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notes on conference call of 22 july



Notes on HTML-Math ERB Conference Call
22 July 96
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In attendance:

Neil Soiffer    Wolfram Research
Ron Whitney     American Math Society
Ralph Youngen   American Math Society

[Notes prepared by RW.  Corrections welcome.]
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Neil reported that he had been in Champaign since the end of last week
working with Robert Miner.  Both Neil and Robert feel that SGML markup
for display list format is appropriate since (a) there are advantages
in using SGML notation for import of legacy data, and (b) it was felt
that the LISPy notation that Bruce used in the Wolfram proposal was a
means of making display list format concrete and discussable, not an
end in its own right.  Board members should comment if they feel
otherwise about this.  Apparently one of the Wolfram Visiting Scholars
has produced a first cut at a display list DTD already.

Ralph and Ron commented that the display list DTD should take cognizance
of ISO 12083.  We should know whether, where and why differences exist.

In connection with writing this DTD, Neil asked what the content model
of the <moperator> element should be.  We've discussed the fact that
subscripts and superscripts should be allowed here.  Ron mentioned that
font changes and placement of diacritics should also be permissible.
Beyond the pale (one would think) are fractions and radicals.  Where's
the boundary?

This discussion also reminded Ron of a discussion he and Neil had offline
about markup of font changes as prefix operators (as with, say, "&bold; x").
Neil felt that it would greatly complicate the parser to add capability
of applying prefix operators to infix operators (e.g.: "x &bold;+ y").
Ron would like to retain this capability for reasons of symmetry, and
is still in need of clear demonstration that great complication arises
because of it.  Neil's concern is that this produces an ambiguous grammar,
leading to indefinite lookahead (x &bold;+_...).

The agenda that had been proposed for the meeting was not discussed.
Perhaps another time ...