Rule definition terminology

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confocaloid
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Rule definition terminology

I don't believe this question is controversial, but it was suggested that I start a thread for this. https://conwaylife.com/w/index.php?diff ... did=141136

My attempt at a summary of the terminology involved when discussing definitions/specifications of CA rules:
• A condition is some particular constraint on the neighbourhood of a cell, that must be met for that cell to undergo a certain transition. For example, in the usual notation for Life-like cellular automata, B6 is a birth condition that can be explained as "a cell is born when there are exactly 6 alive neighbours".
• A transition is what happens or can happen with a cell. In a two-state CA, examples of transitions would be "birth", "survival", "death", "abstain".
• In jargon/in informal discussions, it is somewhat common to mix the two and write 'transition' instead of 'condition', but that is imprecise, and therefore should be avoided when explaining things to people that do not yet know them (e.g. on LifeWiki).
• When coding a specific CA rule, a transition function is a function that takes states of a cell and cells in its neighbourhood, and returns the new state of the cell. (I.e. the function "decides" which of possible transitions will happen for this cell in this tick. It may be implemented by explicitly checking whether or not the birth/survival conditions are met, or as an arbitrary code/computation.)
"birth condition" "birth conditions"
"survival condition" "survival conditions"
"transition function"

Here are a few quotes from different sources from the wider CA community:
CGSE/Create a universal two-dimensional cellular automaton cell using two-way universal logic processors wrote:A diagram of the setup, with example inputs (link to full-sized image):
[image]
This uses a simple approach; first it counts the number of live neighbouring cells, and then checks if that number fulfills a birth/survival condition.
A non-life-like cellular automaton wrote:To be specific, this automaton is very similar to B2/S23, but a dead cell comes to life iff it has precisely two live von Neumann neighbours; the survival condition still uses the Moore neighbourhood. Hence, in a sense, this automaton mixes the von Neumann and Moore neighbourhoods. Technically, though, it uses the entire Moore neighbourhood, but the birth condition cares about which neighbours are alive.
The B36/S125 “2x2” Life-Like Cellular Automaton wrote:More succinctly, a Life-like cellular automaton emulates a Margolus block cellular automaton if and only if, in its rulestring, B3 = S5, B4 = S4, B5 = S6 = S7, and B1 = B2 = S3. 2x2 can be seen to satisfy these conditions because 4 is neither a birth condition nor a survival condition, 5 is not a birth condition and 6 and 7 are not survival conditions, 3 is a birth condition and 5 is a survival condition, and 3 is not a survival condition and 1 and 2 are not birth conditions.
Last edited by confocaloid on November 20th, 2023, 3:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
127:1 B3/S234c User:Confocal/R (incomplete table of INT rules)
Unlikely events happen.
My silence does not imply agreement, nor indifference. If I disagreed with something in the past, then please do not construe my silence as something that could change that.

confocaloid
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forum post quotes

Here are a few quotes from the forum posts here:
azulavoir wrote:
October 6th, 2023, 9:44 am
Rule idea: Life Without Death, but a cell loses one survival condition for each generation alive.

So state 1 is b3/s012345678, but then becomes state 2 which loses s0, all the way until state 10, which by losing s8, follows b3/s and thus dies.

All cells are born in state 1, and any state 1-10 cell can count to birth.

Life with slow death, perhaps, unless someone has a better name.
snowman wrote:
August 23rd, 2023, 3:57 am
[...]
Today I decided to add B8 to the rule, just to see what would happen. Larger soups tend to congeal more, as was expected from adding a birth condition. All of the spaceships get preserved, but this 2c/108 is added:

Code: Select all

``````x = 3, y = 5, rule = B2-a58/S135678
3o\$bo\$obo2\$bo!
``````
[...]
rowett wrote:
September 30th, 2019, 9:37 am
[...]
• [[ RANDCHANCE item <0..100> ]] - set percentage chance of item being generated
• item can be:
• ALL - all birth and survival conditions
• B - all birth conditions
• S - all survival conditions
• B<0..n> - specific birth condition
• S<0..n> - specific survival condition
• random chance defaults to 50 for all conditions except B0 which defaults to 25
[...]
mniemiec wrote:
July 16th, 2020, 11:56 am
[...]
The list of still-lifes in this rule is a strict subset of those in Life, as the addition of one birth condition and removal of one survival condition makes some existing ones fail. (Adding survival conditions or removing birth conditions might add new ones, although not necessarily so; e.g. adding B8 won't add any new still-lifes unless you also have at least B5).
[...]
LaundryPizza03 wrote:
July 20th, 2021, 5:48 pm
Is there a spaceship in a range-2 LtL rule with lowest birth on 10 live neighbors? This is the highest condition that allows patterns to escape their bunding box or bounding diamond; most rules seem to explode or settle quietly into low-period objects. The rules with lowest birth on 8, 9, or 10 live neighbors are also under-searched in Catagolue.
[...]

dvgrn
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Re: Rule definition terminology

This looks to me like one of those cases where a reasonable idea --

"it's a little more precise to refer to something like B1 or B2i as a 'birth condition' rather than a 'birth transition'"

-- is getting carried too far, to the point where edits to dozens of LifeWiki pages will be needed to make consistent use of "condition" rather than "transition".

At the moment, I'm not at all clear that this recent edit by confocaloid to the tlife page is any kind of improvement. I've reverted that change for now, mostly to register a clear objection. Otherwise I would be somewhat worried that similar "transition" -> "condition" replacements might start happening on other pages.

It seems to me that "transition" is very frequently used with the exact same meaning as the proposed use of "condition" -- so frequently, in fact, that it makes sense to keep existing uses of "transition" in that sense in LifeWiki articles. It looks to me like a lost cause to try to substitute "condition" for every use of "transition" where it could theoretically be substituted -- it just doesn't look to me like that would improve the clarity of the articles at all.

Perhaps not surprisingly, I'm not convinced that the current use of "transition" on the OCA:Tlife page and dozens of other pages is any kind of "jargon" or "informal use". It seems like a very widely accepted standard usage, with a clearly defined meaning in that context. As with many words with multiple meanings, it's generally very clear from context what meaning is intended.

On the forums, we have whole threads full of uses along the lines of "Rules 1 Transition from Life". That's the standard way to say that. I don't think there are any threads called anything like "Rules 2 Conditions from Life". That doesn't sound right to me, so I don't think "condition" should be considered to be an improvement over "transition" in all of these cases.

I'd like to hear what other people think about this. Should we leave the four uses of "transition" in the OCA:Tlife article the way they currently are, or would it be better to change them to "condition"?

confocaloid
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Above I provided a number of quotes, both from the forum posts and elsewhere, showing that the proper common term for something like B1 or B2i is 'condition'.
dvgrn wrote:
November 20th, 2023, 4:10 pm
I've reverted that change for now, mostly to register a clear objection.
I do not understand this objection. I was not introducing any new terminology that was not already in common use. My edit ( https://conwaylife.com/w/index.php?diff ... did=141326 ) is an attempt to make the wording in that article more clear and precise.
dvgrn wrote:
November 20th, 2023, 4:10 pm
Otherwise I would be somewhat worried that similar "transition" -> "condition" replacements might start happening on other pages.
I do not understand why exactly you would be worried about this, given that it is more precise to refer to something like B1 or B2i as a 'birth condition' rather than a 'birth transition'. A more clear and precise wording is preferable.
127:1 B3/S234c User:Confocal/R (incomplete table of INT rules)
Unlikely events happen.
My silence does not imply agreement, nor indifference. If I disagreed with something in the past, then please do not construe my silence as something that could change that.

dvgrn
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Re: Rule definition terminology

confocaloid wrote:
November 20th, 2023, 4:33 pm
I do not understand why exactly you would be worried about this, given that it is more precise to refer to something like B1 or B2i as a 'birth condition' rather than a 'birth transition'. A more clear and precise wording is preferable.
It's the usual problem with me not accepting your premises.

You say things like "given that it is more precise to refer to something like B1 or B2i as a 'birth condition' rather than a 'birth transition' ..."

It doesn't seem to occur to you that I might not accept that premise as a "given". I don't in fact accept that premise, at the moment -- but as I mentioned, I'm interested to hear what other people think.

confocaloid
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Re: Rule definition terminology

You yourself posted earlier in this thread that it is a reasonable idea. Now that you claim that you "don't in fact accept that premise", you're basically contradicting yourself.
dvgrn wrote:
November 20th, 2023, 4:10 pm
This looks to me like one of those cases where a reasonable idea --

"it's a little more precise to refer to something like B1 or B2i as a 'birth condition' rather than a 'birth transition'"

-- [...]
dvgrn wrote:
November 20th, 2023, 7:28 pm
[...]
You say things like "given that it is more precise to refer to something like B1 or B2i as a 'birth condition' rather than a 'birth transition' ..."

It doesn't seem to occur to you that I might not accept that premise as a "given". I don't in fact accept that premise, at the moment -- but as I mentioned, I'm interested to hear what other people think.
I think the change to 'condition' is an improvement. I do not think I understand your arguments/objections to my attempted improvements to OCA:tlife.
127:1 B3/S234c User:Confocal/R (incomplete table of INT rules)
Unlikely events happen.
My silence does not imply agreement, nor indifference. If I disagreed with something in the past, then please do not construe my silence as something that could change that.

confocaloid
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Re: Rule definition terminology

To reply to https://conwaylife.com/w/index.php?diff ... did=141349
User:Dvgrn wrote:'Condition' doesn't sound right to me in some of these cases, because it doesn't match common usage.
'Condition' definitely matches common usage. In fact it might be more common, if counting only relevant matches in search results -

search.php?keywords=birth+conditions
search.php?keywords=survival+conditions
https://conwaylife.com/w/index.php?sear ... fulltext=1
https://conwaylife.com/w/index.php?sear ... fulltext=1
User:Dvgrn wrote:'Transition' has been plenty precise enough to be used without any controversy in dozens of LifeWiki articles, up to now.
"Dozens" is an overstatement. There are only a few dozens matches for either "transitions" or "transition" in total, and many of these matches are irrelevant (e.g. because they refer to some events rather than neighbourhood configurations). And there are at least as many matches for "condition" or "conditions" on the wiki.

Regardless, the fact that people sometimes use 'birth transition' informally to mean what is commonly referred to as 'birth condition', does not make a valid sufficient reason for reverting my attempt to reword a specific article OCA:tlife.
Just because people sometimes use a different word, does not mean that rewording to 'condition' is not an improvement.
127:1 B3/S234c User:Confocal/R (incomplete table of INT rules)
Unlikely events happen.
My silence does not imply agreement, nor indifference. If I disagreed with something in the past, then please do not construe my silence as something that could change that.

dvgrn
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Re: Rule definition terminology

confocaloid wrote:
November 20th, 2023, 8:10 pm
"Dozens" is an overstatement.
Is it really? I can see uses that it seems reasonable to guess that you might want to change, in

Rulespace, Deficient rule, Non-isotropic rule, Integer sequences, Isotropic non-totalistic rule, Pólya enumeration theorem, List of isotropic non-totalistic rules, Cellular automaton simulation programs by supported rulespaces, , Universal computer, One-dimensional cellular automaton/Wolfram rule, Static symmetry, Pedestrian Life/Snippet, Nutshell, Duoplet, Worker bee, 20P4, Rulespace, Beacon, Sombreros, Coe's p8, Tutorials/Finding rules, Tutorials/Coding Life simulators/bitwise SWAR Life, Tutorials/Creating custom rules, and Tutorials/General technology.

That's dozens. Now, maybe it will it turns out that you wouldn't actually want to make the change in a few of those cases, for reasons that I don't understand yet. That's fine -- please substitute "a significant number of articles" for "dozens of articles". At the moment I don't see why the change from "transition" to "condition" needs to be made in any of these articles -- they seem fine the way they are.

'Condition' seems to me to work best when the topic under discussion specifically has to do with "birth condition(s)" and/or "survival condition(s)". Without the prefix adjective, it seems to me that "transition" is just a bit more useful as a general term. So at the moment I would vote in favor of keeping the status quo, unless it turns out that there's a general consensus in favor of changing it.
confocaloid wrote:
November 20th, 2023, 8:10 pm
Just because people sometimes use a different word, does not mean that rewording to 'condition' is not an improvement.
No argument there. But the case that rewording to 'condition' is any kind of improvement has not been proven either.

So ... before any more editing gets done along these lines, I'd still like to hear more from other people in the community who think that it's actually a good idea to reword these dozens of LifeWiki articles to use (what I think is) the significantly less common term 'condition', to refer to isotropic transitions.

confocaloid
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Re: Rule definition terminology

dvgrn wrote:
November 20th, 2023, 10:17 pm
Now, maybe it will it turns out that you wouldn't actually want to make the change in a few of those cases, for reasons that I don't understand yet.
First of all, my edit in OCA:tlife was an attempt to improve a single specific article. I don't consider your revert of that attempt as an improvement.

Second of all, in informal discussions on the forum, the choice between 'condition' and 'transition' is mostly a personal preference of whoever wrote the post.
Several of links you posted are to tutorials, which are not really articles (to the point that it would make sense to have a separate dedicated MediaWiki namespace for tutorials). Tutorials do not have clear-cut style requirements, and a tutorial may reasonably contain personal preferences of a major contributor. So you can exclude tutorials from your list of links.

Third of all, for actual articles, 'condition' is more clear and correct. This word correctly expresses the fact that 'B6' or 'S5n' denotes more than just which event happens with a cell; rather, it is an explanation of when a certain event (birth, survival) will happen according to the definition of a rule, i.e. a specific condition under which the event (the transition) happens. Hence the word 'condition' should be preferred in LifeWiki articles, because those are aimed at a wider audience of readers interested in CA. It is also commonly used in CA-related sources (and I posted several quotes above as examples).
dvgrn wrote:
November 20th, 2023, 10:17 pm
'Condition' seems to me to work best when the topic under discussion specifically has to do with "birth condition(s)" and/or "survival condition(s)".
When one would like to say that two (2-state range-1 Moore neighbourhood) isotropic rules differ in two individually toggleable elements of the rulestring in Hensel notation, then the current topic under discussion (the difference between rule definitions / rulestrings) specifically has to do with birth and survival conditions.
When one would like to compare a rule to HighLife on the grounds that a cell is born when it has 6 alive neighbours in both rules, then the current topic under discussion (intersection of sets of birth/survival conditions defining the two rules) specifically has to do with birth conditions.
This seems to suggest that my rewording in OCA:tlife was in fact an improvement; yet it was reverted for some reason.
127:1 B3/S234c User:Confocal/R (incomplete table of INT rules)
Unlikely events happen.
My silence does not imply agreement, nor indifference. If I disagreed with something in the past, then please do not construe my silence as something that could change that.

dvgrn
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Re: Rule definition terminology

confocaloid wrote:
November 20th, 2023, 7:36 pm
You yourself posted earlier in this thread that it is a reasonable idea. Now that you claim that you "don't in fact accept that premise", you're basically contradicting yourself.
A statement can perfectly well be a "reasonable idea" without being acceptable as a premise that is solid enough to base a pile of deductive reasoning on, with significant consequences.

I think that 'condition' is maybe a little more precise in some cases, but that it's also potentially more confusing in other places. So it doesn't seem to me like a good idea to do wholesale replacements of 'transition' of the kind that you attempted in the OCA:tlife article, until we hear more opinions from the community. If people say that replacing 'transition' with 'condition' won't actually improve the clarity of the articles in question, then we shouldn't make those replacements.

Re: the claim that I've contradicted myself: this kind of chop-logic is very seldom a useful contribution to a discussion. I'm sorry now that I bothered to defend my claim of "dozens of articles", since that also fell right into the trap of pointless meta-discussion -- though it did at least create a useful list of specific articles for people to look at! That was my excuse for posting those links, but it was still partly pointless meta-discussion.

In the future, instead of looking for ways that you can quickly claim that someone else is wrong, please seriously consider that they might have a valid point somewhere, even if you think they're not expressing it very well -- and start asking questions as needed to clarify what you don't understand. If you don't ask questions, then other participants can't answer your questions -- all they can do is argue with your unqualified statements of (what you believe to be) facts. I'll try to use the same rule of thumb: ask clarifying questions whenever possible (not pointed or rhetorical ones) and try to understand the answers to those questions.
confocaloid wrote:
November 20th, 2023, 7:36 pm
I think the change to 'condition' is an improvement. I do not think I understand your arguments/objections to my attempted improvements to OCA:tlife.
I don't currently believe that it's a good idea to change "transition" to "condition" in those four places in the OCA:tlife article. It looks to me like that's the top of a slippery slope, where you'll want to change "transition" to "condition" in a good number of other LifeWiki articles. It sounds like you've concluded that the existing terminology "transition" should be replaced in all of the "actual articles" from the list I posted -- on the grounds that "'condition' is more precise", whereas the term 'transition' is imprecise or jargon and therefore objectionable. Do I have that right?

Other People -- fourth request
@confocaloid, I'd really like to hear from other people in the community what they think about this proposed change. I believe that that's supposed to be the point of starting a thread on this new board. Do you agree? I think that more posts from me re-stating my objections, or more posts from you saying that you don't understand my objections, really aren't going to help.

I didn't add any emphasis the last three times I mentioned "other people" above. But now we're up to ten long messages from you and me, with nobody else chiming in. If we go by past experience, that's a very bad sign -- most people tend to avoid wall-of-text argument threads like the plague.

So... I won't say any more on this thread unless I'm asked a direct question, in hopes that it's not too late to get other community members to express an opinion. I hope you can see you way to exercising some similar restraint here. Please feel free to move to PMs or back to LifeWiki talk pages as needed, if you have questions that haven't been answered.

confocaloid
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Re: Rule definition terminology

dvgrn wrote:
November 21st, 2023, 9:07 am
confocaloid wrote:
November 20th, 2023, 7:36 pm
I think the change to 'condition' is an improvement. I do not think I understand your arguments/objections to my attempted improvements to OCA:tlife.
I don't currently believe that it's a good idea to change "transition" to "condition" in those four places in the OCA:tlife article. It looks to me like that's the top of a slippery slope, where you'll want to change "transition" to "condition" in a good number of other LifeWiki articles. It sounds like you've concluded that the existing terminology "transition" should be replaced in all of the "actual articles" from the list I posted -- on the grounds that "'condition' is more precise", whereas the term 'transition' is imprecise or jargon and therefore objectionable. Do I have that right?
No you don't.

First, as I already wrote ( viewtopic.php?p=171643#p171643 ) my edit in OCA:tlife was an attempt to improve a single specific article. I don't believe your insistence on discussing other wiki pages contributes to the discussion of the content of OCA:tlife in a useful way.

Second, re: my rewording in OCA:tlife that you reverted without explaining why: https://conwaylife.com/w/index.php?diff ... did=141326
• "tlife is identical to Life, save for two conditions expressed in [[Hensel notation]]:" -- this is more precise and more clear for wiki readers, since it explains what is the set of conditions containing the two differing conditions. (Specifically, as expained down in the text, -S2i implies that cells with 2 alive neighbours in a straight orthogonal line (as in [[blinker]]) will die, and +S4q implies that cells with 4 alive neighbours (as in the dense phase of [[beacon]]) will survive.)
These are not "differing transitions" as the set of possible transitions is the same for both rules (there are four possible transitions, one for each combination of the previous state of a cell and the new state of the same cell). Instead, -S2i and +S4q state what are the differing survival conditions (conditions under which a cell survives). The survival condition S2i is removed; the survival condition S4q is added.
• "It is very closely related to the much more commonly known rule [[Conway's Game of Life]], differing by only two conditions." -- again, 'conditions' is more precise and clear, for the same reason.
• "This rule is commonly known as "tHighLife", due to it sharing a B6 condition with {{rl|HighLife}}." -- again, 'B6 condition' is correct and clear because it is literally a birth condition (a cell is born when it has 6 neighbours).
The 'transition' in this case would be the change from cellstate 0 to cellstate 1, i.e. birth of a cell.
127:1 B3/S234c User:Confocal/R (incomplete table of INT rules)
Unlikely events happen.
My silence does not imply agreement, nor indifference. If I disagreed with something in the past, then please do not construe my silence as something that could change that.

hotdogPi
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Common usage calls them transitions. There's no need to change this.
User:HotdogPi/My discoveries

Periods discovered: 5-16,⑱,⑳G,㉑G,㉒㉔㉕,㉗-㉛,㉜SG,㉞㉟㊱㊳㊵㊷㊹㊺㊽㊿,54G,55G,56,57G,60,62-66,68,70,73,74S,75,76S,80,84,88,90,96
100,02S,06,08,10,12,14G,16,17G,20,26G,28,38,47,48,54,56,72,74,80,92,96S
217,486,576

S: SKOP
G: gun

confocaloid
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Re: Rule definition terminology

hotdogPi wrote:
November 21st, 2023, 10:40 am
Common usage calls them transitions. There's no need to change this.
I already posted several quotes that show that 'condition' is commonly used: viewtopic.php?p=171596#p171596

What is a 'transition'? As far as I understand it is an event that can happen with a cell (in a single tick). Birth is a transition, death is a transition, etc. For multistate rules there can be more possible transitions.
Last edited by confocaloid on November 21st, 2023, 11:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
127:1 B3/S234c User:Confocal/R (incomplete table of INT rules)
Unlikely events happen.
My silence does not imply agreement, nor indifference. If I disagreed with something in the past, then please do not construe my silence as something that could change that.

confocaloid
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Joined: February 8th, 2022, 3:15 pm

Re: Rule definition terminology

confocaloid wrote:
November 21st, 2023, 10:43 am
I already posted several quotes that show that 'condition' is commonly used: viewtopic.php?p=171596#p171596
Here are more quotes from the forum. I did not go over all search results (and I can guess there are more relevant results outside the forum) but hopefully these (along with quotes I posted earlier) should be enough to show that these toggleable things are commonly described as conditions.
May13 wrote:
April 25th, 2023, 10:21 am
[...]
Therefore, it is required either to add a birth condition (except for B2x due to S2), or to remove a survival condition with three neighbours (S3-x).
[...]
Yoel wrote:
December 18th, 2022, 11:53 am
Introducing a series of rules that only very slightly modify the behavior of Life, allowing for a photon and a diaphoton to appear in some rare circumstances, namely by one particular birth condition that gives birth to a state 6 cell that behaves like a regular live cell, unless some other condition is met, which gives birth to a photon cell, which, in turn, produces 4 photons and 4 diaphotons.
[...]
ZackBuildit777 wrote:
April 13th, 2022, 9:59 am
[...] since the only birth condition is B2a, a cell can only be born if it has two live neighbors, and both share an edge. [...]
rowett wrote:
December 21st, 2021, 6:55 pm
[...] Both rules 2 and 3 are invalid since they specify a max birth condition of 81 and there are only 80 cells in their outer-totalistic neighbourhoods. [...]
muzik wrote:
February 6th, 2019, 12:49 pm
2c/218 from tweaking one birth condition of the original slow ship rule. Something tells me it's known.

Code: Select all

``````x = 23, y = 23, rule = R10,C0,M1,S153..262,B133..265,NM
8bo4bo\$7bob3o2bo\$5b9o2bo\$5b11obo\$3bob12obo\$4b16o\$3b17o\$b20o\$b9o2b9o\$ob
7o4b9o\$b7o6b9o\$b7o6b9o\$b7o6b9o\$ob7o4b9o\$b9o2b9o\$b20o\$3b17o\$4b16o\$3bob
12obo\$5b11obo\$5b9o2bo\$7bob3o2bo\$8bo4bo!
``````
Rhombic wrote:
July 1st, 2017, 4:50 pm
This script does not convert length 512 binary strings to the mapcode. It only switches birth/survival conditions with 9-digit codes.
If yu want to work from scratch, use AAAAAAAAAAAAA... ...AAAA and then add each condition.
lemon41625 wrote:
April 23rd, 2020, 6:09 am
So the number after rg is the number of states.

When a dead cell satisfies the birth condition B, it will become state L where L is the number after l.

rb and rs refer to the birth and survival conditions for dying cells.

When a dying cell satisfies the birth condition, they regenerate and become 'less dead'. Like from Dying 2 to Dying 1, Dying 1 to Alive.
When a dying cell satisfies the survival condition, they survive and stay the same.
If not they become 'more dead', like from Dying 1 to Dying 2, Dying 2 to Dying 3 like in generations.
Hdjensofjfnen wrote:
January 7th, 2020, 12:47 am
[...]
Anyway, here is a p6 oscillator that survives in a hexagonal rule with one birth condition and one survival condition, because it's mod 1.

Code: Select all

``````x = 4, y = 5, rule = B2o/S2oH
o\$2o\$o\$bo\$3bo!
``````
[...]
Gamedziner wrote:
June 27th, 2017, 7:03 am
[...] That page only gives access to totalistic rules, but makes it easier for me to change the rule whenever I want (with a single click, I can toggle a birth or survival condition on or off). [...]
Rhombic wrote:
March 11th, 2017, 1:41 pm
I'll go ahead with a very easy puzzle:
Add or remove one non-totalistic birth/survival condition and remove one cell to turn this pattern into a xq4.
Please don't use Catagolue to find the actual ship.

Code: Select all

``````x = 6, y = 4, rule = B2c3-ey4q/S23-a
b2o\$obo2bo\$3b3o\$5bo!
``````
127:1 B3/S234c User:Confocal/R (incomplete table of INT rules)
Unlikely events happen.
My silence does not imply agreement, nor indifference. If I disagreed with something in the past, then please do not construe my silence as something that could change that.

dvgrn
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Re: Rule definition terminology

@confocaloid, I guess I'd better take your most recent reversion to "condition" in OCA:tlife as an implied question, even though you still don't seem to have actually asked anyone a single question on this subject. (I guess there's one rhetorical question, but then you answer it yourself.)

Moderator notes first...
Speaking as a moderator, I strongly advise you to start asking questions instead of just constantly making statements about your own opinions. Questions encourage discussion, whereas posting one confident assertion after another reliably seems to stifle discussion, at least with the wider community.

This thread so far is a fine example of the problem created by too many assertions and too few questions. This has become yet another thread that most people seem to find unreadable and uninteresting. People don't contribute to threads where there's no sign of anyone being interested in their opinion, and where the responses basically drown them out.

Suggestion: whenever you find yourself about to post something that starts along the lines of "I already posted...", "I already wrote...", etc., please don't make that post. If you already posted something, then you can safely assume that people already read and understood it (if they didn't ask you questions about it). If you post the same thing again, you're just creating a lot of clutter in the discussion for no useful purpose. This has happened more than once on this thread already.

Speaking as a moderator, also, I strongly advise you to follow LW:DR carefully -- and be conservative. If a moderator gets involved in a dispute, as happened in this OCA:tlife article case, please assume that the dispute-resolution process has skipped to step 4. You've now twice reverted "transition" to "condition", undoing a moderator's action. The guidelines say that you shouldn't do that without at least 1) waiting a week, and 2) involving another moderator if necessary.

Long story short, the new dispute resolution guidelines are trying to very strongly suggest that you should not undo actions made by moderators when they're trying to stop edit wars. If that's not clear to you from the current wording of the guidelines, please feel free to suggest improved wording that will make that clear to you.

Your current edits in this OCA:tlife case are taking up way too much moderator time. This kind of behavior is going to have to change.

EDIT: Yikes, three undos in a row now! This kind of behavior is really really going to have to change. It seems really very odd that you're accusing me of edit warring in the latest undo attempt, when you're the one undoing a moderator's action in contravention of LW:DR (see below).

Okay, taking the moderator hat off now ---

Why I personally object to changing the "transition" terms in OCA:tlife to "condition"

Your recent posts keep trying to prove something that there doesn't seem to be any argument about. The term "condition" is indeed frequently used to refer to things like "B1" or "B2i".

However, look at your collected examples carefully. The word "condition" almost always has a prefix when it's used -- it's either specifically "birth condition" or "survival condition".

The context of the "birth" or "survival" prefix makes the meaning of "condition" perfectly clear. Without the prefix, the use of "condition" in many of these cases would seem less clearly understandable to me.

Now, there are quite a few common uses of the phrases "birth transition" or "survival transition", too, by multiple people, going back at least eight years. There's even a code snippet with a "Fatal error: malformed survival transition" message. But usually the prefix is not needed. "Transition" is commonly used to refer to either B transitions or S transitions, with no need to specify which -- and that makes it a very useful general term, in cases like "Rules 1 transition from Life" (and many others, which can be found on a search).

Your proposed changes are to uses of "transition" that don't include any specification of "birth" or "survival". In my opinion, the term "condition" doesn't actually work quite as well as "transition" when no prefix is specified. That means that it honestly looks to me like the substitution of "condition" for "transition" everywhere does some slight damage to clarity in this specific article. It doesn't look like an improvement at all, in any way.

-- And just to be clear, I don't think that substituting specifically "birth condition" or "survival condition" for these instances of "transition" would be an improvement either. As hotdogPi has said, there's no need to make this change.

confocaloid
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Re: Rule definition terminology

dvgrn wrote:
November 22nd, 2023, 10:32 am
[...] As hotdogPi has said, there's no need to make this change.
It is one thing when one actually directly states their objections (i.e. explains why some changes are not considered improvements).
It is another thing when one is merely asserting "I object" without explaining why. That is not a valid objection. (Otherwise any edit in any article could be arbitrarily reverted with summary as illuminating as "There's no need to change this." or "I've reverted that change for now, mostly to register a clear objection.") Unfortunately this is the first post that actually contained a direct explanation. And it only appeared after some attempts to invoke "slippery slope" or otherwise blame me.

Re: "moderator hat", if you blame people instead of/before trying to actually understand the issue, then it shouldn't come as a great surprise when those people find it harder and harder to take your words seriously / trust you in that you will not mishandle future situations like this again and again. This is my feedback anyway.
127:1 B3/S234c User:Confocal/R (incomplete table of INT rules)
Unlikely events happen.
My silence does not imply agreement, nor indifference. If I disagreed with something in the past, then please do not construe my silence as something that could change that.

confocaloid
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Apart from the "There's no need to change this." thing above, here is what I disagree with.
dvgrn wrote:
November 22nd, 2023, 10:32 am
"Transition" is commonly used to refer to either B transitions or S transitions, with no need to specify which -- and that makes it a very useful general term, in cases like "Rules 1 transition from Life" (and many others, which can be found on a search).
The word 'transition' fails to be helpful when you mix different sets of conditions in a single text.
Without added explanations this word is problematic, as it relies on implicit assumptions about the set of individually toggleable/tunable conditions. (With Hensel notation, there are 2x51 = 102 conditions, counting 51 birth conditions and 51 survival conditions. With the usual notation for Life-like cellular automata, there are 2x9 = 18 conditions that could be toggled.)

You mention thread "Rules 1 transition from Life". That thread also relies on the assumption that these 'transitions' are the 102 simple conditions expressible in Hensel notation. So HighLife (B36/S23) does not belong on that thread because it is 6 Hensel conditions away from CGoL (B6c, B6e, B6k, B6a, B6i, B6n).

The word 'condition' is better when you mix different sets in a single text, because it remains correct. B6 is still a condition, even though it can be decomposed into several conditions.

In other words:

It is correct and clear to write 'B6 condition' or 'S8 condition' or 'B3i condition' or 'S5k condition', because all of these are actual conditions (and the letter B or S makes it clear whether these are birth conditions or survival conditions). There is no expectation that these are simplest possible conditions that can be expressed.

In contrast, the use of the word 'transition' in this version of the article is problematic, as it says 'two differing transitions' in one place, while at the same time saying 'This rule is commonly known as "tHighLife", due to it sharing a B6 transition with {{rl|HighLife}}.' in other place. If you count Hensel conditions when you write 'transition', then B6 cannot be a 'transition'. It is six Hensel conditions. This becomes confusing and misleading.

The simplest possible fix to this that I see is to replace 'transition' with 'condition' (as I actually attempted to do). Calling these 'conditions' all the way through the article would be clear, correct and consistent (both internally consistent and consistent with common usage).
dvgrn wrote:
November 22nd, 2023, 10:32 am
Your proposed changes are to uses of "transition" that don't include any specification of "birth" or "survival".
I disagree. Those uses do include specification of birth or survival. When you write '-S2i' or '+S4q', there is already a specification that these are survival conditions (as the first letter "S"). Likewise it is clear that 'a B6 condition' means a birth condition, since the first letter is "B".
127:1 B3/S234c User:Confocal/R (incomplete table of INT rules)
Unlikely events happen.
My silence does not imply agreement, nor indifference. If I disagreed with something in the past, then please do not construe my silence as something that could change that.

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Re: Rule definition terminology

confocaloid wrote:
November 22nd, 2023, 1:31 pm
Apart from the "There's no need to change this." thing above, here is what I disagree with...
It appears to me that you've explained all of this before, at some length, in this thread and on the OCA:tlife talk page. Saying these things all over again doesn't make them more believable.

My objection stands. Here are all the statements that you just made that I simply don't believe are true, because I disagree with your premises.

"The word 'transition' fails to be helpful when you mix different sets of conditions in a single text. Without added explanations this word is problematic..."

-- Nope, it works fine for me. It's helpful and non-problematic, and it's very widely used in cases exactly like the ones you're trying to replace in this specific article.

"If you count Hensel conditions when you write 'transition', then B6 cannot be a 'transition'."

-- Nope, I think 'transition' works just exactly as well as "condition" in that situation. Simply replacing 'transition' with 'condition' seems to leave precisely the same ambiguity as before. Making the replacement wouldn't help at all.

Luckily it doesn't seem like a particularly confusing ambiguity, so whether this is changed or not, there's still equally no actual problem. "B6" is commonly referred to as a transition -- a Moore neighborhood outer-totalistic transition, usually, though of course it could be any other kind of CA where cells have at least six neighbors. It's still a transition, even though it can be decomposed into several other (isotropic) transitions. B2i and B4q are commonly referred to as transitions, too.

"The simplest possible fix to this that I see is to replace 'transition' with 'condition' (as I actually attempted to do). Calling these 'conditions' all the way through the article would be clear, correct and consistent (both internally consistent and consistent with common usage)."

The second sentence is mostly true -- it wouldn't be terribly harmful to make this replacement. The wording with 'condition' would be reasonably correct and consistent, just maybe not quite as clear. So in my opinion the change would be just slightly harmful -- but definitely not an improvement. 'Transition' is much more commonly used in situations like this, whenever people aren't talking specifically about "birth conditions" and "survival conditions". So the simplest possible fix is actually to not change anything. Those existing uses of 'transition' are absolutely standard common usage, and I don't think they're going to confuse anybody.

Now, I'm still somewhat hoping for input specifically from other community members on this thread.

I would highly encourage anyone who is even slightly confused by the uses of 'transition' in OCA:tlife to speak up here at this point -- especially if they think they would be less confused if 'condition' was used in their place. It's perfectly possible for me to change my mind if I find out (for example) that the majority of people in the community think that this proposed change is a good idea.

I'm just not likely to change my mind if everyone who speaks up says that they prefer the existing wording using 'transition'.

-- @confocaloid, I do understand that you're probably imagining a wider audience of potentially confused LifeWiki readers, beyond the potential readers of this thread. In the absence of any evidence, I don't believe that that confused wider audience that you're imagining actually exists. Anyone who reads even a small amount about isotropic rules on the LifeWiki or the forums will readily figure out what is meant by "transitions". The current usage is clear, correct, and consistent.

confocaloid
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Re: Rule definition terminology

What you claim does not line up with what you do.

You make definite statements about what you claim to be "standard common usage" and you essentially dismissed all the quotes that I posted above and my explanations, and now claiming "absence of any evidence". I posted the evidence and the explanations. You basically ignored them.

This is not exactly encouraging other people to contribute. In this thread and in previous conflicts, you are attacking people that disagree with you, instead of accepting feedback that does not line up with your statements of "standard common usage" etc. etc. and it does not seem like you actually want to hear any such feedback.
dvgrn wrote:
November 22nd, 2023, 3:25 pm
Now, I'm still somewhat hoping for input specifically from other community members on this thread.

I would highly encourage [...]
127:1 B3/S234c User:Confocal/R (incomplete table of INT rules)
Unlikely events happen.
My silence does not imply agreement, nor indifference. If I disagreed with something in the past, then please do not construe my silence as something that could change that.

galoomba
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Re: Rule definition terminology

confocaloid wrote:
November 22nd, 2023, 3:39 pm
You make definite statements about what you claim to be "standard common usage" and you essentially dismissed all the quotes that I posted above and my explanations, and now claiming "absence of any evidence". I posted the evidence and the explanations. You basically ignored them.
Those quotes are not evidence of "that confused wider audience that you're imagining". They may be evidence of something else, but that's not what dvgrn was talking about, so it's irrelevant.

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Re: Rule definition terminology

confocaloid wrote:
November 22nd, 2023, 11:48 am
Re: "moderator hat", if you blame people instead of/before trying to actually understand the issue, then it shouldn't come as a great surprise when those people find it harder and harder to take your words seriously / trust you in that you will not mishandle future situations like this again and again. This is my feedback anyway.
This probably needs a separate response.

You seem to me to be overusing the word "blame" again. I'm trying to stop edit wars. You have been continuing this particular edit war when the rules say you should have stopped at least a couple of edits ago. I don't care about assigning blame at all -- maybe you are completely blameless, a hapless victim of my poor communication skills -- but I still definitely want you to stop trying to undo recent moderator actions right after they happen. That's just plain not ever going to work.

When you do things that a moderator doesn't want you to do, the moderator is going to point out that you did them, and tell you to stop. If you do what the moderator says, then no blame needs to be assigned. If you keep doing whatever-it-is, then I suppose that various unpleasant things might happen, but "blame" still isn't really an important part of that.

There's certainly no requirement that you have to like my moderation style, or that you trust me not to mishandle things. However, there is definitely a requirement that you follow the rules of the LifeWiki, just like everyone else.

At least the last two of your three recent "undo" operations on OCA:tlife look to me like seriously bad judgment on your part, to put it bluntly. Very early on in the discussion, on the OCA:tlife talk page, I made it clear that I was acting in my capacity as moderator.
on the OCA:tlife talk page, dvgrn wrote:I'm a bit surprised that you decided to unilaterally go ahead and chanfge all existing uses of "transition" to "condition" in the article, as you have just done -- especially immediately after a moderator made an edit to try to settle an edit war. You've been asked very recently to avoid second-guessing moderator edits in this way.
The edit that I mentioned was an attempt on my part to settle an edit war between you and Haycat2009 that seemed to be getting started in that article.

Now, moderators won't always get things right on the first try. We'll just do our best to improve whatever sticky situation has cropped up. If we're wrong on the first try, we'll maybe do better on the next try -- but once a moderator has gotten involved, it's just an absolutely terrible idea for the original people who were involved in the dispute to try to step in and "improve" on what the moderator did. In this case, both you and Haycat2009 made those kinds of ill-advised attempted adjustments. That was not acceptable behavior.

Don't undo moderator edits
I'll try saying this again, as clearly as possible. Don't undo moderator edits while an issue is still being discussed, no matter how wrong you think those edits are. That's always going to be considered to be edit warring, except that it's even more ill-advised than participating in a normal edit war. Your fixes for any moderator mistakes can perfectly well wait for a little while -- and that enforced period of waiting will avoid a lot of future edit wars. You have now been warned.

That doesn't mean you have no recourse in cases like this. Quite the contrary, there's a whole procedure laid out in LW:DR for what to do when you don't agree with an edit that a moderator has made. You haven't been following any of those rules.

Current Status
Here's where we are right now on this issue:

You have referred to your edit that replaced all uses of 'transition' on OCA:tlife with "'condition', as a "suggested change". I rolled it back because it was against current LifeWiki rules, but said on the OCA:tlife talk page that that was just "for now":
on the OCA:tlife talk page, dvgrn wrote:Since the change you made was just a "suggested change", I'll go ahead and undo it for now, since it will still be visible as a diff. Would you care to open a new thread on LifeWiki discussion about "condition" vs. "transition", with a link to that diff -- and then we'll see how things go from there?
That suggested change is still very much on the table. There are clear conditions under which the transition to your wording for that article could still perfectly well happen. All you have to do is show that there's a general consensus in favor of your edit.

I hope you've noticed by this point that there's no visible general consensus in your favor at the moment: no one besides you has spoken up in favor of your proposed change, and three people have expressed objections.

In the absence of a clear consensus, it didn't make a lot of sense for you to immediately revert my edits, multiple times. That was just completely pointless edit warring. The topic had been added to the LifeWiki Discussion board, so it was officially recognized as a topic of discussion.

You've been aiming your arguments specifically at the executive decision that I made in my capacity as a LifeWiki moderator. That decision was about what state the OCA:tlife article should be left in while this issue is being worked out. Again, that was just a temporary moderator decision aimed at preventing an edit war; there's really no point in attacking it, since it's temporary and easily reversible. It would have worked fine if you had followed the rules instead of insisting on continuing an edit war.

I've been looking for community input on the question (see the various appeals above, with the words "other people"). However, our long wall-of-text posts are probably getting in the way of community feedback, as usual.

I really wish that you would also prioritize looking for more input from the community. "Input" means new, clear, current opinions on this specific topic. It doesn't mean quotations from old posts that can maybe be interpreted to support your position. I'm talking about people who might now make a post saying "I agree with confocaloid on this one -- those four uses of 'transition' should be changed"... or they might say something else.

It seems to me that it would be a really good idea if we would both talk a lot less on this thread from now on, and let other people talk more, and then listen carefully to what they're saying on this issue.

confocaloid
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Re: Rule definition terminology

galoomba wrote:
November 22nd, 2023, 5:00 pm
I attempted to explain that 'transition' is problematic when used in the same article first to refer to one of 102 Hensel conditions (i.e. '-S2i' or '+S4q') and then in the same article to refer to one of 18 outer-totalistic conditions (i.e. 'B6'). If you count Hensel conditions then B6 versus A6 amounts to a 6-toggle difference.
dvgrn dismissed my explanation, by asserting that I already said that (which is wrong as I did actually attempt to contribute something new to the discussion) and posting claims about "standard common usage" (which is meaningless to begin with as there is no "standard common usage", and the quotes show that multiple people refer to these as conditions, both on this website and elsewhere).
They are repeating again and again that they disagree with my premises, without actually addressing what I wrote to attempt to explain my position.

To put it directly, I do not trust this particular moderator. In my view, dvgrn is mishandling this issue [and also mishandled certain earlier issues not directly relevant here]. Also they are posting repeatedly things like "I disagree with your premises" and "I'd really like to hear from other people" etc. etc. (this also applies to older issues), instead of actually letting other people to discuss the matter. In my view this is extremely counter-productive, and these posts make it less likely that people will actually contribute.
dvgrn wrote:
November 22nd, 2023, 5:21 pm
It seems to me that it would be a really good idea if we would both talk a lot less on this thread from now on, and let other people talk more, and then listen carefully to what they're saying on this issue.
I do agree with the quoted statement as it stands. However I do not trust you're actually willing to let other people freely express disagreement re: your statements of "standard common usage" etc. etc. This is based on my own experience from being involved in all these discussions. Whoever disagrees, is likely to be treated in a different way. This is very adversarial and counterproductive and detrimental to everything.
127:1 B3/S234c User:Confocal/R (incomplete table of INT rules)
Unlikely events happen.
My silence does not imply agreement, nor indifference. If I disagreed with something in the past, then please do not construe my silence as something that could change that.

haaaaaands
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Re: Rule definition terminology

confocaloid wrote:
November 22nd, 2023, 5:53 pm
galoomba wrote:
November 22nd, 2023, 5:00 pm
I attempted to explain that 'transition' is problematic when used in the same article first to refer to one of 102 Hensel conditions (i.e. '-S2i' or '+S4q') and then in the same article to refer to one of 18 outer-totalistic conditions (i.e. 'B6'). If you count Hensel conditions then B6 versus A6 amounts to a 6-toggle difference.
dvgrn dismissed my explanation, by asserting that I already said that (which is wrong as I did actually attempt to contribute something new to the discussion) and posting claims about "standard common usage" (which is meaningless to begin with as there is no "standard common usage", and the quotes show that multiple people refer to these as conditions, both on this website and elsewhere).
They are repeating again and again that they disagree with my premises, without actually addressing what I wrote to attempt to explain my position.

To put it directly, I do not trust this particular moderator. In my view, dvgrn is mishandling this issue [and also mishandled certain earlier issues not directly relevant here]. Also they are posting repeatedly things like "I disagree with your premises" and "I'd really like to hear from other people" etc. etc. (this also applies to older issues), instead of actually letting other people to discuss the matter. In my view this is extremely counter-productive, and these posts make it less likely that people will actually contribute.
dvgrn wrote:
November 22nd, 2023, 5:21 pm
It seems to me that it would be a really good idea if we would both talk a lot less on this thread from now on, and let other people talk more, and then listen carefully to what they're saying on this issue.
I do agree with the quoted statement as it stands. However I do not trust you're actually willing to let other people freely express disagreement re: your statements of "standard common usage" etc. etc. This is based on my own experience from being involved in all these discussions. Whoever disagrees, is likely to be treated in a different way. This is very adversarial and counterproductive and detrimental to everything.

uhhh...
why not just declare it a tie instead of roasting the mods?
usually antagonizing them ends very badly...
-- haaaaaands with 6 a's

my hands are typing words!

confocaloid
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Re: Rule definition terminology

haaaaaands wrote:
November 22nd, 2023, 6:35 pm
usually antagonizing them ends very badly...
Repeated mistreatment of people who disagree ends very badly for the entire community
127:1 B3/S234c User:Confocal/R (incomplete table of INT rules)
Unlikely events happen.
My silence does not imply agreement, nor indifference. If I disagreed with something in the past, then please do not construe my silence as something that could change that.

dvgrn
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Joined: May 17th, 2009, 11:00 pm