[EM] 2nd Matt reply--12/20/03

MIKE OSSIPOFF nkklrp at hotmail.com
Sat Dec 20 23:53:01 PST 2003

Matt said:

I know about the Floyd algorithm

I reply.

Good for you, Matt.

Matt continued:

Markus provided us with references about that algorithm, as well as the code 
to implement it, in past discussions on this group with Mike over several 
years on this same issue.

I reply:

No, not really. I didn't discuss that algorithm with Markus for several 

However I've already stated that he'd posted the algorithm some years ago, 
so it isn't quite clear why you feel a need to assert that.

Matt continued:

I followed the entire exchange here and Markus did not start the discussion 
with the false statement Mike claims.   On the contrary, I am certain that 
Markus explicitly acknowledged the python program would probably work as it 
is currently written.

I reply:

I quote from Markus's posting on 15 December, '03:

"However Mike Ossipoff always describes the Floyd algorithm as follows:

[followed by a fragment of a Python program, with some of the lines partly 

This does not work."

Matt, yoiu're wasting our time when you post demonstrably innacurate claims.

Matt continued:

To restore some credibility for yourself Mike...

I reply:

It isn't quite clear how Matt feels that I've lost "credibility". For 
instance, in this discussion, I have a much better statement-accuracy record 
than Matt does.

Matt continued:

..., how about arranging to correct the code to make it O(N^3)?

I reply:

Sorry, but no. I thought that I'd made it clear in my previous reply to you 
that I'm leaving the algorithm as-is, at the website, and in my replies to 
people who ask about implementation. As I said at that time, Steve's 
algorithm very obviously works. That's obvious at a glance. The 1-pass 
algorithm, even if it works, doesn't have anything like the obvious validity 
of Steve's algorilthm.
If I sent Markus's algorithm out in reply to people who ask about 
implementation, I'd have to convince them that it works, contrary to 

And, as I likewise said before, the run-time of Steve's algorithm isn't 
going to be a problem anyway.

The websites that I've checked say that the Floyd algorithm finds shortest 
beatpaths. They didn't mention strongest beatpaths. Markus says that it can 
be modified for strongest beatpaths too (but that raises the question of 
whether, after modification, it's still the Floyd algorithm). Maybe when its 
job is to find shortest beatpaths it can complete the job in one pass. If 
so, maybe, when its job is modified to finding strongest beatpaths, it 
retains that capability.

Please note, Matt, that I don't take a position on that question, or make 
any challenge or issue about that. That hasn't been an issue here.

Matt continued:

All this time Mike is wasting futiley trying to beat down Markus...

I reply:

I've been futily trying to explain to Markus that I'm not claiming that 
Steve's algorithm is the Floyd algorithm. Yes, I admit that that effort has 
been futile.

But you're being over-dramatic and silly when you say that I'm trying to 
beat him down. Maybe you meant to say "...beat Markus back."

Matt continued:

...could be better spent by soliciting help from someone who codes python to 
modify the code.

I reply:

No, I'm going to have to disappoint you on that. I'm not going to modify the 
strongest-beatpaths algorithm because you prefer a different one. But I 
certainly encourage you to use whichever one you prefer.

Then again, your attacks on Markus are so completely false...

I  reply:

Can you name one false thing I said about Markus? I merely pointed out the 
falsity of his continually-repeated statement that I claim that Steve's 
stongest beatpaths algorithm is the Floyd algorithm.That's really the only 
issue in the discussion.

Well, I also objected to his statement that our algorilthm doesn't work. My 
statement that he said that isn't a false statement either--I quoted his 
statement above in this message, and stated the date of his posting. Check 
it out if you don't believe it.

Matt continued:

...and nasty that I really doubt there is anything you can do to restore 
your credibility with me.

I reply:

I've lost Matt's credence :-)

As for "nasty", I always start out polite. You wouldn't notice this, but 
it's only after many repititions of Markus's misquotes that I stop being 

You shouldn't think that I'm singling Markus out. For some people, at least, 
there's a natural tendency to put your gut feeling about someone over the 
actual facts of the discussion.

You, for example: You decided that you felt that I was being mean to Markus. 
Then, governed by your anger, and your natural protective instinct, you felt 
a need to refute what I was saying, a need to tell why Markus was the one 
who was right. Apparently that need was greater than your ability to read 
the postings and remember what I'd said, and what I hadn't said. So you 
began making refuting noises. These noises from you have been almost 
entirely vague, without specifying exactly which statement of mine was 
incorrect. The only exception to the vagueness was when you pinpointed an 
alleged mis-statement of mine: My statement that Markus had said that our 
algorithm doesn't work. (But check Markus's 15 Dec.  '03 posting).

Yoiur protectiveness toward Markus is laudable, and I'm not criticizing 
that. But you need to understand that you're one of those people who, when 
something angers you or arouses your protective instinct, is ruled entirely 
by emotion, so that you send to us a "refuting" posting that either refers 
to no actual statements (refutation pretty much requires that you say 
exactly what you're refuting), or else makes a quite false statement such as 
your claim that Markus didn't say that our algorithm didn't work.

So suggestion to you, Matt, is: If you want to refute something, find out 
specifically what statement you want to refute. Find a statement that is 
incorrect. Then tell us what it is that you want to refute. Then tell us why 
it isn't correct.

When you're vague, when you don''t tell us what you mean, people aren't 
going to know what you're trying to say. Good luck in future postings.

Mike Ossipoff

and that I don't intend to use something that doesn't have the obvious 
validity of Steve's algorithm. But I hadn't yet said that at the time that 
you posted your other message implying that there was

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