Saturday, August 04, 2007

two sets of principles: PGA and PGU

Some time ago a wrote a post identifying positional elements. A couple of commenters seemed to assume I was trying to create a guide with elements to go through as part of the process of evaluating the position. That, as I explained, wasn't really my intention. I just find it a helpful way to think about chess (and other subjects) when not playing, which in one way or the other will affect playing as well. Hopefully.

I think it's a good idea to differentiate between two different set of principles (not just in chess but generally): principles to guide action (let's call it PGA), and principles to guide understanding (PGU). The latter is usually in the form of a classification.

For example, the period system (which I did mention in that post mentioned above) is clearly an example of PGU. No one would during a chemistry experiment have as a guide to "go through all entries in the periodic system, one by one, and ask the following question..." or something like that. That would be a complete waste of time. Yet the period system is obviously a very valuable classification. But a PGA needs to have much fewer principles and be easier to apply.

I do think that PGU can be used as a sort of knowledge base to refer to when creating PGA (to make sure that it covers enough ground, etc), as well as a knowledge base to (intuitively) draw information from when applying PGA.

The list of design principles of programming (posted recently) was a PGU, but I still from time to time, in a non-systematic way, use it to influence the process of programming. But mostly I just compiled it to strenghen my understanding.


transformation said...

thank you. excellent! perfect!

XY said...

Thx, transformation.

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