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Re: UMI Dissertation Abstracts

From: Zbigniew Fiedorowicz <fiedorow@math.ohio-state.edu>
Date: Mon, 05 Jul 1999 19:59:23 -0400
Message-Id: <3.0.3.32.19990705195923.007bf5f0@mathserv.mps.ohio-state.edu>
To: Robert Miner <rminer@geomtech.com>, www-math@w3.org
Cc: fiedorow@math.ohio-state.edu
At 03:52 PM 7/5/99 -0500, Robert Miner wrote:
>
>
>> The UMI Dissertation Abstracts Service at
>>   http://wwwlib.umi.com/dissertations
>> has started to "translate" mathematics dissertation abstracts
>> from TeX into some very weird markup language on their web pages.
>> Here's a sample:
>> 
>> <math> <f> <g>4</g></f> </math> is a complex-valued function such that
>
>Interesting.  I don't recognize it.  I can rule out MathML and ISO
>12083.  It's not OpenMath obviously.  Does anybody know what ATI's
>math dtd looks like?

Whatever possessed UMI to use this format on their web pages?
While raw TeX is not that pleasant to read on web pages, most
mathematicians are familiar with it and can reconstruct the
mathematical semantics.

So why did UMI switch from TeX to a format which is unknown even to
experts on this group and which is not supported (and never will be) by
any software accessible to their subscribers? (Their only advice on their
technical support page is to obtain the latest versions of
Navigator/Internet Explorer.)

Moreover the abstracts are translated from TeX by some buggy software.
I don't see how
  <math> <f> <g>4</g></f> </math> is a complex-valued function
can be a valid translation of any meaningful mathematics.
In one case, where I have been able to compare their format with
the original TeX I see such translation idiosyncracies like
  $T$ ----> <math> <f> <sc>T</sc></f> </math>
  $Q$ ----> <italic>Q</italic>

Does anyone see the point of this?

Zbigniew Fiedorowicz
Received on Monday, 5 July 1999 20:00:34 GMT

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