Re: What is a process?

From: Doug Ewell (
Date: Tue Nov 25 2003 - 18:22:56 EST

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    Peter Kirk <peterkirk at qaya dot org> wrote:

    > The Unicode conformance clauses, in TUS 4.0 section 3.2, are written
    > in terms of what "A process" may or may not do, sometimes in relation
    > to "another process". But there doesn't seem to be a definition,
    > either on this section or in the glossary, of "process". Is this to be
    > understood in a general non-technical sense, or in some specific
    > technical sense? What makes "a process" distinct from "another
    > process"?

    When I see (or use) this term, I'm usually thinking of a hunk of code
    that performs a specific function. It doesn't have to be a small
    function; one could talk about a "process" that analyzes a sample of
    literature and tries to determine the author, time frame, literary
    style, etc.

    In Unicode processing, there might be one process that accepts input,
    another that does normalization, another that compares strings, and
    another that displays or prints the text using defined rendering rules.
    Seen in that light, they are separate processes. From an end-user
    standpoint, of course, they might all come in one box called TextMangler

    I'd say it's a somewhat technical sense.

    > Are two instances carrying out the same function to be considered the
    > same process or distinct processes?

    Depends on the context. One instance might be feeding into another, for
    some reason, and in that case you'd have to consider them separate.

    -Doug Ewell
     Fullerton, California

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