From: David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>

Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 09:48:09 +0100

Message-Id: <200110250848.JAA08029@penguin.nag.co.uk>

To: pcbyers@yahoo.com

CC: www-math@w3c.org

Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2001 09:48:09 +0100

Message-Id: <200110250848.JAA08029@penguin.nag.co.uk>

To: pcbyers@yahoo.com

CC: www-math@w3c.org

Perhaps someone will entertain an amateur question: Is MathML a programming language that uses the browser as a calculation engine, or is it only a markup language that puts ideas on paper? If it is the former, what are the implications (enormous, I take it) for browser support? Neither. (Or Both:-) There is no implication that "getting the browsers to support MathML" means that internet explorer and Mozilla/Netscape are somehow to become Mathematica/Maple clones. So as far as the browsers are concerned, MathML is a layout language, that might be compared with the layout rules of html tables, or SVG. However MathML is designed (especially the content part, but also to some extent, the presentation part) to also carry enough semantic information about the mathematical content that it can also be used with computational engines; symbolic engines such as mathematica/maple but also numeric software (such as the NAG library to give a random example..) This might be as simple as "cut and paste" from the browser to your symbolic algebra package (although currently, as for html, cut-and-paste from the common browsers just copies the characters not the markup, but you can use view source and then cut and paste the markup) or more usefully the computational engines are beginning to implement reading and writing whole worksheets/notebooks out as html+mathml so they can be viewed on the web, and the later read back in to the system. This is the "first stage" ie static display of mathematics. The "second stage" to which lots of people are working is to have more dynamic content where the mathml being displayed in the browser may be edited using editing forms in the web page, and re-computed and re-displayed by the browser dynamically linking to a mathematical server somewhere else on the web (or somewhere else on your machine, depending on the context). Hope this helps, David _____________________________________________________________________ This message has been checked for all known viruses by Star Internet delivered through the MessageLabs Virus Scanning Service. For further information visit http://www.star.net.uk/stats.asp or alternatively call Star Internet for details on the Virus Scanning Service.Received on Thursday, 25 October 2001 04:48:29 UTC

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