[om] about translating back and forth and data loss

Andrew Solomon andrew at illywhacker.net
Thu Aug 2 11:13:18 CEST 2001

Dear Gifford,

On Mon, Jul 23, 2001 at 09:03:25AM +0000, Gifford Cheung wrote:
> One of the issues of evaluating a math representation language, especially 
> if it is intended
> to work between or among different CAS, is whether the breadth of the 
> description will lose
> information over multiple translations.

I'm afraid I don't understand this question. Could you please clarify?

> OpenMath seems to have many different domains in the use of content 
> dictionaries. Apparently
> there is a native OpenMath CD as well as one for MathML, and others are 
> expected: Mathematica
> and Maple, for example. Is this correct?

The MathML CD is simply to ensure that
these two emerging standards share MathML's (fixed) ontology.
OpenMath uses CDs to extend its ontology, however I'm not aware
of plans for any CD specifically for a single computer algebra system.
In fact, it would be pointless to do that in general. The idea is to
write a CD addressing an *area of mathematics* and then write a *phrasebook*
to translate from OpenMath into the specific representation of the computer
algebra system.

Best wishes,

Andrew Solomon

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