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XML and Math



Someone from Waterloo Maple came through today to speak about "Making
the Internet Safe For Math." He mentioned that the OpenMath process was
going painfully slowly but that he had better hopes for HTML Math. He said
that there are currently two proposals under development:

1) a semantic one based on the unfinished OpenMath effort headed up by
INRIA, based on "SGML".

2) a math typesetting oriented one based on an extensive survey of math
literature headed up by Wolfram Research, based on XML.

I do not know if the former uses any SGML features that are not available in 
XML.  Most likely it is "based on SGML" because OpenMath had described
an SGML representation of the OpenMath expressions. I expect it would
be moved over to XML when it gets back to the W3C unless it depends on
ShortRefs or something.

This guy believed that the HTML Math standard would be finished this year 
because the participants are really chomping at the bit for a standard after
the disappointment (in multiple senses) of HTML Math and the delays of the
OpenMath group. It is very believable that there will be implementations soon
after it is a standard. 

These fixed-tagset applications are going to really propel XML into the 
limelight even if full implementations w/ stylesheet take some time. On the
other hand, we might want to talk to this HTML-Math group about if it
would be possible to put rendering in stylesheets, to allow the semantic
model to evolve independent of the software. 

 Paul Prescod