From: Bruce Smith <bruce@wolfram.com>

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 10:31:29 -0800

Message-Id: <v02130502b0f27f9ce44f@[199.182.131.194]>

To: "Gregory A. Landrum" <landrum@hal9000.ac.rwth-aachen.de>

Cc: www-math@w3.org

Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 10:31:29 -0800

Message-Id: <v02130502b0f27f9ce44f@[199.182.131.194]>

To: "Gregory A. Landrum" <landrum@hal9000.ac.rwth-aachen.de>

Cc: www-math@w3.org

Dear Dr. Landrum, You wrote: >I could be cynical and speculate that the presence of the authors of >the big math packages on the working group is the reason for the >incredibly convoluted syntax. They certainly have a financial >interest in ensuring that special purpose editors are required, but >I will refrain from going there. As an employee of one of "the authors of the big math packages" who is a member of the HTML-Math WG, I feel compelled to reply to this point. (I am speaking only for myself; this is not an official statement from Wolfram Research or from the HTML-Math Working Group.) Many members of the HTML-Math Working Group share your frustration with the lack of practical hand-authorability of MathML. Indeed, Wolfram Research proposed a hand-editable syntax for HTML-Math similar in many ways to TeX; our proposal had a fair amount of support in the Working Group, but was ultimately rejected. This proposal (in an early draft form) is linked to from the public HTML-Math home page, http://www.w3.org/Math/ under the heading Working group drafts and background documents specifically under the URLs http://www.ams.org/html-math/wolfram-proposal-960531.html (full description) http://www.ams.org/html-math/htmlmath.html (more readable quick guide) In this proposal, notations like ax^2+bx+c=0 or x = {-b ± &root;{b^2-4ac}} &over; 2a can be used directly. (The notation has been further simplified since then, but the most recent form is not presently documented on the web.) Wolfram Research is considering making this notation available as a means of hand-authoring MathML, even though our original goal of having this notation (or a similar one) become an official part of HTML-Math was not achieved. Please let us know if this would be of interest to you. Bruce Smith <bruce@wolfram.com>Received on Monday, 26 January 1998 13:33:02 UTC

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