From: Robert Miner <RobertM@dessci.com>

Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2003 10:17:48 -0600

Message-Id: <200310281617.h9SGHm921828@wisdom.geomtech.com>

To: silverbanana@gmx.de

Cc: www-math@w3.org

Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2003 10:17:48 -0600

Message-Id: <200310281617.h9SGHm921828@wisdom.geomtech.com>

To: silverbanana@gmx.de

Cc: www-math@w3.org

Hi. > I'm trying to write some proofs in MathML on my homepage. Some of them > look like this: > > <math><=> Term1 = Term2 |+2 |*3 |()^2</math> > <math><=> Term3 = Term4 |/(x+4)</math> > <math><=> Term5 = Term6</math> > Some explanatory text in XHTML: > <math> => Term7 = Term8</math> > <math><=> Term9 = Term10</math> > q.e.d > > Now I'd like to ask: Is it possible to instruct MathML to put all <=> > and =>, all Term1,3,5,7,9, all Term2,4,6,8,10, and all |+3 and so on in > one column to improve readability and if so how? I have a couple of comments. First, from a mathematical point of view, this is just one long row of implications with linebreaks. The explanatory text isn't really there in the mathematical assertion. So, if you the author choose to break up your single math assertion into two assertions with text explanation providing the bridge, then naturally the markup no longer reflects the logical structure, since you intentionally moved some of that logical structure into text. There is nothing at all wrong with that. Similarly, no doubt there are variables, short equations, etc in the text at the top of the page which are logically related to mathematical constructs at the bottom of the page, and that isn't reflected in markup either. Such compromises are inevitable (and the correct choice) when authoring for both human readers and machine readers. Next, as to the MathML mechanics of representation, I think the best markup would be a single row with linebreaks as I suggested. Unfortunately, the WebEQ Viewer Control applet is the only widely available browser rendering technology that implements linebreaking today, and it isn't appropriate here. So, it isn't MathML 2 that is at fault here, it is the state of rendering technology. Today, your only choice is to fake it with tables. Obviously that is less than optimal, but so are the alternatives. Third, XHTML + MathML is the wrong markup vehicle for you if what you are aiming at is capturing semantics of high-level constructs such at proofs. That, I believe, was the point of Stan Devitt's analogy with PostScript. XHTML + MathML is a very general markup language, whose main focus is really display in browsers. You would probably be better served by a more semantic markup language, and specifically one aimed at capturing the semantics of mathematical argumentation. A good candidate is OMDoc. I believe there are even XSL stylesheets for transforming OMDoc into XHTML + MathML. --Robert ------------------------------------------------------------------ Dr. Robert Miner RobertM@dessci.com MathML 2.0 Specification Co-editor 651-223-2883 Design Science, Inc. "How Science Communicates" www.dessci.com ------------------------------------------------------------------Received on Tuesday, 28 October 2003 11:14:41 GMT

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