[Om] Roadmap to Office Document / OpenMath / MathML integration

Bryce L Nordgren bnordgren at fs.fed.us
Tue Dec 30 23:23:19 CET 2008

Reminder of objective:  I want a text document (or a presentation 
document) to use the same expression as the spreadsheet document, thereby 
enabling the user to copy a formula out of their journal article and paste 
it into a spreadsheet cell and vice versa.  And I want easy centralized 
maintenance of my own expressions (both the content and the presentation). 

The vision has matured over the past week or two and I seem now to be in a 
place where I can outline what may need to be done.  Most of the pieces 
are "there".  It's just a matter of cooperating to ensure that the final 
pieces are constructed and that they all fall into place.  I suspect 
(albeit I could be wrong) that the formula subcomittee (of the 
opendocument TC) will be seeking a new charter when v1.2 is released.  May 
I suggest that coordinating such an integration effort may be the perfect 
subject of such a charter as it extends and leverages their current 
work... :) 

 In broad strokes, here is how I would envision this could be 

1] [ODF] define an <expression/> element to contain a MathML <semantics/> 
element, which is required to have a Content MathML expression as its 
first element and may optionally be associated with an arbitrary number of 
Presentation MathML, OpenDocument Formula, MS Excel, StarMath 5.0, Matlab 
or "other" encodings.  (Or restrict <math:math/> to have these semantics).
2] [ODF] use <expression/> everywhere a user-provided expression is 
allowed to appear in any office document: presentations, text, or 
  2a] Deprecate all instances where an xxx:forumla attribute is defined. 
  2b] Replace this attribute with <expression/> as a child element (e.g., 
<expression/> is a child of <table:cell/>, <text:expression/>, 
  2c] Replace <math:math/> with <expression/> as a child of 
<draw:object/>.  Allow users to specifiy which predefined Presentation 
MathML to use or specify a custom articulation for this instance.  If no 
Presentation MathML is specified, automatic rendering of the Content 
MathML is required.  Disallow unassociated Presentation MathML!!
3] [ODF/OM] make content dictionary groups which correspond to the 
"conformance levels" in the OpenDocument Formula specification; define new 
symbols as required using the OASIS namespace.
4] [ODF/OM] make a content dictionary to hold symbols of relevance to 
spreadsheets (e.g. relative and absolute cell referencing, both local and 
on a separate sheet ... )
5] [OM] make a clear, machine interpretable, definitive way for a symbol 
to be defined in terms of other symbols (OM->OM Phrasebook).
6] [ODF/OM/W3C] define the formula document 
(application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.formula) as a packaging of the content 
dictionaries, cd groups, and signature files.

A Greedy User,

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