[om] OpenMath and Imaging

David Carlisle davidc at nag.co.uk
Wed Sep 29 00:03:02 CEST 1999

> It's nice, but i'd still much rather type "5 < x <= 10".

Type what you like, it's what your application passes to another
application that matters. The OM or MMl forms have a chance of
being understood by a wide spectrum of systems. 
The number of systems that will understand the example that you
quote above as a syntactic shorthand for  x being in (5,10]
are I would guess strictly limited.

But no one ever suggested that MathML or XML encoded OM were 
designed for ease of typing. Most Mathematica users are going
to input expressions as they always did, but if they save them as MathMl
(today) or Om (one day?) they will also be able to share that
mathematics with web browsers, rival systems such as Axiom or Maple or
Reduce, users of MS Word, etc. Sometimes speaking a common language is
sufficiently useful that arguing about the merits (or lack or merit)
of the language is not really useful.

Of course for those of us trying to design the language, we want to make
it as good as possible, but in fact the existence of the language (or
its `hype' as you call it) will for most people be more important
than the details of its construction.

If you can type your mathematics in MSWord, and have it be evaluated in
Mathematica then that (if that's what you want to do) is far more
important than the details of the XML encoding used to communicate
between the two systems in the background. Politically, today,
the only chance of an encoding that could get that kind of wide
acceptance is if it uses XML syntax.

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