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Re: MathML-Presentation specs criticized.

From: Paul Libbrecht <paul@activemath.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 2002 00:29:24 +0200
Cc: www-math@w3.org
To: jimbofc@yahoo.com, David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>
Message-Id: <67DE9BD8-5189-11D6-AF99-0003934D43BA@activemath.org>

On Mardi, avril 16, 2002, at 03:46 , Jimmy Cerra wrote:
> I'm not an expert (although I pretend to be :) but I think that if the
> meaning of the layout changes, then the entire equation's meaning
> changes from culture to culture.  This corrupts the data stored in MMLP.

Mmmmh, how would you read the following arriving by some chance on a 
    -      -
   |   17   |
   |        |
   |   34   |
    -      -
(square bracket surrounding something like an invisible fraction of 17 
and 34)

I know at least that it exists (in combinatorics) and that I do not 
remember what it is anymore.

> To be a universal mathematics data format, there must be a single way to
> encode the meaning of the equation while also allowing for multiple
> layouts.  Paradoxically, the layout is part of the content, so the
> presentation language should allow multiple layouts of the same code.

I do not think multiple output-targets (a paper, a screen-view, braille, 
audio...) has any chance with MathML-P as source.
What you really want as universal mathematics language is content markup 
and that a stylesheet makes the conversion to the appropriate viewer 

In the square-bracketed fraction up-there, a good stylesheet would not 
only present the view (in MathML-P, in TeX, or in PDF) but also provide 
something like a roll-over effect to remember you (and me) what is the 
name of the symbol and possibly allow you to reach a definition.

Encoding mathematics with content-markup (we also often use the name 
"semantic") and presenting through a stylesheet allows mathematicians to 
define new symbols that only their documents and stylesheets should 
know. And they do!


  = Paul Libbrecht       Java developer    The ActiveMath project =
  = http://www.activemath.org/~paul           paul@activemath.org =
Received on Tuesday, 16 April 2002 18:29:28 UTC

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