[om] Newbie questions on the meaning of the Attribution Element

Professor James Davenport jhd at cs.bath.ac.uk
Mon Jan 13 11:46:22 CET 2003

On Sun, 12 Jan 2003, Cem Karan wrote:
> If all of this true, then OpenMath quickly becomes meaningless; the 
> goal (at least as I understand it) of OM is to guarantee the ability to 
> communicate between two (or more) programs or components.  My program 
> does not, and probably never will understand how to talk to Maple using 
> Maple's native encodings (or anything else for that matter; if it uses 
> OM, then it will use the CDs in as pure a manner as possible).  I know 
> that OM does not guarantee that the attribute elements are going to
The "name" of the attribute is an OpenMath symbol, so must appear in some 
CD (possibly private), e.g. <OMS cd="WMIprivate" name="MapleEquivalent"/>
If your application doesn't know about the CD, all it can do is ignore the 
attribute. But if the same expression were to be passed into Maple 
(remember that OpenMath is a storage medium as well) then it might well 
(indeed should) understand that symbol.
> correspond to OM elements that are in the CDs, and I know that I can't 
> force other users to do so correctly.  Would it be worth making a 
> version of OM where the attribute element is deprecated?  Much of what 
No - the last thing we ned is another version. The "deprecation" is done 
by the reader, who says "I don't understand this, so shall ignore it"
> it seems to supply can probably be supplied via other namespaces; this 
> includes binary information, which can be base64 encoded.  The 
> advantage to removing the attribute element from the OM namepace is 
> that any application that claims to use OM as its communication medium 
> wouldn't be able to limit itself to using attribute elements only, it 
> would have to use information that other parsers could also use.
The example Fateman gives below is not really OpenMath.
James Davenport
> On Sunday, January 12, 2003, at 05:14  PM, Richard Fateman wrote:
> > It is conceivable for a front-end to a computer algebra
> > system and a back-end to communicate with OMObjects,
> > in which case it is very likely that the attribution
> > will be the ONLY thing used  (e.g. for Maple, it could
> > be Maple encodings).  That is, the rest
> > of the OM is treated as noise, since it cannot convey anything
> > MORE informative than the Maple command.
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