Rule definition terminology

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snowman
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by snowman » November 24th, 2023, 5:29 am

Since I was mentioned via quote, I don't think it particularly matters if one uses condition or transition, and that it's best to just leave occurrences of either alone as was written by the author. I use them interchangeably.

In fact, if you search my posts for "transition", 6 results come up, instead of the 1 result for "condition".
☃ Let's switch things up a little.

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confocaloid
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by confocaloid » November 24th, 2023, 12:48 pm

snowman wrote:
November 24th, 2023, 5:29 am
Since I was mentioned via quote, I don't think it particularly matters if one uses condition or transition, and that it's best to just leave occurrences of either alone as was written by the author. I use them interchangeably.

In fact, if you search my posts for "transition", 6 results come up, instead of the 1 result for "condition".
To clarify: I'm fine with actual occurrences outside LifeWiki articles kept as written by the author.
What I am trying to do is rewording a LifeWiki article, to make it easier to understand for people who are unfamiliar with the jargon.

My attempt to reword OCA:tlife is an attempt to make it easier to read for the intended audience of the wiki. It is natural to read the word 'transition' as meaning some event that happens or does not happen, and read the word 'condition' as meaning some requirement or constraint that could explain when exactly some event happens.

Using 'transition' to mean 'condition' goes against common sense in this way. For example, B5, B6n do not describe transitions; the transition is the same in both cases. (The transition is cell birth, a change from state 0 to state 1.)
Instead, B5 describes a condition that says "a cell is born when it has exactly 5 alive neighbours in its range-1 Moore neighbourhood", and B6n describes a condition that says "a cell is born when it has 2 dead diagonal neighbours opposite each other, and the other 6 neighbours are alive".

I believe it is better to use 'condition' to refer to a notation that describes/specifies a condition, when you're explaining something to wiki readers (as opposed to posting something on a forum thread mostly read by people who already know the jargon).
hotdogPi wrote:
November 21st, 2023, 10:40 am
Common usage calls them transitions.
My rewording of OCA:tlife does follow the common usage.
Common usage outside LifeWiki has examples of both 'condition' and 'transition'. And the word 'condition' is also used outside this website to refer to actual conditions that describe when something happens, with the same CA-related meaning.
viewtopic.php?p=171595#p171595
viewtopic.php?p=171596#p171596
viewtopic.php?p=171671#p171671
I posted this in another thread where it was not directly relevant:
confocaloid wrote:
November 23rd, 2023, 1:47 pm
For the 'condition' vs. 'transition' issue, both variants are commonly used (I posted multiple quotes). So the question becomes "what is a good way to explain these topics on LifeWiki for newcomers / for interested-but-not-invested readers". I believe 'condition' is more explanatory / intuitive than 'transition' (and is in common use).
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by dvgrn » November 24th, 2023, 1:44 pm

Thanks for the feedback, everyone! This thread so far seems like a pretty good early example of how an edit-war-stopping LifeWiki Discussion thread is supposed to work. The question at issue gets stated and refined, multiple people state opinions, clarifying questions get asked, and a general consensus gradually becomes clear.

We can try to keep the discussion focused better on the actual issue in the future, instead of accidentally slipping so much into discussion about the discussion (which I know I'm doing in this post, by the way -- my apologies for that!). I think some meta-discussion was pretty much inevitable on this early trial of the new LW:DR dispute resolution rules.

In the last day a few adjustments have been made to the rules, to better handle the situation that came up in this case. The exact point where a moderator had officially gotten involved, and exactly which step of the dispute resolution process we had reached, weren't as clear as they could have been. These latest changes will hopefully address that issue.

In future cases similar to this one, a disputed article will likely get temporarily locked for the duration of the discussion, as soon as a moderator gets involved, to definitely shut down any more pointless edit warring of the kind that happened this time. Again, the state that the article happens to be in when it gets locked down is not particularly significant. It might well change after the discussion happens, or it might stay the same -- that's the point of having the discussion.

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confocaloid
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by confocaloid » November 24th, 2023, 1:58 pm

dvgrn wrote:
November 24th, 2023, 1:44 pm
Unfortunately the particular moderator who got involved in this particular case has strong opinions on the content issue under question, and tries hard to prevent me from explaining my suggested improvements, by ascribing to me things I did not intend to do and filling the thread with posts that are not directly relevant to the issue.

dvgrn, you did not enter this dispute as a moderator. Instead, you got involved in it yourself, as someone who holds strong opinion against my attempted rewording in OCA:tlife. I do not trust that you are able to moderate this disagreement. You are biased against my changes.

Please stop filling my thread with unrelated content, and please do not ascribe to me things I did not intend.
dvgrn wrote:
November 20th, 2023, 4:10 pm
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.
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by dvgrn » November 24th, 2023, 5:06 pm

confocaloid wrote:
November 24th, 2023, 1:58 pm
Please stop filling my thread with unrelated content, and please do not ascribe to me things I did not intend.
I haven't added any unrelated content to this thread, in my opinion, and I don't think I've "ascribed" anything inappropriate to you, either.

You may not understand why I believe that what I've posted is relevant, and that's fine. However, since what I've posted is feedback from a moderator about an edit war, it might be a good idea for you to ask me questions until you do understand why I think it's relevant. At the very least, we'll have to agree to disagree on this -- it's not going to work well to ask me to stop doing something that I don't believe I'm doing.

I have no way of knowing your intentions, except by asking you questions and getting clear answers back from you. I did not at any point claim that you were definitely planning to change "transition" to "condition" in dozens of LifeWiki articles. What I did say was that, in the absence of the temporary intervention that I decided on in my capacity as moderator,
dvgrn wrote:
November 20th, 2023, 4:10 pm
... I would be somewhat worried that similar "transition" -> "condition" replacements might start happening on other pages.
That seemed like a very reasonable thing to worry about. If you believe that "condition" is a better word than "transition" in every case on the OCA:tlife page -- and you believe that your edit is so much better that it's worth making all this fuss about -- then why would you not eventually want to make the same substitution in the other pages where "transition" is used in a very similar way?
confocaloid wrote:
November 24th, 2023, 1:58 pm
dvgrn, you did not enter this dispute as a moderator. Instead, you got involved in it yourself, as someone who holds strong opinion against my attempted rewording in OCA:tlife.
Oddly enough, none of this is correct in the least. I did in fact get involved in this discussion in my capacity as a moderator, stopping an edit war between you and Haycat2009. I've successfully stopped that edit war. So far so good.

I don't actually have strong opinions about this particular edit. If those four instances of "transition" get changed to "condition", it won't bother me very much at all.

However, I do think that that edit will make the article slightly less clear, so I'm personally not in favor of having it happen. So far it seems as if everyone else who has participated in this discussion, here or on LifeWiki talk pages, also would prefer that the edit not happen. Unless someone else with a different opinion speaks up, it looks like a general consensus has been reached on this.

The other thing that I do have a strong opinion about is that nobody should undo the edits of moderators who are stopping edit wars. I can see how you were maybe not clear at first about whether I was acting in my capacity as a moderator or not, so we can call that "water under the bridge" and just keep moving forward. The dispute resolution page has now been modified to make the rules clearer on this point. Articles will probably be locked in cases like this in the future, so that that kind of thing doesn't happen again.

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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by confocaloid » November 24th, 2023, 6:08 pm

dvgrn wrote:
November 24th, 2023, 5:06 pm
confocaloid wrote:
November 24th, 2023, 1:58 pm
Please stop filling my thread with unrelated content, and please do not ascribe to me things I did not intend.
I haven't added any unrelated content to this thread, in my opinion, and I don't think I've "ascribed" anything inappropriate to you, either.
Previous your post here is not relevant to this issue. It is not the only example.

Instead of directly addressing my changes to OCA:tlife as they are, you are referring to occurrences in other wiki pages, forum posts, etc.

I do not suggest to change any forum posts.
I attempted to improve a specific article, OCA:tlife. Then Haycat2009 reverted my attempt without any explanation at all. Then I tried to restore my edit. Then you reverted it back, without really explaining what is wrong with my changes. Then you proceeded to say how you are worried about other pages etc. etc. All this without explaining what is wrong with my edits specifically.

I take it that you are trying to put blame on me in this dispute, no matter what I say on this, and no matter what you say on this.

dvgrn wrote:
November 24th, 2023, 5:06 pm
I did not at any point claim that you were definitely planning to change "transition" to "condition" in dozens of LifeWiki articles.
You were/are talking about it explicitly as a possibility. Which means you are implicitly claiming that. And the way you are talking about this, you are implicitly blaming me by suggesting that my changes to OCA:tlife are somehow "bad", without actually directly explaining exactly how those changes are bad.

dvgrn wrote:
November 24th, 2023, 5:06 pm
I did in fact get involved in this discussion in my capacity as a moderator, stopping an edit war between you and Haycat2009. I've successfully stopped that edit war. So far so good.
You did not stop edit war. You participated in the edit war, by making false claims about my edits "stomping on a valid improvement and undoing my rewording. You did not provide any explanation that you are doing this as "a moderator trying to stop an edit war" rather than as another editor entering into the edit war and reverting my edit without explaining what is wrong about it.

dvgrn wrote:
November 24th, 2023, 5:06 pm
I don't actually have strong opinions about this particular edit. If those four instances of "transition" get changed to "condition", it won't bother me very much at all.
Your replies on the discussion on OCA talk:Tlife and here make it clear that you do have strong opinions about my edits. Otherwise you would not be reverting it again and again, and you would not be trying to blame me for "planning" some more edits, etc. etc.
dvgrn wrote:
November 24th, 2023, 5:06 pm
So far it seems as if everyone else who has participated in this discussion, here or on LifeWiki talk pages, also would prefer that the edit not happen.
  • Haycat2009 never explained reasons for their revert.
  • Galoomba claimed that they don't remember seeing 'condition' in this context, but I did post multiple quotes on the first page in this thread, showing that the word 'condition' is commonly used in this context.
  • hotdogPi claimed "Common usage calls them transitions." without explaining, but again I already posted multiple quotes to show that 'condition' is in common use.
  • snowman posted to share their preference for occurrences in forum posts. However, I did not suggest to change the forum posts. I tried to reword a LifeWiki article aimed at readers, and not forum posts aimed at fellow CA enthusiasts.
Strong objections to my edit in OCA:tlife come from Dvgrn, who participated in the edit war before claiming that it was 'moderator intervention', and who at the same time claims that they don't have a strong opinion about it. It is obvious they do have a strong opinion about it.
dvgrn wrote:
November 24th, 2023, 5:06 pm
The other thing that I do have a strong opinion about is that nobody should undo the edits of moderators who are stopping edit wars.
I would not undo your edits, if only you explained directly from the start things that you are claiming just now retrospectively. You did not act as a moderator in this dispute, and I do not trust you are able to moderate it. The strongest objections to my edits in the article are from you.
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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

Post by dvgrn » November 26th, 2023, 6:26 pm

confocaloid wrote:
November 24th, 2023, 6:08 pm
Previous your post here is not relevant to this issue. It is not the only example.
We'll just have to agree to disagree that that post was in any way inappropriate. Again in my capacity as moderator, I'm trying out a new method of dealing with these recent ridiculously frequent edit wars, as they come up. That post contained some helpful notes for everybody who's paying attention, as to how these things are going to get handled in the future. @Everyone who is interested in that, please click on that link and read that post -- it's a good one!
confocaloid wrote:
November 24th, 2023, 6:08 pm
dvgrn wrote:
November 24th, 2023, 5:06 pm
I did in fact get involved in this discussion in my capacity as a moderator, stopping an edit war between you and Haycat2009. I've successfully stopped that edit war. So far so good.
You did not stop edit war. You participated in the edit war...
I stopped the likely edit war between you and Haycat2009, undoing the "Thigh Life" change that Haycat2009 made.

You then tried to start a different edit war with me on the 'transition' vs. 'condition' issue, undoing my edits. At least two of those undo operations happened right after I had specifically mentioned on the talk page that I was acting in my capacity as a moderator:
On November 20 on the OCA:tlife talk page, dvgrn wrote:'m a bit surprised that you decided to unilaterally go ahead and change 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.
Yes, there was some initial confusion -- totally understandable on both sides, I think -- about where the term 'condition' originally came from. But that got sorted out really quick... and I was still acting in my capacity as moderator when I undid your change to 'condition' the second time.

Again, speaking a LifeWiki moderator, I'm telling you that your further undo operations after that point were the kind of behavior that I expect you not to repeat in the future. Don't undo moderators' edits. A moderator edit that you disagree with, no matter how insufficient you happen to think the explanation for it is, is a signal that the next step is discussion -- definitely not any more immediate "undo" edits based on your competing convictions about what is more correct.

I don't think it's any kind of a problem that you didn't understand that rule on November 21 and 22 -- no blame needs to be assigned. I would like to make sure that you know to follow that rule in the future, though -- can you please say something to confirm that?

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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by confocaloid » November 26th, 2023, 6:56 pm

Again, you are incorrectly describing what happened. Events in the edit history of OCA:tlife do not align with your statements.
  • https://conwaylife.com/w/index.php?diff ... did=140860 Confocal: my initial edit, removing mention of an alternate name not in common use, and rewording 'sharing a B6 transition with HighLife' to 'sharing a B6 condition with HighLife'.
  • https://conwaylife.com/w/index.php?diff ... did=141270 Haycat2009: unexplained undo of my edit.
  • https://conwaylife.com/w/index.php?diff ... did=141307 Confocal: revert the unexplained undo.
  • https://conwaylife.com/w/index.php?diff ... did=141321 Dvgrn: revert back to 'transition', while at the same time claiming that it was my edit that ostensibly 'stomped on a valid improvement'. This is an attempt to mislead people to think that I did some edit that I did not do, and put blame on me.
  • The following edits and the discussion clearly show that User:Dvgrn has a strong preference for 'transition' in that article, while at the same time asserting that they don't have such a preference and trying to present it as a 'general agreement' which does not exist at this point.
  • In the beginning of this thread I posted multiple quotes that show that 'condition' is in fact in common use in these contexts, and can be correctly used in OCA:tlife instead of 'transition'. I believe such a rewording would be an improvement. Dvgrn opposes my attempts to reword the article.
All subsequent edits beginning with Dvgrn's revert of my rewording ( https://conwaylife.com/w/index.php?diff ... did=141321 ) constitute an edit war between two editors, Dvgrn (preferring 'transition') and myself (preferring 'condition'). As such, Dvgrn is a side in this disagreement, and cannot moderate it.

There was no discussion of my attempted changes in OCA:tlife by other people, except for
  • two statements (hotdogPi, galoomba) that 'transition' is in common use (which is not a valid objection against my changes, since 'condition' is also in common use as evidenced by the quotes I posted),
  • straw-man objections by Dvgrn, referring to other articles / forum posts.
snowman posted that 'it's best to just leave occurrences of either alone as was written by the author', but LifeWiki articles don't have an author, and I never suggested to change existing occurrences outside LifeWiki.
snowman wrote:
November 24th, 2023, 5:29 am
[...]
dvgrn wrote:
November 26th, 2023, 6:26 pm
I stopped the likely edit war between you and Haycat2009, undoing the "Thigh Life" change that Haycat2009 made.
This is a false claim. I undid that unexplained revert by Haycat2009 myself. Then you undid my attempted improvement by rewording: https://conwaylife.com/w/index.php?diff ... did=141321
dvgrn wrote:
November 26th, 2023, 6:26 pm
You then tried to start a different edit war with me on the 'transition' vs. 'condition' issue, undoing my edits.
It was you who started an edit war on the 'transition' vs. 'condition' issue, specifically by reverting my attempted rewording and falsely blaming me as if it was me who reverted some earlier edit.

As such, I again directly and explicitly request that you stop trying to 'moderate' this dispute on my attempted rewording of OCA:tlife. I request that you acknowledge that you are one of two most active sides of this dispute, and hence you're unable to judge which of two viewpoints leads to an improvement of LifeWiki content.

I tried to change OCA:tlife to use 'condition' instead of 'transition'. Dvgrn the editor is strongly arguing against that edit.
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by galoomba » November 26th, 2023, 8:32 pm

confocaloid wrote:
November 26th, 2023, 6:56 pm
[*] two statements (hotdogPi, galoomba) that 'transition' is in common use (which is not a valid objection against my changes, since 'condition' is also in common use as evidenced by the quotes I posted)
In those quotes, 'condition' was always preceded by either 'birth' or 'survival', so they don't prove that 'condition' by itself is in common use.

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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by confocaloid » November 26th, 2023, 8:48 pm

galoomba wrote:
November 26th, 2023, 8:32 pm
confocaloid wrote:
November 26th, 2023, 6:56 pm
[*] two statements (hotdogPi, galoomba) that 'transition' is in common use (which is not a valid objection against my changes, since 'condition' is also in common use as evidenced by the quotes I posted)
In those quotes, 'condition' was always preceded by either 'birth' or 'survival', so they don't prove that 'condition' by itself is in common use.
Correction: most, but not all of those quotes have either of two words 'birth' or 'survival' before 'condition'.
viewtopic.php?p=171595#p171595
viewtopic.php?p=171596#p171596
viewtopic.php?p=171671#p171671

However, there are also phrases like:
  • "random chance defaults to 50 for all conditions except B0 which defaults to 25"
    (i.e. just 'for all conditions ...' without either of words 'birth', 'survival') viewtopic.php?p=83439#p83439
  • "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; [...]"
    (again, just 'the highest condition'). viewtopic.php?p=133841#p133841
  • "[...] to work from scratch, use AAAAAAAAAAAAA... ...AAAA and then add each condition."
    Again, no 'birth' or 'survival' here. viewtopic.php?p=45696#p45696
I do not think there is a difference between writing explicitly 'birth condition B6' or 'survival condition S6' versus for example writing 'B6 condition' or 'S6 condition', since the letter B or S already denotes the event that happens with a cell. But it may indeed be even clearer to add the word ('birth' or 'survival') explicitly.
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by dvgrn » November 27th, 2023, 9:41 am

confocaloid wrote:
November 26th, 2023, 6:56 pm
  • https://conwaylife.com/w/index.php?diff ... did=141321 Dvgrn: revert back to 'transition', while at the same time claiming that it was my edit that ostensibly 'stomped on a valid improvement'. This is an attempt to mislead people to think that I did some edit that I did not do, and put blame on me.
@confocaloid, I explained that initial revert back to 'transition' in the discussion that immediately followed on the talk page. The edit summary that you keep referring back to was my honest understanding of the situation at the time. It was incorrect. I made an honest mistake. I acknowledged the mistake immediately, as follows, on November 20:
on the OCA:tlife talk page, dvgrn wrote:Okay. We've established that I get details wrong fairly regularly. I don't perfectly correctly describe everything that you did, in every case ... at least in your opinion. This is very, very likely to continue to happen -- I will happily acknowledge that it has happened and will (probably) happen in the future, but I don't feel much need to apologize for it. Moderators quite simply are not always going to have time to double-check every nuance of every past edit, before figuring out a reasonable thing to try, to avoid LifeWiki edit wars and move forward. Moderators expect you to cooperate with efforts to reduce future edit wars, even in the absence of perfect communications.
This was a moderator's attempt to stop an edit war, from the very beginning. Without your continued determined interference it would have stood a very good chance of being successful. Your stubbornly repeated undo operations have really surprised me, every time you made one -- I really thought I was communicating my request clearly enough that you would know not to do that.

I'm also quite puzzled as to why you think it's a good idea to keep bringing up that honest mistake, as if it was some kind of evidence of malfeasance. Now you're characterizing it as an "attempt to mislead people". I'm sorry you feel that way, but you're mistaken -- and accusations like that are a clear violation of forum rule 1a.

Another Warning
I'm now officially warning you not to attack any member of the forums in this kind of way again. Other moderators will add their own comments or warnings to this, if and when they choose.

There's an escalation process for solving problems with out-of-control moderators, which is what you seem to believe I am. That LW:DR escalation process does not involve repeatedly breaking forum rule 1a as you've been doing. It involves waiting a week and then asking for a second opinion from another moderator.

You didn't wait a week. You've repeatedly posted statements assuming bad faith on my part, and have also made LW:DR rule-violating edits four or five times now since November 20. You still show no sign of realizing or acknowledging how unacceptable that behavior is. This is getting to be a serious problem.

Moderator vs. Participant
To answer your various complaints about me being a participant in the debate, so that I shouldn't be trying to moderate it: briefly, the question of whether I take various moderator actions or not is not your decision to make. If you have complaints about something that I do, follow the escalation procedure.

For a week now I've been asking other moderators for help on this issue. I've gotten various private reassurances that I'm doing okay on this moderation job, and no suggestions that I'm on the wrong track here -- but no public statements yet. It was a holiday weekend, in the US at least, and not all moderators are willing or able to spend as much time on this issue as I have been doing.

This kind of slow response very likely to continue. A response time of a week is a fairly reasonable expectation, but even that isn't always going to happen. You're going to have to start being a lot more patient about getting issues like this resolved than you have been so far.

I asked you a direct and relevant question in my last post above, which you haven't answered:
dvgrn wrote:
November 26th, 2023, 6:26 pm
I don't think it's any kind of a problem that you didn't understand that rule on November 21 and 22 -- no blame needs to be assigned. I would like to make sure that you know to follow that rule in the future, though -- can you please say something to confirm that?
Please respond to that question. There's really no use trying to discuss 'transition' vs. 'condition' until you're following LifeWiki rules a lot better than you have been recently.

My most recent mistake was not to protect the OCA:tlife page sooner -- that would have prevented a lot of the silliness now visible in the edit history. I've learned that lesson now, and have corrected my mistake. This kind of thing won't happen again.

I've protected the page -- with your changes in place exactly as you made them. Compared to your recent rule-breaking, the temporary content of that page is an absolutely insignificant issue.

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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by confocaloid » November 27th, 2023, 4:57 pm

dvgrn wrote:
November 27th, 2023, 9:41 am
Your post is offtopic in this thread. Response link: viewtopic.php?p=172084#p172084
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by azulavoir » November 27th, 2023, 5:09 pm

As someone who was quoted as using the term "condition", I actually prefer transition in most contexts. Especially in the context "x transitions from Life" - where transition carries the very nice dual meaning of a cell changing state and the rule being altered.
Image

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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by confocaloid » November 27th, 2023, 5:21 pm

Transitions may or may not happen. Conditions may or may not be satisfied.
One might also write 'transition rule' for a specific rule that prescribes a certain cellstate-to-cellstate transition under a certain condition. But a transition rule is not itself a transition.

Here are two more relevant CA-related quotes from outside this website (I highlighted part of text, but the text itself is unchanged).
"rule set consisting of neighbour-counting birth/death conditions"
"Cells die or reanimate based on a set of conditions"

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=33978978
nneonneo wrote:For context, the OTCA metapixel is a large pattern (2048x2048) which is capable of simulating Conway's Game of Life rules (or, indeed, any rule set consisting of neighbour-counting birth/death conditions); it does this by having adjacent pixels coordinate sharing of state (whether they're on or off) and then looking up what to do via a (programmable) lookup table. Based on the current state (on or off), a series of "glider guns" will be conditionally activated, which creates the appearance of a filled center (filled with moving gliders).
https://kyleshevlin.com/conways-game-of-life
Kyle Shevlin wrote:Each cell can be in one of two states: alive or dead. Cells die or reanimate based on a set of conditions. Those are:
An alive cell with fewer than 2 neighbors dies
An alive cell with 2 or 3 neighbors lives
An alive cell with 4 or more neighbors dies
A dead cell with exactly 3 neighbors reanimates
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by azulavoir » November 27th, 2023, 5:33 pm

I simply disagree. Nothing more and nothing less.
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by confocaloid » November 27th, 2023, 5:38 pm

azulavoir wrote:
November 27th, 2023, 5:33 pm
I simply disagree. Nothing more and nothing less.
Well I'm not arguing with your opinion here. I'm trying to clarify my opinion (why I prefer the wording I prefer). Also I posted relevant quotes that hopefully show that my preference also agrees with actual common usage in discussions.

The question is specifically about what wording to use in LifeWiki articles aimed at readers. I believe 'condition' is more helpful (more self-explanatory) for newcomers in these contexts.

(added later:)
azulavoir wrote:
November 27th, 2023, 5:09 pm
Especially in the context "x transitions from Life" - where transition carries the very nice dual meaning of a cell changing state and the rule being altered.
I myself read 2TFL as "two toggles from Life". It is left unstated that those "toggles" are taken from the set of 102 Hensel conditions. (B7 is just one neighbour-counting condition, but it includes two Hensel conditions B7c and B7e, hence B37/S23 is a 2TFL rule.) However, these abbreviations are forum jargon anyway; probably these would not make much sense for LifeWiki readers (a plain-text explanation is likely to be better than an abbreviation). And if one goes to a larger rulespace containing CGoL where there are more finely-grained alterable conditions, then one would need to say explicitly what is the set of possible changes, to be able to count "steps away from Life". So these abbreviations will quickly become inadequate as soon as one goes to other unexplored rulespaces.

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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by Moosey » December 2nd, 2023, 1:08 pm

Sorry to bring this up again but

In my experience, both terms are in use, but "transition" seems significantly more commonly used than "condition". Just from a descriptive linguistics standpoint, it makes more sense to use "transition".
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by confocaloid » December 2nd, 2023, 1:22 pm

Moosey wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 1:08 pm
In my experience, both terms are in use, but "transition" seems significantly more commonly used than "condition".
I think some problems with the "count occurrences on the forums" approach are:
* many occurrences are in thread names (e.g. "Rules 1 tr-n from Life") which are automatically copied from the first post, unless the post's author changes the default subject line. In a sense, all these occurrences in thread names "belong" to the first post and could be counted as just one occurrence per thread
* many occurrences are part of a larger phrase (e.g. "tr-n function", "tr-n rule")
* there are occurrences with other meanings
* there are occurrences in meta discussions (like this thread) which shouldn't really be counted
* there are occurrences not on the forums (including other websites and literature)
* what is commonly used in discussions vs. what is easier to understand for a wiki reader

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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by Moosey » December 2nd, 2023, 1:47 pm

confocaloid wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 1:22 pm
* many occurrences are in thread names (e.g. "Rules 1 transition from Life") which are automatically copied from the first post, unless the post's author changes the default subject line. In a sense, all these occurrences in thread names "belong" to the first post and could be counted as just one occurrence per thread
This is a fair enough point, though fortunately the forum search has a functionality to exclude subject lines, and we still find significantly more instances of "transition" as opposed to "condition"
confocaloid wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 1:22 pm
* many occurrences are part of a larger phrase (e.g. "transition function", "transition rule")
* there are occurrences with other meanings
These are fair observations and a little harder for me to quickly counter, but a cursory glance suggests that these phenomena probably wouldn't be enough to change things-- especially since "condition" seems to suffer more from them than "transition" does.
confocaloid wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 1:22 pm
* there are occurrences in meta discussions (like this thread) which shouldn't really be counted
Sure. Those don't contribute very significantly and will be roughly even anyway.
confocaloid wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 1:22 pm
* there are occurrences not on the forums (including other websites and literature)
Okay, but the wiki largely prefers terminology and nomenclature from the forums anyway. It seems a bit silly that the wiki run by and mostly for some community would prefer a term different from the one most commonly used in the community. Sure, it would make sense to mention in passing "these are other terms that are sometimes used by other people", but to actively prefer one of those other terms??
confocaloid wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 1:22 pm
* what is commonly used in discussions vs. what is easier to understand for a wiki reader
This is again a reasonably fair point, but from context "transition"'s meaning seems reasonably clear even if you didn't know. I again don't think the difference in clarity would be nearly enough to make up for the usage of less commonly used terminology.
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by confocaloid » December 2nd, 2023, 3:23 pm

Moosey wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 1:47 pm
I again don't think the difference in clarity would be nearly enough to make up for the usage of less commonly used terminology.
Well, I get it that we disagree on this. For me the difference in clarity is big enough in this case, to prefer a less common way of explaining the same idea, because I think it is easier to understand.

Lifeline_Volume_5#Page_2 (File:Lifeline vol 5 p2.jpg) uses 'transition' for either of four possible pairs (state of a cell at time T; state of the same cell at time T+1), and 'transition rule' for a rule that is "based on both the current state of the cell and also the collective state of its neighbors". By itself this does not prove or disprove much, but I think this is relevant.
Moosey wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 1:47 pm
confocaloid wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 1:22 pm
* there are occurrences not on the forums (including other websites and literature)
Okay, but the wiki largely prefers terminology and nomenclature from the forums anyway. It seems a bit silly that the wiki run by and mostly for some community would prefer a term different from the one most commonly used in the community.
I agree with the "run by" part. The wiki is maintained by people who are active on this website.
I disagree with the "run mostly for" part. There are people who read the wiki without setting up any account here. There are newcomers trying to understand basics. Those people are also part of the CA community. I believe articles should be worded so that a reader is not overwhelmed by terminology. That means avoiding words and phrases whose intended meaning is unlikely to be understood on first encounter, when another common correct wording is clearer.
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by azulavoir » December 5th, 2023, 1:09 pm

A cellular automaton that is not being actively run does not really constitute as a cellular automaton, it's just a pretty picture. CA require some semblance of motion or activity to qualify. "Condition" is too static a word for that, and I believe that therein lies the general preference for "Transition." If you do want to talk about a static instance of a CA pattern, condition might be the right word - but I feel that that is not what is done.
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by confocaloid » December 5th, 2023, 1:20 pm

azulavoir wrote:
December 5th, 2023, 1:09 pm
If you do want to talk about a static instance of a CA pattern, condition might be the right word - but I feel that that is not what is done.
Conditions are actually static (unless one uses an alternating rule, or otherwise changes the rule over time). For example if the B6 condition (birth on 6 alive neighbours) is present in the rule definition, then this condition applies in every generation and for every dead cell with 6 alive neighbours. I think this makes sense. The set of conditions determining the evolution rule is not part of a pattern that evolves according to that rule.
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by galoomba » December 5th, 2023, 8:29 pm

confocaloid wrote:
November 26th, 2023, 8:48 pm
galoomba wrote:
November 26th, 2023, 8:32 pm
confocaloid wrote:
November 26th, 2023, 6:56 pm
[*] two statements (hotdogPi, galoomba) that 'transition' is in common use (which is not a valid objection against my changes, since 'condition' is also in common use as evidenced by the quotes I posted)
In those quotes, 'condition' was always preceded by either 'birth' or 'survival', so they don't prove that 'condition' by itself is in common use.
Correction: most, but not all of those quotes have either of two words 'birth' or 'survival' before 'condition'.
viewtopic.php?p=171595#p171595
viewtopic.php?p=171596#p171596
viewtopic.php?p=171671#p171671
The fact that "condition" has been used does not mean that its use is common.
confocaloid wrote:
November 27th, 2023, 5:21 pm
https://kyleshevlin.com/conways-game-of-life
Kyle Shevlin wrote:Each cell can be in one of two states: alive or dead. Cells die or reanimate based on a set of conditions. Those are:
An alive cell with fewer than 2 neighbors dies
An alive cell with 2 or 3 neighbors lives
An alive cell with 4 or more neighbors dies
A dead cell with exactly 3 neighbors reanimates
This quote uses "condition" in its common English meaning, rather than as a technical term. "Conditions" here could be replaced by "rules" for example, but "rule" definitely can't be used for things like B6.
confocaloid wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 3:23 pm
Lifeline_Volume_5#Page_2 (File:Lifeline vol 5 p2.jpg) uses 'transition' for either of four possible pairs (state of a cell at time T; state of the same cell at time T+1), and 'transition rule' for a rule that is "based on both the current state of the cell and also the collective state of its neighbors". By itself this does not prove or disprove much, but I think this is relevant.
This seems similar. "A set of transition rules" seems to be a description of what we would nowadays just call a "rule". The article is 51 years old, after all.
confocaloid wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 1:22 pm
* many occurrences are part of a larger phrase (e.g. "tr-n function", "tr-n rule")
I'm not sure how this is a point against "transition" given the fact that "condition" is used as part of a larger phrase even more of the time.
confocaloid wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 1:22 pm
* what is commonly used in discussions vs. what is easier to understand for a wiki reader
The people doing the discussions and the people reading the wiki are more or less the same group of people. Most readers will be familiar with the term "transition" and so that will be easier to understand.
confocaloid wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 3:23 pm
Moosey wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 1:47 pm
confocaloid wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 1:22 pm
* there are occurrences not on the forums (including other websites and literature)
Okay, but the wiki largely prefers terminology and nomenclature from the forums anyway. It seems a bit silly that the wiki run by and mostly for some community would prefer a term different from the one most commonly used in the community.
I agree with the "run by" part. The wiki is maintained by people who are active on this website.
I disagree with the "run mostly for" part. There are people who read the wiki without setting up any account here. There are newcomers trying to understand basics. Those people are also part of the CA community. I believe articles should be worded so that a reader is not overwhelmed by terminology. That means avoiding words and phrases whose intended meaning is unlikely to be understood on first encounter, when another common correct wording is clearer.
Do these people actually exist, and if so, how many? True, we can't really know because they don't have a wiki/forum/discord account. Maybe we could make a poll on the wiki to determine that?
confocaloid wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 3:23 pm
Moosey wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 1:47 pm
I again don't think the difference in clarity would be nearly enough to make up for the usage of less commonly used terminology.
Well, I get it that we disagree on this. For me the difference in clarity is big enough in this case, to prefer a less common way of explaining the same idea, because I think it is easier to understand.
I don't see how the post you linked has anything to do with clarity. Are you proposing that the same word shouldn't be used for closely related but technically slightly different concepts? This kind of thing happens all the time, both in mathematics and in natural language, and it rarely causes problems - this at least doesn't seem to be a case where it's problematic.
(Also, it's a bit funny how your post about "clarity" is immediately followed by a person quitting the discussion because it's too confusing :))

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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by confocaloid » December 6th, 2023, 1:16 am

galoomba wrote:
December 5th, 2023, 8:29 pm
The fact that "condition" has been used does not mean that its use is common.
confocaloid wrote:
November 29th, 2023, 8:15 pm
In the following posts, I posted a number of quotes from CA-related discussions / texts:
viewtopic.php?p=171595#p171595
viewtopic.php?p=171596#p171596
viewtopic.php?p=171671#p171671
viewtopic.php?p=172091#p172091
I posted multiple quotes from different sources, where multiple different people actually used the word 'condition' in different relevant CA-related contexts, when explaining or discussing some actual CA-related stuff (rather than terminology).
galoomba wrote:
December 5th, 2023, 8:29 pm
This quote uses "condition" in its common English meaning, rather than as a technical term. "Conditions" here could be replaced by "rules" for example, but "rule" definitely can't be used for things like B6.
Why not, exactly? 'Rule' certainly can be used for "things like B6":
* B6 is a rule that can be explained as "a dead cell is born in the next generation when the cell has exactly 6 alive neighbours".
* S7c is a rule that can be explained as "an alive cell survives in the next generation when the cell has exactly 1 dead neighbour and this neighbour is a diagonal neighbour".

In fact, in the above quote, "A dead cell with exactly 3 neighbors reanimates" is an explanation of the condition (rule) B3.
galoomba wrote:
December 5th, 2023, 8:29 pm
This seems similar. "A set of transition rules" seems to be a description of what we would nowadays just call a "rule". The article is 51 years old, after all.
The important difference between 'transition' and 'transition rule' is that a transition is an event that happens (example: birth is a transition from cellstate 0 to cellstate 1), while a transition rule is a specification of conditions under which a cell will transition from some state to some state.
* "Survival" is not a transition rule. Survival is a transition (in a 2-state CA, a cell survives if the cell transitions from cellstate 1 to cellstate 1).
* "A dead cell with exactly 3 neighbors reanimates" is not a transition. It is a condition (a transition rule), abbreviated B3 with the common notation.
galoomba wrote:
December 5th, 2023, 8:29 pm
confocaloid wrote:
December 2nd, 2023, 1:22 pm
* what is commonly used in discussions vs. what is easier to understand for a wiki reader
The people doing the discussions and the people reading the wiki are more or less the same group of people. Most readers will be familiar with the term "transition" and so that will be easier to understand.
I disagree with "more or less the same group of people".
Many people reading the wiki either are not active in forum discussions, or simply are lurking here without an account (yet). Those people are also part of Life/CA community.
There are lurking people. There are newcomers trying to understand basics. I believe articles should be worded so that a reader is not overwhelmed by terminology. That means avoiding words and phrases whose intended meaning is unlikely to be understood on first encounter, when some other common correct wording is more clear.
galoomba wrote:
December 5th, 2023, 8:29 pm
I don't see how the post you linked has anything to do with clarity. Are you proposing that the same word shouldn't be used for closely related but technically slightly different concepts?
I am proposing that LifeWiki articles should be worded in a way that makes it easier for a newcomer or an interested-but-not-invested reader to get the idea correctly.
Informal jargon in forum threads is out of scope. Discussions between rulegolfers are out of scope.

I linked to the post, because I attempted to explain there how the difference between the idea of a transition and the idea of a condition affects the content of OCA:tlife:
confocaloid wrote:
November 30th, 2023, 12:04 pm
Here is a link to the result of all changes so far in the article: https://conwaylife.com/w/index.php?diff ... did=140860
The lead section of OCA:tlife compares the rule to Life ('differing by only two ???')
The section "Rules" says: 'The two differing ???, illustrated:'
The section "B36/S2-i34q" says: 'This rule is commonly known as "tHighLife", due to it sharing a B6 ??? with {{rl|HighLife}}.'
All three cases above are similar (two different rules are viewed as sets of '???', and something is said about how the two sets are related or distinct). The question is what word/phrase to use in place of '???'

For me at least, it is easier to understand a rule as a set of condition-transition pairs.
So it makes sense to say that tHighLife and HighLife share a B6 condition.
Another way to say the same would be that the two rules have a B6 transition rule in common.
Another way to say the same would be that in both rules, a cell is born when it has six alive neighbours.
(The latter possibility might be preferable, since the (condition/transition rule) is written down in plain text, without using either of the words under debate.)
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Re: Rule definition terminology

Post by HerscheltheHerschel » December 11th, 2023, 10:57 am

I propose the term "law" for conditions (as confocaloid says)/transitions (as the world says). This term is only to be used in the time of this edit war, that is, when the edit war ends all instances of "law" are replaced with the preferred term.
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