From: Patrick Ion <ion@ams.org>

Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 11:32:23 -0400

Message-Id: <E80A2AAE-4070-4B88-AD1B-5AA2FAF96EB0@ams.org>

Cc: www-math@w3.org

To: juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com

Date: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 11:32:23 -0400

Message-Id: <E80A2AAE-4070-4B88-AD1B-5AA2FAF96EB0@ams.org>

Cc: www-math@w3.org

To: juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com

[Warning: this message does not contain technical argument about markup.] Dear Canonical Scientist Juan, I assume that you intended to say > Prof. Hutchinson finished his talk by recognizing that and so on. However, I don't find the phrasing that seems to be important to you in his publicly posted slides. I do note [http://silas.psfc.mit.edu/mathmltalk/] Slide 8's text is <<< Conclusions MathML has a number of weaknesses. But it's close to being the best we've got for browsable web publishing of mathematics. Producing MathML from the dominant mathematics authoring systems is rather straightforward. Reading MathML is currently still not as effortless as it needs to be. Browsers need improvements. Progress is being made. Will MathML "take off" and take over web mathematics publishing? My guess is that it won't. But with luck it will gradually become more widespread. There will remain a place for formats with perfect layout control (PS, PDF etc.) MathML will have to establish its own niche. <<< which does NOT seem to be your quoted > we abandon the MathML approach, encourage to all our users, > collaborators, and visitors to abandon MathML, which is more the sort of phrasing one finds on your home site http://www.canonicalscience.com/ If the 'Canonical Science' site does eschew MathML and does put out publications of interest using some other style of markup then I personally think that will be all to the good for MathML and for science. Examples of other proposed solutions for markup of formulas will help the discussions of the newly revived MathML WG. I hope you, and others, may suggest solutions to problems with mathematical documents on the Web based on actual practice. And I hope the MathML3 effort may be able learn from them, as the Math IG did when real examples of difficulties with the markup of mathematics in Arabic documents were produced. The scientific claims and aims set out on your site suggest that the content you and your collaborators will be marking up should be of far-reaching consequence. There are clear cases in the history of mathematics where notation has caught on because the thoughts expressed in it were understood to be significant, and the new calculations it permitted were ground-breaking. The canonical (if I may use that word in an ordinary sense) example is probably the notation of Leibniz for derivatives, which was for many purposes superior to that adopted by Newton. I can only wish you luck in your endeavors to reform the scientific world and hope you will concentrate on reasoned argument in the recent scientific tradition to do so. As you say on your page <<< what is canonical science? Canonical science is a novel and very advanced theory providing a revolutionary point of view about nature. Canonical science is multidisciplinary (it is not just physics) and permits us to derive the different academic disciplines (e.g. thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, quantum mechanics, or mathematical ecology) like special cases. is canonical science the theory of everything? Everything, in the complete sense of the word, means all. A simple ontological analysis of the structure of universe shows us that the theory of everything does not exit. <<< [Presumably the last word should be 'exist'. I have to assume you think we are all presumably in the position to carry out a quick ontological analysis of the structure of the universe. I agree that a theory of of everything cannot exist without doing that. The string theorists' use of TOE is possibly not quite so over-reaching, and I personally don't think they have one there either.] Unfortunately I have some problems accepting all your conclusions at face value in some of the material on your site, where I happen myself to be familiar with some of the literature or some of the science. e.g, on quantum field theory and the history of mechanics and relativity. In neither case do I think the situation anywhere near as simple as you paint it. Your references often seem to be to your own work (in press) so that one cannot even check the sources you claim support your position. [e.g, on http://www.canonicalscience.com/en/researchzone/history.xml] If you have technical points to make about the use of W3C markup for mathematics and can provide examples we can try then I welcome your discussion. But let's stick to that if we can, as I suppose I just did not. Best regards, Patrick Ion P.S. It seems to me that David Carlisle's little XML document he sent in his last message makes his point very well --- the markup he offers is natural enough in the context or of common level of complexity and does display right (at least in Firefox 1.5.0.4, if not in Safari 2.0.4, which emphasizes the variability of renderers today).Received on Thursday, 13 July 2006 15:32:54 UTC

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