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Re: Survey of copy & paste of formulae ?

From: Paul Libbrecht <paul@activemath.org>
Date: Mon, 1 Mar 2004 12:57:35 +0100
Message-Id: <BF19F0A7-6B7F-11D8-91F0-000A95C50B1C@activemath.org>
Cc: mam1713@yahoo.com, Bernhard Keil <Bernhard.Keil@soft4science.com>
To: www-math@w3.org

Dear WWW-Mathers,

This looks to go in the direction I'm interested to... namely, what 
tickles me is how this offered to the user.

On 20-Feb-04, at 23:53 Uhr, mam mam wrote:
> I am attaching a file that contains 4 formulas. The 2nd and 4th 
> formula I got by selecting-copying and pasting  the parts of first and 
> fourth formulas to other place. It depeds upon how do you select the 
> subformula. The more suitable way is to make the selection by Escape 
> key. Did you mean that or some what else?
> (attachment now on http://klein.ags.uni-sb.de/webPo/Amaya_CnP.png)

Muhammad, in your image, I seem to understand you also managed to copy 
the square-root function without its argument... is this true ? Have 
you discussed this possibility with your users ?
You seem indeed to mention that there are some difficulties with the 
art of selection, I clear can imagine this if you allow to copy single 
operators (for example, I see no mouse-based visual way to select the 
"exponent" operator). Can you elaborate ? (does this escape key provide 
a kind of tree navigation ? If yes, does it do so in content or 
presentation ?)

On 20-Feb-04, at 17:05 Uhr, Bernhard Keil wrote:
> [...]
> Wenn innerhalb der Gleichung:
>     Y= X^2 + 2 X + C
> zum Beispiel das Fragment  " 2 X"  selektiert und kopiert wird, [...]

Bernhard, you seem to mention that you can, in SciText, actually copy 
and paste a part of the text and a part of a formulae... for example 
that in Y= X^2 + 2 X + C, one can select the 2X... my question is 
then... can you select Y=X^2+2 without the X?

The reason of my interest is that we have managed partially to perform 
copy and paste within a web-application, the ActiveMath learning 
environment and it sort of appears that sub-term-selection is wished 
(that is, while selecting, only well-formed-subterms can be 
selected)... (this can be tried from our official demo, try 
http://www.activemath.org/demo, the appearance of formulae is generated 
from OpenMath content).
I am, however, not clear about it, and I would like to exchange about 

Sub-term-based selection means, at least as far as we have observed, 
that things such that a+b+c actually have a bracketting which is just 
not-visible. Suppose it is a+(b+c) then selecting "a+" with the mouse 
will select the whole a+b+c...
Being aware of associativity would probably avoid that but that's yet 
another requirement of a presentation engine, alternatively, should 
authoring tools flatten such things and remove the bracketting, making 
it, in lisp-notiation, (+ a b c) ?

Another pathological example where mathematical selection can be a 
challenge is:
     3 = -2 (mod 5)
selecting the equals should select the mod 5. How about selecting the 
bracket ?
At least, if subterm-selection is not wished, or if operator-selection 
is offered (e.g. as when selecting square-root), then our visual 
selection of the "=" sign actually has to be made of two segments... 
have many people done that ?

Thoughts would be appreciated.

On 21-Feb-04, at 03:45 Uhr, Neil Soiffer wrote:
> Take a look at the software mentioned on
> http://www.w3.org/Math/implementations.html.  A significant number of 
> those
> applications can cut and/or paste MathML.  Some presentation only, 
> some both
> content and presentation, and maybe a few only content.  You'll 
> probably
> either need to try each piece or software or contact the authors, since
> their capabilities change over time.

Clearly, I'll start a questionnaire some time from now. The thing is 
that I am not clear yet about all the possible issues so I expect the 
mailing-list to help me better formalize...


Received on Monday, 1 March 2004 07:55:49 UTC

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