Tim McDaniel tmcd at crl.com
Wed Oct 23 17:21:52 PDT 1996

Forwarded to SCA Heralds', since I think it's the sort of thing they'd
rather like to see.

On 22 Oct 1996, Aodhan Ite an Fhithich <aodhan at dobharchu.org> wrote:
> I could write an automatic conflict checker; I have over my career
> written code like most of its pieces as parts of other projects.  I
> am quite certain that, outside of some initial testing and "wow,
> gee-whizz this is great" use by a few branch heralds, such a program
> would not see any real use in the College of Arms for the same
> reasons the Auto-Land code goes unused - it would put specialists
> out of work.  So, I've never been motivated to do more than
> co-author a paper and make some mental design notes.

I have skeptical doubts about the ease of writing an automatic
conflict-checker, but I suppose should weight my opinion more with
Baron Aodhan's experience.

As for its usage: perhaps I'm atypical, but I hate conflict-checking.
I especially hate it when consulting and the client is waiting there
for an answer, or when we design something nice and I take it home and
find a conflict there.  I'm not totally atypical, actually: Master
Robin of Gilwell hates it too.

I'd take up such a program in a moment.  (If it ran on a Unix machine,
and almost certainly under Windows for Workgroups --- yep, it's
ancient.  I'd also have to be told about where to find it, and I'd
like a mailing list about it.)  I'd take it up even if it were
somewhat unreliable, where I had to check each of a dozen possible
conflicts out by hand -- it's a lot easier and more interesting to
consider a few close calls than filter hundreds of unrelated arms.

(The same argument could have been made about the "Modest Proposal",
to remove conflict protection from almost all non-SCA armory.  In
fact, a few people objected who had a vested interest in the old
system -- those who did ordinaries for non-SCA armory.  Other
objectors objected, I think, more due to philosophical reasons.  A
rather slight majority prevailed, however, and happily ditched
everything but the SCA Ordinary.)

Daniel de Lincoln
                             Tim McDaniel
                        Reply-To: tmcd at crl.com
    mcdaniel at mcdaniel.dallas.tx.us is wrong tool.  Never use this.

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