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Re: A reply to Bruce Miller proposal for online math

From: Leane Roffey <lroffey1@ix.netcom.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 10:42:07 -0500
Message-ID: <003e01c6aa80$bae2cf40$0201a8c0@ozzie>
To: "Bruce Miller" <bruce.miller@nist.gov>, <www-math@w3.org>

Here's a thought on your comment:

>>Two questions: Why the "::" ? Is it a stand-in for namespaces?

In the mid 1990s, people who participated in non GUI online
chat used "::" to begin their line of text. This was most used
in the old AOL chat forums, including the online tutoring
rooms in which I taught. I think it's an artifact of Rainman
or one of the text processing based shells that just found its
way into the codex, and is probably still used widely in
text identification protocols. I remember this specifically
because it was very hard to get used to. It was also used
to end text lines vs.

::Hi, I'm Leane. How may I help you today?::
::Hi, I'm in seventh grade. Are you the computer? Can you do my
homework for me?::

Any work I submitted for their online text encyclopedia also
had to be formatted in a similiar fashion, with close tags.

Leane

Leane Roffey Line, Ph.D.
Research Engineer
www.bioelektronika.com
Neuro Magnetic Systems
San Antonio, TX 78209








----- Original Message -----
From: "Bruce Miller" <bruce.miller@nist.gov>
To: <www-math@w3.org>
Sent: Tuesday, July 18, 2006 7:44 AM
Subject: Re: A reply to Bruce Miller proposal for online math


>
> juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com wrote:
> > Bruce Miller wrote:
> >> Exactly: Compare a properly installed MathML with a properly
> >> installed CSS.
> >> And then, you say, CSS is out? Well, you're welcome to your conclusion.
> >
> > Well, since some people dislike installation of special fonts, since
that
> > installation of MathML fonts can be awkward in linux machines [*] and
> > since current Mozilla engine is polluted by CM metrics and this will be
> > problems when future STIX fonts was available, a more general comparison
> > -with and without fonts- is desirable.
> >
> > In so one way users can obtain an accurate idea of one would wait from
the
> > CSS side and from the MathML side with and without font assistance.
> > Developers can also obtain a more accurate idea of posibilities of CSS
for
> > render math.
>
> OK, sure; set up a 3-way comparison between a CSS approach and
> a MathML both with & without fonts installed; fine with me.
>
> >> In fact, as I recall, you were promising to develop one.
> >> Clearly, as you imply, the input syntax itself must be trivial;
> >> it must only be because MathML is so bad that keeps you from
delivering.
> >
> > Well, I explained reasons on why the _original_ CanonMath program for
> > MathML was abandoned. Sorry to say this, the rest of your thoughts are a
> > bit outdated. Take next p-MathML fragment
> >
> > <mrow>
> >   <mrow>
> >     <mi>a</mi>
> >     <mo>+</mo>
> >     <mn>3</mn>
> >   </mrow>
> >   <mo>=</mo>
> >   <mi>&beta;</mi>
> > </mrow>
> >
> > It can be directly _duplicated_ as
> >
> > [::mrow
> >   [::mrow
> >     [::mi a]
> >     [::mo +]
> >     [::mn 3]]
> >   [::mo =]
> >   [::mi &beta;]]
>
> That's interesting; it really isn't so much about MathML, but
> an alternative shorthand syntax for XML itself, and would work
> for _any_ xml format. I often use such syntax & structures
> for preparing data for XML serialization.
>
> Some would compare it to Lisp. And some feel the redundancy of
> close tags (as opposed to a balancing "]" or ")") isn't necessary
> for well-formed-ness; They'd say that's what emacs is for :>
>
> Two questions: Why the "::" ? Is it a stand-in for namespaces?
> Secondly: what do you do when you need attributes?
> I'd suggest allowing an option something like
>   [mi {mathvariant=normal} a]
>
> Of course, while this form is a lot more typeable than
> straight xml syntax, you're still using the MathML "language"
> with whatever flaws it might have.
>
> > in current approach i am working now. This approach presents some
> > similarities with recent GLOSS input syntax by Richard Kaye:
> >
> > mrow
> >   mrow
> >     mi[a]
> >     mo[+]
> >     mn[3]
> >   mo[=]
> >   mi[&amp;beta;]
>
> I'm personally prefer lisp-like syntaxes to ones where
> whitespace is significant, but the popularity of Python
> puts me seemingly in a minority.
>
> >> Here's a proposal:
> >>   Develop your math input syntax along with conversions to
> >> Good representations like XML-Maiden or span+CSS  w/ or w/o JS
> >> or whatever. Then, put a clothespin on your nose if you must,
> >> and develop the converter to horrible, nasty MathML.
> >>
> >> When you've done that, I'm sure the community will happy to
> >> look at your work.  I'm looking forward to it.
>
> > Once known your previous messages and replies, I would not wait a
> > different proposal from you. I would be glad to accept it, but with
below
> > modifications along with a gentle plea for your active participation in
> > the development of the proposal.
>
> [snip]
>
> I can't quite understand all your "modifications";
> you seem to be saying that when you make the conversion
> from your new input syntax to MathML that you want to
> generate badly structured MathML.  I would have thought
> that you would want to take the opportunity to generate
> good MathML, but whatever --- you can do it that way, if you like.
>
> In any case, I wouldn't think those modifications would apply
> to the input syntax itself (unless it is just a mapping of MathML),
> nor to the conversion to non-MathML formats.
>
> --
> bruce.miller@nist.gov
> http://math.nist.gov/~BMiller/
>
Received on Tuesday, 18 July 2006 15:38:04 GMT

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