Institute for Plant Virology, Microbiology, and Biosafety
Federal Research Center for Agriculture and Forestry (BBA)
Koenigin-Luise-Str. 19          Tel: +49-30-8304-2220
14195 Berlin, Germany           Fax: +49-30-8304-2203

Often wrong but never in doubt!

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