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Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Sebastian Rahtz <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 4 Dec 1998 09:45:46 +0000
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (34 lines)
Chris Rowley writes:
 > I completely agree, and I do not think that editors would like it
 > either.  So I hate to say it yet again, but research maths notation
 > *is* different from natural languages (and, he added hastily, even
 > I am not at all against XML/MathML as a useful lanaguage, but it must
 > fit into authoring/editing systems for all types of maths that fully
 > supports all the different types of people who need to use them.

my (admittedly naive) view is that presentation MathML is like plain
TeX maths, ie it provides building blocks for putting practically any
math on the page. real users put a layer on top (macros), to let them
write commands which have semantic meaning for them.

if you accept this, then the XML/MathML world is no different. make up
a new language, using XML syntax, to say whatever you want
  <foo n="3">x<bar>y</bar></foo>
(forget the verbose syntax for now), and then provide the XSL
transformation script which maps that to presentational MathML. within
your own research group, write software which groks <foo> directly.

you lose the tight coupling of markup and presentation that TeX
provides, but you gain a language considerably more amenable to
computer processing, a cleaner mapping layer, and access to the
software the rest of the world will be using. your friend TeX will
still be there underneath, formatting away for you.

as i say, i may be being naive, but i think the Third Way has
advantages, and i dont see how it really constrains Chris' research