From: Patrick Ion <ion@ams.org>

Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2006 15:24:20 -0400

Message-Id: <7D069C97-0A96-497F-AA1E-CA966CE89E68@ams.org>

Cc: <www-math@w3.org>

To: "<juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com>" <juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com>

Date: Sat, 15 Jul 2006 15:24:20 -0400

Message-Id: <7D069C97-0A96-497F-AA1E-CA966CE89E68@ams.org>

Cc: <www-math@w3.org>

To: "<juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com>" <juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com>

Dear Juan, In another place, you castigate MathML for 2) lack of an adequate input syntax (see original CanonMath program) A universal input syntax is something that early math markup developments thought would be a very good idea, and many imagined would be rather easy to specify. They were quite wrong, of course. The W3C Math WG did consider input syntax questions, but decided it did not have enough resources to specify such a thing when there was such clear disagreement amongst WG participants as to what the syntax should be. The fact is that there have been many (semi)-formal syntaxes suggested for math input ranging from that of Peano to TeX and CA systems' (e.g, Macsyma, REDUCE, AXIOM, Maple, Mathematica et al.)---just to mention things from the last century). It is my impression that many coming to the problems of computer handling of math enjoy the initial impression that they know all the math necessary and just need to handle the machine part. That turns out to be hubris. An individual who is a scholar of the stature and genius of Knuth may end up making a system that catches on and is hailed as widely useful. I think all the other systems that are now in wide use benefitted from the points of view of a number of people on what math is and how it can be encoded. I think the new Math WG should revisit the question of input syntaxes. In my own present opinion, there should probably be a recognition that locally preferred input syntaxes are useful to their special communities. It could be that the WG may be able to endorse, or at least describe clearly in a note, some commonly requested input syntaxes for math and their natural relationships with the markup of MathML. PatrickReceived on Saturday, 15 July 2006 19:24:32 UTC

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