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Re: Exploring new vocabularies for HTML

From: Michael Kohlhase <m.kohlhase@jacobs-university.de>
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2008 11:18:42 +0200
Message-ID: <47EF5AF2.7040004@jacobs-university.de>
To: Henri Sivonen <hsivonen@iki.fi>
CC: Bruce Miller <bruce.miller@nist.gov>, David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>, ian@hixie.ch, public-html@w3.org, www-math@w3.org



Henri Sivonen wrote:
>
> On Mar 30, 2008, at 05:07, Bruce Miller wrote:
>> I think there's some confusion here --- tho' it may be mine.
>> I personally think the most compelling case for annotations,
>> especially in a web context, is to provide presentation MathML
>> for display to humans, along with the corresponding content
>> MathML (when available) for export to applications (or perhaps
>> for audio rendering, or ...).  For any non-trivial math, for
>> software to infer the meaning from the presentation is really
>> just a wild guess; humans do somewhat better.  Perhaps the
>> notion of a "semantic web" has lost its popularity, but this
>> use case seems to be exactly what a semantic, and accessible,
>> web needs.
>>
>> I do somewhat share the concerns about using annotations to embed other
>> applications' internal forms, leading to bypassing the MathML
>> entirely, and increasing chances of the forms getting out of sync.
>
> So shouldn't Content MathML be developed to be rich enough to 
> encompass the semantics products need to round-trip but in a 
> vendor-neutral way?
You could view the work we are doing in MathML3 to do just that. In an 
ideal world, there would be enough content dictionaries (the new 
addition to MathML3 from OpenMath) to express all information that is 
locked up in vendor-specific ways  into a vendor-neutral format. This is 
certainly possible and we forsee that some of this will happen.  BUT, 
encoding vendor-specific information in a new format (CDs) is hard work 
and would disclose information that some vendors would consider 
strategic, therefore I am not sure that this will happen for commercial 
entities. Nonetheless, the possibilitity to do this will be here with 
MathML3.
>> But even so, _if_ there is the means for a browser to skip over a
>> content mathml annotation, that mechanism could as easily skip
>> other annotations as well --- provided it can find the end of
>> the annotation, which of course is not necessarily trivial
>> once you're outside of the XML world.
>
> Implementing skipping is not the problem. The problem is that *some* 
> products might not skip the annotation thereby getting different data. 
> That can be bad because the different data is out of sync or because 
> the different data is better and everyone else is missing out on the 
> better data.
This is actually the *feature* and not the *bug*: some applications that 
can deal with the better data should be given access to it.  We will 
have to deal with the possibility of data getting out of sync some other 
way. The proposal of disallowing other aspects (and I have argued that 
they are non-redundant) of the data is like solving the problem of air 
traffic control by just allowing one plane in the air at a given time. 
While the danger of collisions provably goes away, the price we pay  in 
terms of quality of service (reduced traffic bandwidth) is too high. 
Therefore we propose to keep <semantics>/<annotation-xml> with all of 
the sync problems.

Michael

-- 
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 Prof. Dr. Michael Kohlhase,       Office: Research 1, Room 62 
 Professor of Computer Science     Campus Ring 12, 
 School of Engineering & Science   D-28759 Bremen, Germany
 Jacobs University Bremen*         tel/fax: +49 421 200-3140/-493140
 m.kohlhase@jacobs-university.de http://kwarc.info/kohlhase 
 skype: m.kohlhase   * International University Bremen until Feb. 2007
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Received on Sunday, 30 March 2008 09:19:19 GMT

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