notes on conference call of 12 august

Notes on HTML-Math ERB Conference Call
12 August 96

In attendance:

Dave Raggett	World Wide Web Consortium
Bruce Smith	Wolfram Research, Inc.
Neil Soiffer	Wolfram Research, Inc.
Ron Whitney     American Mathematical Society

[Notes prepared by RW.  Corrections welcome.]

Bruce commented that he expects to have the Mathematica parser of
HTML-Math ready for test in a couple of weeks.

Dave discussed some of his work.  He feels that we can best deal with the
large number of entities to be named in dictionaries and with aliases by
assigning these entities to Unicode values.  HTML is generally moving
toward Unicode, and such a move by us would fit with this direction.  There
are several unknowns regarding how best to procede, but Dave and Neil will
look into it.  Neil will provide Dave with a set of characters which WRI
has collected, and Ron has posted 9 of the symbol sets of TR 9573
(accessible via http://www.ams.org/html-math/erb/).  Neil commented that
there are some obvious gaps in the current Unicode symbol set (e.g. only
some of the script letters are included), and Ron mentioned that Richard
Kinch of the TeX community was also looking into registering a set of TeX
characters within Unicode.  Board members with knowledge and opinions
should at least make themselves heard to Dave, if not the entire list.

Dave has passed some of his work (completing the lexer) on to Robert Miner,
although Robert is now away from work for two weeks.  It may be possible
for a colleague of Robert's to pick up some of this work.

Dave discussed the need to make sure that the reduction rules he is using
agree with those that Bruce is implementing.  Such rules will have to be
part of the formal spec for our HTML-Math definition, although this may be
only implicitly so, as in the case of the operator-precedence parser.

Dave reported that it is probably wise for us to change our status as a W3C
entity from that of an Electronic Review Board to that of a Working Group.
The W3C is apparently tightening up some of its procedures, and ERBs are
subject to nomination and election rules, which might in turn force
reconstitution of this ERB in the next several months.  A Working Group is
potentially of greater membership (being open, I think, to those who would
like to join), although we are not aware of W3C members (with the possible
of SoftQuad) who are seeking to join us.  Dave suggested that we write a
report on the status of our group's efforts, and send this out to W3C
members in the Consortium's Newsletter.  In such a report we would indicate
that we plan to meet at the end of September, and at that time anticipate
being reborn as a WG.

One befuddled soul rang into the middle of our call, clearly expecting
another number.  Perhaps we'll have to expect more of this when we modify
to a WG.