[Om] name of OMS

Professor James Davenport J.H.Davenport at bath.ac.uk
Thu Jul 31 08:57:30 CEST 2008

On Thu, July 31, 2008 12:09 am, Paul Libbrecht wrote:
> I would like to raise an ambiguity that I find in the current OpenMath
> vocabulary, e.g. as found in the OpenMath 2 specification:
>   Symbols are encoded using the OMS element.
Oxford English Dictionary: "2. a. Something that stands for,  
represents, or denotes something else (not by exact resemblance, but  
by vague suggestion, or by some accidental or conventional relation);  
esp. a material object representing or taken to represent something  
immaterial or abstract, as a being, idea, quality, or condition; a  
representative or typical figure, sign, or token. "

So I can imagine an Oxford man saying that <OMS name="arcsin"  
cd="transc1"/> is a 'material object' representing a particular (as in  
the CMP/FMP) immaterial idea.

> Although there's no statement about the "name" of the OMS element,
> this seems to be mean that that OMS really means a symbol and I find
> this ambiguous with the common naming "symbol" for a member of a
> content-dictionary.

Equally, one could regard "the element of the CD" as the symbol, as  
Paul is suggesting.

> I would thus prefer to use, as much as possible, the name the element
> OMS as "symbol reference".
> This would strengthen the URI nature of an OMS and, unavoidably its
> potential URL nature.
> I am not clear yet, but I think it would mean an amount of changes for
> the OpenMath 3 spec, at least the line above.
> What do you think?
That 17 angels can dance on the head of this pin. :-)
More seriously, since a symbol IS a reference to an abstract idea,  
then the CD entry probably is the symbol, and <OMS name="arcsin"  
cd="transc1"/> is a reference to that symbol, so probbaly the wording  
ought to be shifted inthe direction Paul suggests.


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