From: Andreas Strotmann <Strotmann@rrz.uni-koeln.de>

Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2005 13:05:24 +0200

Message-ID: <427214F4.5050706@rrz.uni-koeln.de>

To: Paul Libbrecht <paul@activemath.org>

CC: www-math@w3.org

Date: Fri, 29 Apr 2005 13:05:24 +0200

Message-ID: <427214F4.5050706@rrz.uni-koeln.de>

To: Paul Libbrecht <paul@activemath.org>

CC: www-math@w3.org

Paul Libbrecht wrote: > > Le 26 avr. 05, à 14:53, Andreas Strotmann a écrit : > >> Paul Libbrecht wrote: >> >>> Can you hint to what would be the internationalization of MathML >>> content ??? >>> I would have hoped it to be international, being expected to be >>> semantic... >> >> >> Good point, Paul. Actually, in the case of MathML Content, >> *localization* (that is, rendering depending on a language or culture >> or other context) is the main issue. >> Ex.: gcd vs. ggT vs. mcd vs. MCD (in locales en/de/es/it) > > It's only an issue of the presentation system, not, not at all!, of > MathML-content. Well - I respectfully disagree. Issues of localization of MathML Content are a problem that MathML Content needs to deal with. Currently, the only option available is using the semantics parallel markup, but that will frequently be overkill, and at worst simply not work. > In some of the documents quoted there, I find an amount of places where > MathML-content would need to support language, for example, that a > content-symbol should support an xml:lang attribute. I really don't > understand this! Let me try to explain then. Consider the case where you publish a mathematical paper. It is written in a language (say, Persian) that uses an Arabic script, and it has formulas embedded. Those formulas would optimally be Content MathML - and as you say, the purer the better. However, it is necessary for the renderer to somehow render the formulas for use in a Persian language, Arabic script document, possibly using conventions specific to the country the author is in. Currently, that means parallel markup, but I don't see why only American English should profit from pure Content Markup: what is the use of Internationalization if you don't have Localization? (Note that it is reasonable for the author to determine the choice of rendering for content MathML in this case, and not the reader, although the reader may be given a choice to override the author.) Thus, even a pure Content Markup formula in a web page needs to be annotatable with a language tag - or at least inherit that tag from the surrounding markup (which is the same thing, really, since xml:lang is an defined to be an inheritable attribute: in the case of an inherited xml:lang, the value of the attribute is merely implicit, but it is definitely available). Anyway, since xml:lang is universal XML, it's the logical choice to use in this context - and for the renderer (such as the universal stylesheet) to respect. (Come to think of it, this may be your main point: this particular attribute should always be inherited rather than specified in MathML-Content. As I said, in a technical XML sense, both are equivalent, and I did not distinguish them.) > > That a presentation template (i.e. a recipe to produce presentation from > content) bears something such is clear but not the MathML-content itself ! The problem is that presentation templates are very limited in what they can use, and as soon as you render to natural language (e.g. "for all <something> we know <something else>" to render the universal quantifier - a very common occurrence in text books MathML Content is targetted at - i.e. K-12) defining a template that produces correct natural language is already next to impossible in English, but completely out of the question for languages with complex morphologies or other "interesting" linguistic phenomena. Besides, I don't see that you can specify multi-lingual presentation templates in MathML that are applied depending on xml:lang values, although that may well be an extension for MathML to request for version 3.0. > >> However, in our paper we note that there are more parameters than just >> language that determine the correct choice of a specific rendering >> during localization of Content MathML. >> Among these, the most important parameter in our application is >> probably the choice between rendering an expression as a formula (e.g. >> "Vx.P(x)") or rendering it as natural-language text (e.g. "there is an >> x such that P(x)"). The latter is not only important as a source for >> aural rendering; many of the more "advanced" features of mathematics >> are simply expressed verbally in lower grades, long before they are >> formalized for advanced students - quantifiers being a case in point. > > > Your points are valid and it goas as fine-grained as the classroom or > course... > Actually, if the rendering engine is used by an autonomous learner (e.g. > a researcher), there's no reason customization of the notation is not > offered for him as well. Very true. I think we make the point somewhere that different classes of choice of rendering are best left to different players (author, teacher, student) in our concrete application. > >> It is in this context that MathML 3.0 will hopefully have better >> support for marking choices between variants. > > > But where, oh where, in MathML-content or in OpenMath would you like to > put such choices ?? That, of course, is a question that needs discussing in the entire group responsible for developing MathML 3, for example. At WebALT, we will certainly come up with specific recommendations both for MathML and for OpenMath eventually. However, it is probably safe to say already that our recommendation is going to be for a small set of extra attributes with a small set of predefined values for use as rendering hints when localizing MathML Content elements. One such attribute/value combination that WebALT will need would say "express this part in natural language, not as a formula", while another would say the opposite (i.e. use a formula, not natural language). The specific language to use, of course, would be found in the xml:lang tag, while the extra attributes might literally be XML attributes specific to MathML Content, or non-semantic attributions in OpenMath. Needless to say, we would be keenly interested in any accounts of experience gained with this kind of approach in either OpenMath or MathML - or Maple or Mathematica, for that matter. -- Andreas PS: I apologize again to those whose publications we did not find in the course of preparing for our paper. I wish we had had more time for our research on that one.Received on Friday, 29 April 2005 11:05:33 UTC

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