From: Robert Miner <rminer@geomtech.com>

Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 12:12:00 -0500

Message-Id: <199910291712.MAA30178@wisdom.geomtech.com>

To: hammond@csc.albany.edu

CC: www-math@w3.org

Date: Fri, 29 Oct 1999 12:12:00 -0500

Message-Id: <199910291712.MAA30178@wisdom.geomtech.com>

To: hammond@csc.albany.edu

CC: www-math@w3.org

Hi. > Thanks for your reply. > > > Given your views on open source software (I did notice the > > word 'share') I expect you will discount this, but one of the WebEQ > > tools is designed to be used as a server module, doing the down > > translation of documents on the fly. > > Please don't overstate my views about proprietary software. > CAS is one area where I think that the concept of proprietary > software sometimes makes sense. I have used such products, > and I even once wrote a pedagogical package for one. Sorry. I know you have thought a lot about these issues, and I didn't mean to oversimply or overstate your views. I just meant that in the past I have understood you to argue for the need for open source, or at least freely available, MathML software, if it is to be a viable standard in the long run. I agree with this view, too, except until recently I couldn't see a path to getting much freely available MathML software built in the very short term. However, I think the perception is growing that MathML is actually going to be part of the Web infrastructure for a while. As a consequence, as I tried to suggest, I think it is inevitable that we will start to see more and more free MathML software. Indeed, it is already beginning to happen, as I think/hope the MathML-in-Mozilla effort is demonstrating. > Question: Am I correct that the WebEQ input language is just for > MathML segments? It also accepts as input a syntax that is basically a subset of LaTeX math, augmented with some interactivity commands like \highlight{}, etc. We call this input syntax WebTeX. Since we developed it specifically to convert into MathML, we also devised new table layout commands (using a Tex-like syntax, of course) that fit the MathML model better. Now I wish we hadn't, since otherwise it would be much easier to tweak it a little to really make it a strcit subset of LaTeX math. As it is, it takes a moderately husky Perl script to get it to 'TeX'. Ah well, live and learn; it mostly serves the purpose. Another relevant comment here is that when we set up WebEQ, we put a good deal of effort into modularizing the parser stuff. It is quite easy to write a new Java parser class, that makes API calls to build up the internal WebEQ MathML data structre, and just drop it in place. Thus, a develop that wanted to teach WebEQ a new language only has to write the language-specific parsing stuff. --RobertReceived on Friday, 29 October 1999 13:12:03 UTC

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