Minutes for 18th March

Meeting Notes of Math-ERB Teleconference:
Thursday 18th March '96


      Bruce Smith, Wolfram 
      Neil Soiffer, Wolfram 
      T.V. Raman, Adobe 
      Dave Raggett, W3C 

Meeting time/frequency

Dave has been unable to find any time that all of us can make. The new time
will be every Monday at 1300 EST until further notice. Dave will attempt to
keep Nico in the loop via email on the mailing list and separate phone calls.

Adding further People to the Math-ERB

Stu Weibel of OCLC sends his regrets that they are too busy to accept the
invitation at this time. Elsevier have contacted the AMS. Ralph Youngen,
Associate Director, Electronic Product Development for AMS has accepted the
invitation to join the group, along with a couple of his colleagues. 

The need for full SGML?

We discussed whether it was necessary to use SGML for the math notation.
Basically, we have a preference for an extensible operator precedence
notation. This can be included in HTML documents and handled correctly by
SGML processing applications via the NOTATION mechanism. 

When using operator precedence, there is a need to constrain the context in
which given operators can be used. Niel said this wasn't as simple as at
first it might appear. Dave will work on a formal mechanism for this. 

It is also unclear as to when macro processing is applied. Further discussion
on this is needed. It should be practical for parsers to deal with missing
arguments sensibly. This in general depends on the context. 

Raman voiced a concern on Bruce's comment on 2D pictures. We agreed however,
that a fixed set of "layout" idioms are sufficient for HTML-math. Raman
promised to propose some new wording. He also gave us a URL for his test
suite, which I have added to the math-erb home page.

We ended by discussing some of the parsing issues for mismatched brackets and
number literals. It seems clear that bracket matching can't in general be
required. Authors should be able to control the settings for this and for

Dave has posted a dump of his understanding as a result of this conference
call. See: current thoughts. 

Dave Raggett, 22nd March. 

-- Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org> tel: +1 (617) 258 5741 fax: +1 (617) 258 5999
   World Wide Web Consortium, 545 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA 02139
   url = http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett