--- Comment #1 from Markus Krötzsch <> 2010-10-05 
09:58:36 UTC ---
The original motivation for choosing the current meaning was that strict
operators were much less common in practice, so that it was decided to not
require extra symbols for writing them. Moreover, many applications do not
really care about the difference (e.g. when comparing dates or population
numbers, the difference between <= and < is only ever seen if there is an item
that is exactly on the border, and even this may not matter in practice).

Another motive for the current syntax was that the older ":=" syntax already
had a "=" so that adding "<" or ">" suggested the "or equal" versions in a more
natural way than now. Of course this argument is void now.

As you say, in many cases strictly greater than 8 can be written as greater
than or equal to 9. The problem you describe for allowed values is a separate
bug that should be fixed (I think there is an open bug report for this).

My main concern here is that we are making the more common case harder to
accomplish, while at the same time introducing additional syntax that makes it
harder to read queries. Unless there are a significant number of uses for
strict comparators, I think that it is better for most SMW users to keep the
current solution, requiring those who need strict comparators to add the
explicit inequality condition instead of requiring everybody else to change
their wiki or set new configuration parameters. Simplicity might be more
important than mathematical canonicity here.

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