[om] Re: library

Mike Dewar miked at nag.co.uk
Wed May 30 11:27:12 CEST 2001

> I know that Bill Naylor is working on the special functions
> CD. Since the AMS55 (Abraham/Stegun) on line project is making
> good progress, and since editors involved are perfectly
> willing to align with OpenMath, but not doing the work,
> it seems to make good sense to contact the editors,
> e.g. Ron Boisvelt.
I met Bill a few weeks ago at the University of Western Ontario and
he is indeed working on their existing Special Functions CD and
bringing it into line with the latest OpenMath standard, as well as
investigating the automatic generation of XSL stylesheets from CDs (by
adding a "notation" element to the CD).  Maybe he can post something
about that at some point.

The other people who had special functions CDs were the group at Nice.
I don't think I ever saw it but from what other people said I think it
was organised into several CDs and made better use of genericity than
the Western one.  It now appears that we have a third CD from Bruce Miller.

The other "ingredient" to the special functions debate was the paper on
branch cuts which James Davenport and the Western group wrote while James
was on sabbatical there.  A version of this appeared in the SIGSAM bulletin
but we could probably make the original report available online if people
are interested.

Maybe the people involved could send snapshots of their current CDs to
the list.  I could also put them on the website and, provided that they
conform to the standard, run them through David's XSL stylesheet so that
they are a bit more readable.
> Indeed, a CD that can be demonstrated by means of a phrasebook
> is much easier to check than one without. We at Eindhoven
> are quite interested in extending our Mathematica Phrasebook
> with such a CD.
I'm not sure that I agree with this since there is a danger that you end
up checking that the semantics of the CD support the phrasebook rather
than the other way round.  In an ideal world you would both check the
mathematical soundness of a CD and demonstrate that it could be
implemented in a variety of phrasebooks (rather like the procedure for a
W3C recommendation), but I think that that is too heavy-weight a process
for CDs.  

> As for the polynomial CD, the group CD, the algebra (rings and algebras) CD,
> etc., I have no clue as to who is active on this area right now.
> Does anyone have suggestions?
I met James at the end of April and we discussed what to do about the
polynomial CDs.  We agreed on a suitable person to referee them, but I
haven't heard anything since.  James?

Regards, Mike.

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