What Does “Formal Method” Mean?

one abuse of term in math & programing is “formal”, ⁖ formal methods, formal proof. In practice, people meant roughly “more rigorous”. But, it has a more technical meaning: formal in “formal language”, Hilbert “formalism”, the “form” of formulas, calculational proof.

when programers mention formal methods, ⁖ lisper, haskeller, pythoner, please help better the world by shoving a cucumber in their mouths.

see also Math Notations, Computer Languages, and the “Form” in Formalism

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