[om] Re: [om-a] critique of OpenMath

Robert Miner RobertM at dessci.com
Fri Jan 19 19:10:45 CET 2001


> How to attack the hard problem?  I don't know for sure, but I'm
> looking at MINSE and glyphd.  The author of this stuff (Ka-Ping Yee)
> is now a grad student at UC Berkeley.  He did this quite impressive
> stuff while an undergrad at Waterloo, and it seems to have been
> totally ignored.  I ignored it myself, but then I was already
> somewhat disillusioned!  Not as disillusioned as Ping, though.

This is not on the main thread of this discussion, but the record
needs to be straight.  I am sorry Ka-Ping Yee is disillusioned, but
his work was NOT ignored.  Indeed, I have mail archives of several
hundreds of messages devoted to discussion between Ka-Ping and the
group which later became the MathML Working Group.  

It is true that MINSE was rejected as the basis of MathML, as was TeX,
as the first Wolfram proposal, as was lisp, as were many other
options.  But although each of these proposals had merit, they all
failed the paramount test of political viability. I wouldn't
necessarily contest the assertion that MINSE might have been
technically superior to MathML with its watered-down goals, and its
syntactic baggage.  However, the one thing MathML undisputably got
right is that it avoided spitting into the XML wind, which has
ultimately proved to be the most important factor in terms of overall
impact.  Thus, I stand by that decision, even if an unfortunate
side-effect was to challenge the illusions of people still believing
in a world where good ideas can always attain their fullest scope just
because they are good.


Robert Miner                          email: RobertM at dessci.com
Design Science, Inc.                  phone: 651-223-2883
MathML 2.0 Specification Co-Editor    http://www.dessci.com

om at openmath.org  -  general discussion on OpenMath
Post public announcements to om-announce at openmath.org
Automatic list maintenance software at majordomo at openmath.org
Mail om-owner at openmath.org for assistance with any problems

More information about the Om mailing list