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Chris Rowley <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Mailing list for the LaTeX3 project <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 11 Nov 1998 19:40:19 +0100
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Sebastian Rahtz wrote --
> Chris Rowley writes:
>  > Only in the "real soon now" world; I would say that, even with the
>  > mega-bucks behind it, it still needs to be `real-world tested'.
>  >
> an awful lot of people have their shirts on XML. its extremely widely
> deployed. are you still waiting for Java to be real-world tested too?

Me, I am not waiting for anything.  I have laready wittered on too
long about the differences betwen a computer programming langauge and
a document description language so I will just say that this is irrelevant.

> some people are still waiting for everything except FORTRAN to be
> real-world tested.

Not me, but XML is nothing if it is not both usable and used in a wide
variety of contexts.

I hope it will be but mega-shirst are not the only thing needed to
make this happebn.

>  > MathML and Sebastian's ideas of semantic mark-up cater very well for
>  > the ideal of what Physicists and Computer Scientists (ie people who
>  > designed Mathematica and Maple) think maths and maths notation is.
> leaving me out of it, since I have no views,

That never stopped you expressing them, did it?

> why is your math more
> "real" than their math? your view comes over as awfully elitist and
> snobbish :-}

Did I say it was more or less real?  All I said was that their
philosophy of and hence (probably) their use of notation is different,
no quantitative assessment was given.  Maybe to a publisher maths is
maths is maths, but not to those who have to try and teach it to a
vast range of people.

An interesting example of a major difference between different uses of
math notation, in countries that use Cyrillic script, was brought to
my attention recently and may be of interest to some: amongst the more
classical users of maths, such as physicists, mathematicians, etc,
only occasional, specialised use is made of Cyrrilic letters within
math notation; however, within subjects such as economics, it is
common for the basic variables such as x, y to be replaced by
Cyrillic letters, and for operators such as min, max, sin, cos etc etc
to also be replaced by the local name in Cyrrilc script.

>  > level).  It's use of notation and its relation to the semantics are
>  > very complex and probably;y not well-understood (they are more like
>  > the relationship of natural language to the real world than like the
> fine. you carry on with presentation mathml. no-one forces you to use
> content mathml. i dont see any conflict

Neither do I, but them I am not trying to generate or look for
conflict, maybe you are?

Your opinion is interestingly different to Dr Carlisle's: he said I
need to go the other the way, beyond content MathML to OpenMath.

But what I do is neither here nor there: I am not interested in any
particular constituency, publishers, academics, Ms users, etc, etc.

So let us depersonalise and depoliticise this and broaden the
discussion beyond your commercial, anti-academic, anti-elitist,
spin-doctored, text-bites:-)?

> presumably you would agree, then,  that one possibility is a new LaTeX
> (presentation) math markup learning the lessons of MathML?

I always agree with you, don't I?  It's just that you never agree with