Subject: Re: semantics
From: Ron Whitney <RFW@MATH.AMS.ORG>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 15:53:56 -0400 (EDT)
From firstname.lastname@example.org Tue Aug 20 15: 54:19 1996
Thanks for your response, Steve. I felt I was trying to say much of
what you say, and this may be a comment on why people decline speaking
about the topic. Perhaps I missed my mark. I have no arguments
against the vagueness of the way in which mathematicians operate. I
was trying to portray some serious notion of semantics as a basis for
whatever semantics might get attached to notations. I take the idea
seriously enough to believe it has a place in our discussions here.
Clearly some (if not several) within the ERB are more interested than
I in allowing the possibility of carrying semantics.
You do ask:
> What do you see as attractive about the work of OpenMath?
I only mentioned the OpenMath work as that of a group giving serious
attention to the issue of attaching semantics to notations. Since I'm
rather less inclined to do so, I'm happy to defer to their work and plug
into it where members of this ERB think we can do so. Are you
recommending we ignore the OpenMath efforts? The only semantics you
make reference to is a low-level semantics (e.g. Mathematica
semantics) whereas OpenMath is attempting to be rather more
mathematically oriented ("system" independent).
As I say, I think that you and I are much in agreement as to what
mathematical researchers do. We may disagree on how to react within
HTML-Math to the entire corpus of mathematical notation which may hit