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Timothy Murphy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Sat, 12 Dec 1998 22:54:07 +0000
text/plain (28 lines)
On Sat, Dec 12, 1998 at 06:05:25PM +0100, Chris Rowley wrote:

There is a fundamental question about MathML/XML/OpenMath vs TeX/LaTeX
which does not seem to me to have been answered here.

As I understand it, *ML _parses_ (or tries to parse) maths,
while Knuth in his wisdom decided this was impractical.
For example, if I write $AB = CD$
this might refer to variables AB,CD (perhaps line segments)
or it might refer to products of 4 variables A,B,C,D;
I don't have to say in TeX/LaTeX.
Would I have to say in *ML?
Would I perhaps have to put in an \invisibletimes between A and B?

The question is, then:
is it possible to parse mathematics,
and if so, is it wise to try?

[It may be impossible,
because it may be that mathematicians
would refuse to be bound by any particular formal system put forward.]

Timothy Murphy
e-mail: [log in to unmask]
tel: +353-1-2842366
s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland