[om] Re: comments on documents

Richard Fateman fateman at cs.berkeley.edu
Mon May 20 00:01:20 CEST 2002

jhd at cs.bath.ac.uk wrote:

> The recent thread on OpenMath caught me while marking: here's my
> summary and two cents worth. All quotes are from fateman unless
> otherwise attributed.
>>From fateman at cs.berkeley.edu Sat May 18 17:27:32 2002
>>>  OM encoding doesn't specify presentation.
> I think David Carlisle refuted this one. OpenMath allows a user to
> specify presentation in any way they want from the OpenMath.

So then you are rejecting the OM supporters who seem to think that
there is only one representation for 1/x and it is the same
as the representation for

JHD is also at odds with the following statement taken from
the openmath.org web site (see openmath/overview/index.html ...  I
am confused by the frame stuff as to where the page really
is on nag or elsewhere).

" MathML deals principally with the presentation of mathematical 
objects, while OpenMath is solely concerned with their semantic meaning 
or content. "

In case you need it said again,

OpenMath is >>>solely<<<< concerned with their semantic meaning.

>>>  MathML doesn't specify content.
> Again refuted.

Read the same statement again, quoted from the openmath document.

MathML deals principally with the presentation of mathematical objects.

> As David Carlisle said:
>>>What we said is that MathML has no way of describing the semantics of a
>>>symbol.  This seems to me to be true.
> This was explicitly said by Soiffer in his talk at ISSAC2001.
> Fateman said
>>>That is, MathML content, if it is given,
>>>is an abbreviation for a subset of OM. period.
> Only if it OM-content, as above. When NIST publishes its Digital
> Library of Mathematical Functions, it would be reasonable to write
> (my assumptions as to what URLs would be vaild in DLMF)
> <csymbol definitionURL="http://dlmf.nist.gov/9.1.1"> Gamma </csymbol>

I've lost track of this. JHD says on the one hand that MathML
specifies content but has no way of describing the semantics
of a symbol.  Maybe JHD should define "content" and "semantics"?
I probably agree with Soiffer.

> Apropos of presentation, Fateman says to Carlisle:
>>>Your heuristics might not be the same as mine or those in documents
>>>I have been manipulating which use both  invisible space and \cdot
>>>for multiplication, but with different precedence.
> And this is precisely the point. OpenMath specifies no such heuristics.

No, the point I was making was  heuristics in a rendering style sheet
are unlikely to be satisfactory.  If OpenMath is to be applicable
to conveying mathematical formulas it has to encode invisible_times
and \cdot.  I don't know if JHD agrees with me or not, or
whether OM is supposes to support this, or not.  JHD just
said that OM allows the user to specify presentation,
although openmath.org says otherwise.


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