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Re: Is it correct ? (Specification)

From: Bruce Miller <bruce.miller@nist.gov>
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 08:58:35 -0400
Message-ID: <4315A97B.3080102@nist.gov>
To: Frank Yung-Fong Tang <franktang@gmail.com>
CC: Koba <koba@antenna.co.jp>, www-math@w3.org, WWW International <www-international@w3.org>

Frank Yung-Fong Tang wrote:
> 
> 
> 2005/8/27, Koba <koba@antenna.co.jp <mailto:koba@antenna.co.jp>>:
> 
>     Hello!
> 
>     The following sentence:
> 
>     This version of MathML is not knowingly incompatible with the needs of
>     languages which are written from left to right.
> 
>     That is in the third paragraph of 1.3.2 Relation to Other Web
>     Technology,
>     within http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/REC-MathML2-20031021/chapter1.html
> 
>     Is that correct ?
> 
> 1. Well... do you know any compatible issue of this version of MathML 
> with the needs of languages which are written from left to right?
> If NOT, then the statement is correct.

Well, it is correct in the sense that it is true.  However, if you read
the context, particularly the following sentence, it is incorrect
in the sense that "right to left" was clearly intended.

> 2. do you know any compatible issue of this version of MathML with the 
> needs of languages which are written from right to left?
> I think we know some, so if the statement is "This version of MathML is 
> not knowingly incompatible with the needs of languages which are written 
> from right to left." then it is incorrect.

I think it was correct at the time it was written, or would have been if
it had been written correctly.  Even now, although we know there are
some issues that need clarification, and some possible extensions that
would explicitly support some RTL languages --- we're working on this
right now --- I think the corrected statement would still be correct,
that it is not inherently "incompatible".

> I can surely understand why you mention this issue. The use of  "dobule 
> negative" English in the spec is really not 'i18n' at all. No body will 
> understand what such sentance really mean with high confidence by 
> reading any translation of such sentance. (and no matter how you 
> translate it).

I'm not sure that this qualifies as a "double negative", and in any case,
the two "negatives" are essential to the logic of the sentence:
It certainly isn't the case that "...MathML is knowingly compatible
with ... right to left"



-- 
bruce.miller@nist.gov
http://math.nist.gov/~BMiller/
Received on Wednesday, 31 August 2005 12:59:15 GMT

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