From: Stan Devitt <jsdevitt@stratumtek.com>

Date: Wed, 3 May 2006 00:21:17 +0200

Message-ID: <ce9128ae0605021521s8c9bf87tc7a65789b65b689f@mail.gmail.com>

To: "David Carlisle" <davidc@nag.co.uk>

Cc: neils@dessci.com, www-math@w3.org

Date: Wed, 3 May 2006 00:21:17 +0200

Message-ID: <ce9128ae0605021521s8c9bf87tc7a65789b65b689f@mail.gmail.com>

To: "David Carlisle" <davidc@nag.co.uk>

Cc: neils@dessci.com, www-math@w3.org

Much of the concern in this discussion related to mover versus combining characters seems to me to be missing the point. On one hand there is a concern for uniqueness of representation and presumably ease of searching and on another concern about the quality of the resulting presentation. I am hearing an argument to throw out presentation MathML because it fails an implicit requirement that "a particular mathematical concept be uniquely represented" and to use a simple character based representation because it is closer to a unique representation and so easier to search for. 1. This argument ignores the fact that notations get re-used for different concepts in mathematics. To search reliably for a concept, at very least you need the kind of information contained in the expression <csymbol definitionURL="..."> ... put your favourite presentation here </csymbol> The definition is explicit. The presentation is along for the ride. (Think in terms of a test document which discusses the many different uses of a notation and displays them in different colors. However you choose to represent this, you still need all the information including 1) a reference to the different definitions and the proper tokenization of each. Then it is easy search reliably. It is also easy to map systematically to your presentation of choice. ) 2. It is unreasonable to expect that a single concept to be "presented" uniformly by all authors or applications (even as a multi-character string) unless perhaps the presentation is generated by the same author/system on the same day or is machine generated by the same software. Even then, other cultures may deliberately choose a different presentation. ------ Bottom line. If you really want to search for a mathematical concept - don't compare printer driver instructions --- search where the information your looking for still exists. Anything less only a heuristic. Note that for a character based system, since there is no markup available to annotate the individual characters, the only real alternative is writing down your assumptions about the meanings of characters in a separate document (what else can you do without markup?) and then searching for those characters. But this model cannot even handle the simple test case outlined above. ---- Aside: The discussion about the relative merits of the display of mover versus combining characters should be a completely separate discussion about quality of layout and not confused with the uniqueness of representation or criticized on that basis.Received on Tuesday, 2 May 2006 22:21:23 UTC

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