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Content MathML 3 in new working draft

From: Thomas E. Leathrum <leathrum@jsu.edu>
Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2007 10:50:34 -0600
Message-ID: <473C78DA.9090606@jsu.edu>
To: www-math@w3.org

I am particularly interested in the material in the working drafts for 
MathML3 regarding Content MathML.  To get some idea of my interests, 
take a look at the following links (the first is an article in MAA's 
Journal of Online Math and its Applications):

http://www.maa.org/joma/Volume7/Leathrum/index.xml
http://cs.jsu.edu/mcis/faculty/leathrum/mathtrans/mathtrans.xml

Before I ask my questions, let me say first that the October working 
draft is *much* better than the April working draft.  There are still a 
few formatting issues (such as the section numbering in Appendix C) and 
a few apparent inconsistencies (e.g. the example in Section 4.2.7 
Qualifiers uses an "intexp" operator, but C.3.4(1-4) give only "int," 
"defint,", "defintset," and "intalg" -- perhaps the "intexp" should be 
"intalg"?), but far fewer such things than in the earlier version.  I 
understand that these are drafts -- such problems will need to be worked 
out before the document becomes a recommendation, but there are more 
important things to worry about right now.

But for the purposes of being prepared to bring my translator software 
up to CMML3 standards when the working draft is finished, I have two 
important questions:

1)  Will there be a precise decision procedure for deciding whether to 
use "apply" or "bind"?  Do you use "bind" whenever there is a "bvar", or 
is there a fixed set of operators (e.g. "int," "forall")  that will 
require "bind"?  The material about symbol roles specified in the 
content dictionaries (Section 4.5.4) indicate that operators can take 
either the binder role or the application role, but not both -- and yet, 
specifying no role implies that the operator can be used either way.  
Having a fixed set of operators that require "bind" seems problematic to 
me, since some operators (e.g. "union") would seem to make sense either 
way.  On the other hand, requiring "bind" whenever there is a "bvar" 
would lead pretty quickly to some nonsensical code as well, when a 
"bvar" is applied to an operator that doesn't support it -- if the outer 
environment is still "apply," the "bvar" can be safely ignored, but not 
so if using "bind."

2) Will the "pragmatic" form of CMML3 ultimately be deprecated in favor 
of the more verbose "canonical" form?  For my software, the "pragmatic" 
form would be the more realistic way to handle the source syntax for the 
translator, but I could add some code (or some sort of external 
association similar to the content dictionaries) to make sure the output 
is "canonical."  On the other hand, I suspect that an XSLT stylesheet 
(similar in some ways to ctop.xsl) could translate pragmatic to 
canonical.  However, relevant to the first question, the pragmatic form 
uses "apply" as in CMML2 in places where the canonical form would 
require "bind," which for my purposes just muddies the waters even more.

Regards,
Tom Leathrum
MCIS Dept.
Jacksonville State Univ.
Received on Friday, 16 November 2007 14:46:34 GMT

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