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Re: A simpler tack for making MathML more readable?

From: Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 16 Nov 1998 16:43:57 +0000 ()
To: James Ramsey <jjramsey_6x9eq42@yahoo.com>
cc: www-math@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.WNT.3.95.981116163243.-179955C-100000@hazel.hpl.hp.com>
On Fri, 13 Nov 1998, James Ramsey wrote:

> I thought of another way to attack the problem of making source code
> containing MathML readable. Recommend, or perhaps even require, MathML
> equation editors to preface their MathML output with comments that
> specify what the MathML code means, e.g.:
> 
> <!--Output of Foo Equation Editor
>   The MathML syntax means:
>  
>   x^2 + 3*x + 5 = 40
>   x^2 + 3*x + 5 - 40 = 40 - 40 
>   x^2 + 3*x - 35 = 0
>   
>   -->
>  
>   . . . MathML marked-up eqs . . .
>  
> This way, even if the MathML code in the source document isn't too
> readable, the comments can tell the reader of the source what the
> MathML tags are supposed to say. Also, if the comments are generated
> by the equation editor rather than typed in by the author directly, it
> will help insure that the content of the comments actually reflects
> the content of the MathML, avoiding problems like author typos,
> forgetting to change the comments when the MathML is reedited, etc.
> 
> You might have to come up with conventions for how to indicate such
> things as integration, differentiation, special characters, etc. The
> conventions could probably be borrowed from eqn, Mathematica syntax,
> and such.

For instance things like:

Your ideas are very much along the same lines as my work on 
EzMath, for instance the following:

  *    y=ax^2+bx+c
  *    integral from 0 to pi/2 of sin ax wrt x
  *    x = {-b plus or minus sqrt {b^2 - 4ac}}/2a
  *    2nd derivative of y wrt x = 2a

are working examples from the EzMath utility, see:
http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett/EzMath

EzMath makes it easy to create MathML content tags. For the next
revision, I will include the EzMath notation as the alternate
text using the math element's "alttext" attribute. It should be
straightforward to also generate a gif image for the "altimg"
attribute, both of which are defined by The MathML Recommendation
see: 

  http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-MathML/chapter7.html#sec7.1.2

Regards,

-- Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org> http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett
tel/fax: +44 122 578 2984 (or 2521) +44 385 320 444 (gsm mobile)
World Wide Web Consortium (on assignment from HP Labs)
Received on Monday, 16 November 1998 11:40:55 GMT

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