Re: A simpler tack for making MathML more readable?

---Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org> wrote:
> On Fri, 13 Nov 1998,[I] wrote:
> > I thought of another way to attack the problem of making source code
> > containing MathML readable. Recommend, or perhaps even require,
> > equation editors to preface their MathML output with comments that
> > specify what the MathML code means, e.g.:
> > 
> > <!--Output of Foo Equation Editor
> >   The MathML syntax means:
> >  
> >   x^2 + 3*x + 5 = 40
> >   x^2 + 3*x + 5 - 40 = 40 - 40 
> >   x^2 + 3*x - 35 = 0
> >   
> >   -->
> >  
> >   . . . MathML marked-up eqs . . .
> >  
> > This way, even if the MathML code in the source document isn't too
> > readable, the comments can tell the reader of the source what the
> > MathML tags are supposed to say. 
> For instance things like:
> Your ideas are very much along the same lines as my work on 
> EzMath, for instance the following:
>   *    y=ax^2+bx+c
>   *    integral from 0 to pi/2 of sin ax wrt x
>   *    x = {-b plus or minus sqrt {b^2 - 4ac}}/2a
>   *    2nd derivative of y wrt x = 2a
> are working examples from the EzMath utility, see:
> http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett/EzMath

I'm not sure what you mean by my ideas being along the same lines as
yours. Our ideas certainly aren't mutually exclusive, but what I'm
proposing is simply a way to make a source document of a file
containing MathML human-readable. Say the author of some XML document
uses an equation editor of his/her choice (possibly EzMath) to create
MathML tags in the XML document. Fast forward an indeterminate time
later. The author (or perhaps even someone else) returns to look at
this document to figure out what it was supposed to say, so he/she
pages it or opens it up in a text editor for a looksee. If the math in
the document is just the MathML tags, then all he/she sees is some
apparent mishmash of MathML tags. It might not even be clear that it
is math. If the MathML in the source is well-commented with comments
that look something like TeX, or eqn, or EzMath, then he/she can more
easily discern what the MathML tags are supposed to be. Mind you,
there are probably other means of viewing the file, but I think every
effort should be made to make sure that source files are readable by
as many means as possible. Comments, especially automatically
generated ones, seem a relatively easy way to do it.

I'm not sure, but I think you're thinking of ease of authoring, while
I'm thinking of the readability of the document itself. If I've
misunderstood, feel free to correct me.

--J. J.


----I am a fool for Christ. Mostly I am a fool.----

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