Re: [eclipse-clp-users] User-defined rules

From: <>
Date: Fri, 9 Apr 2010 18:10:31 +0200 (CEST)
Hi Matthew,

thank you for your reply.

By "rules" I meant constraints.

I have been asked to convert a spreadsheet containing complicated macros, used to lay out a newspaper,
into a program which non-programmers can use and maintain (which, I must admit, is a bit of pipe dream).

The constraints are as follows:

- day of the week
- edition (New York, Paris, London, Dubai, etc.)
- number of color pages
- number of columns

I need to analyze the macros in depth to determine if it's worth going through the trouble of converting
them to Prolog. Furthermore, the users may resent the loss of the visual aspect of the spreadsheet.



----- Mail Original -----
De: "Matthew Skala" <>
Envoyé: Vendredi 9 Avril 2010 17:15:30 GMT +01:00 Amsterdam / Berlin / Berne / Rome / Stockholm / Vienne
Objet: Re: [eclipse-clp-users] User-defined rules

On Fri, 9 Apr 2010, wrote:
> is there a way to let users define/modify their own rules in ECLiPSe, in
> a language other than Prolog and in, say, Excel or another
> business-user-friendly environment?

It's not quite clear what you mean by "rules"; but in general the answers
probably boil down to possible - yes, easy - no.

If you want to build a set of constraints for a fixed class of problems
(for instance, mixed integer programming) in Excel and then solve it with
ECLiPSe, that should be no problem.  Just export your constraints in a
file format that's as easy to read as possible, and then write ECLiPSe
code to read the file and turn it into constraints.

However, if your idea of "rules" includes creating new user-defined
constraints and other higher-complexity logic programming tasks, I'm
finding it hard to imagine how expressing those in a spreadsheet and then
translating to ECLiPSe could possibly be easier than just having your
users learn the language.  Logic programming in general is not
"business-user-friendly" if by that you mean "accessible to persons
without the necessary technical skills"; and anyone who CAN learn logic
programming will find it easier to operate without the handicap of a
spreadsheet intermediate layer.
Matthew Skala, postdoctoral researcher, Universities of Toronto and Waterloo
Received on Fri Apr 09 2010 - 16:10:44 CEST

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