From: Neil Soiffer <soiffer@wolfram.com>

Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 13:52:15 -0700 (PDT)

Message-Id: <200004132052.NAA07413@wolfram.com>

To: cool@dataweb.nl (Thomas Cool)

Cc: timbl@w3.org, www-math@w3.org

Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 13:52:15 -0700 (PDT)

Message-Id: <200004132052.NAA07413@wolfram.com>

To: cool@dataweb.nl (Thomas Cool)

Cc: timbl@w3.org, www-math@w3.org

> Dear Tim Berners-Lee, > > You are probably under the impression that MathML is a good idea. > May I invite you to read the paper linked below ? > It isn't too late to stop it - but perhaps I am an idealist like you yourself. > > Kind regards, > > Thomas Cool > http://www.dataweb.nl/~cool > > http://econwpa.wustl.edu:8089/eps/get/papers/0004/0004002.html > http://econwpa.wustl.edu/eprints/get/papers/0004/0004002.abs > > also available at http://www.dataweb.nl/~cool/Papers/MathML/OnMathML.html Dear Mr. Cool, Thank you for your ringing endorsement of Mathematica. Let me assure you that the work you have invested in Mathematica is not wasted. MathML is not meant to replace Mathematica or any other software system. It is a low level communication and archival XML-based language. Indeed, because of MathML, documents you write in Mathematica can be exported to a variety of other applications, including browsers. In Mathematica V4, simply choose File:Save as Special:HTML/MathML and your notebook, math included, will be exported as HTML with MathML for all StandardForm and TraditionalForm cells. Similarly, documents containing math exported by other MathML-enabled applications can be pasted into Mathematica and used as part of a computation. The MathML *standard*, as opposed to your suggestion of using <mathematics use="xxx"> and </mathematics> means applications only need to understand one language, not a potentially infinite number of languages. Furthermore, the use of XML notation means that the math is not invisible to standard XML processing tools. This feature is used in the production of the MathML draft, whereby a common XML source is processed by XSL transformations to produce HTML (for the Web) and TeX (for print) versions of the draft. It is also planning on being used, I believe, by the Mozilla MathML implementation to translate content MathML into presentation MathML. There are many things that I and others in the MathML group dislike about the SGML/XML syntax such as its verbosity. But these dislikes are vastly outweighed by the benefits of having a large and rapidly increasing number of tools that deal with this syntax... which as I mentioned earlier, includes Mathematica. Wolfram Research understood early on the importance of designing and supporting a standard for mathematical representation on the Web in particular, and in XML in general. We have participated since the beginning of the MathML group to help craft the standard and are on the whole, quite pleased with the result. I believe that the other industrial members of the committee are also pleased with the result. As a Mathematica user, you will probably never need to see the MathML anymore than you need to see the Postscript used for graphics in Mathematica. But just as with Postscript and graphics, in the future, you will benefit from what will hopefully be the universal acceptance of MathML as a common interchange format for math. Neil Soiffer Wolfram ResearchReceived on Thursday, 13 April 2000 16:52:24 UTC

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