Re: <t> element (and others) was (Re: XHTML <time> element proposal)

From: Jeremy Rand <jeremy@asofok.org>
Date: Mon, 3 Nov 2003 11:54:44 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <20031103195444.58449.qmail@web104.mail.yahoo.com>

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--- Tantek Çelik <tantek@cs.stanford.edu> wrote:
> On 11/2/03 1:17 PM, "Jeremy Rand"
> <jeremy@asofok.org> wrote:
>
> >
> > Tantek Çelik wrote:
> >
> >> <num> (or <n>) - ordinal or generic numeric
> value.
> >
> > In other words, a mathematical expression.
>
> not an expression.  a single value.
>
> the grammars of numerous computer languages
> understand and demonstrate the
> difference between the two.

Clarify the meaning of "value."  Which of these would
fit: 2x+1, 2x, x, 2/3, sqrt(3), 4.  IMHO, a "value" is
identical to an expression since once the value of all
variables is known, an expression can be simplified to
a constant, which is always considered a value.
Whether the value of the expression is always the same
or depends on the value of some variables seems
irrelevant to me.

> > Wouldn't MathML be
> > better-suited for that?
>
> for expressions yes.  for simple numeric values i
> believe the expression is
> (no pun intended), swatting a fly with a
> sledgehammer.
>
> > (Yes, I know about the "pain to hand-author"
> > argument.  There are enough MathML generators out
> there that it seems
> > pretty easy to use one to write the MathML
> fragment, and then paste it
> > into the XHTML document.  Or it could be built
> into an XHTML editor,
> > like in Amaya.)
>
> many things are possible.  as is mixing various
> DocBook XML markup into an
> XHTML document.  there is still value in adding
> simple/generic solutions to
> XHTML itself rather than always resorting to
> domain-specific specialty
> markup.

I think you're saying that MathML would be too
cumbersome or unwieldy for this purpose.  As far as I
can tell, marking up a number (or any expression) in
MathML would not be more difficult or annoying than
using a <num> element.  Assuming that a specialized
editor is being used (not just a text editor), a <num>
element would be used by highlighting some text, and
clicking a "number" button.  Using MathML, text would
be highlighted, and on a Math menu, a "standard math
expression" option would be clicked.  Not any extra
work for authors, but it would be much more flexible.
Is there any *disadvantage* to using MathML this way?

-Jeremy Rand

PS: Sorry if any non-ASCII characters get screwed up
in this message; Yahoo!'s webmail won't let me send in Unicode.
```
Received on Monday, 3 November 2003 14:56:50 GMT

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