Re: UMI Dissertation Abstracts

You apparently misunderstand. I don't care what format
UMI uses internally.

What I do care is what they put up online. Ohio State
is paying good money to subscribe to the online version
of dissertation abstracts.

Until last month or so, the mathematics section of the
online abstracts was available in TeX. This switch to
a nonstandard markup language makes the mathematics
abstracts essentially useless to us.

Zbigniew Fiedorowicz

At 10:09 AM 7/6/99 -0400, rwhitney wrote:
>> Does anyone see the point of this?
>My reaction is less dismayed than yours.
>UMI may speak for its own policies.  Still, I can imagine elements of
>its historical record which might make the article you cite a product
>of reasoned decision.  There were many years when AAP, then ISO 12083,
>math were the only SGML solutions available.  Given a perceived need
>to move archived documents to SGML (including whatever math might be
>involved) and a reluctance to change policy after embarking in a
>certain direction, Markup Inertia could bring this old technology to
>our wondering eyes today.
>As to
>  <math> <f> <g>4</g></f> </math> is a complex-valued function
>perhaps the <g>4</g> is some character call -- a Delta?  I don't
>recall AAP markup well enough to defend it.  (Nico?)  It may also be
>evidence of a bug, as you suggest.
>I'm only commenting that I think the markup may not seem so
>off-the-wall if one actually gets to know the history a bit.  Then one
>can further ask about what was in the TeX source, what the target
>language is, and what resources were committed to the translation
>program.  You may be correct in suggesting the effort was not what it
>could have been (or what it should be now), but I know too little to
>agree at this point.

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