[Om] Reviving the OM Community

Alberto González Palomo Alberto.Gonzalez at matracas.org
Thu Jul 14 11:48:23 CEST 2016

Michael Kohlhase wrote on 14/07/16 at 11:06:
> [...]
> We see three things we need to do:
>  [...]
>  2. think/discuss about extensions of OpenMath, e.g. (from memory)
>      1. recognize content MathML as an official OpenMath encoding
>         (legitimized by MathML3)

   That sounds good because of a detail in OM that causes lots of 
trouble in practice: that IEEE Floating Point numbers have a prominent 
and convenient encoding <OMF dec="..."/> but the closest to real numbers 
/ bignums is the bigfloat symbol:

   The result was that people kept encoding real numbers with OMF which 
is incorrect.
   That problem often wasn't obvious because the applications decoding 
those numbers made the same mistake so it appeared to cancel out.

   CMML3 in constrast has a sane encoding of numbers that doesn't 
penalize correct usage:

   Is your number a real? Just use type="real" instead of type="double"
and everything is fine! No extra writing/programming effort.

> [..]
>      3. how about a notation system

   This is another important aspect in practice.
   The first priority of someone not already interested in semantic 
encoding is that their formulas look good, which is not a frivolous 
concern but an important component of readability.
   A solid built-in and supported (i.e. tools) presentation mechanism 
would make it less painful to use OM. As it is, anyone that wants to 
test drive OM has to first find a way of encoding their formulas 
semantically and then a way of displaying them before they can even be 
back at the point there started at: showing their formulas to other 
people. That's two hard tasks with no immediate benefit, and I say that 
as an enthusiastic long time OM supporter that has written several OM 
tools over the years: using OM for anything is a pain.

     Alberto González Palomo
     Toledo, España / Saarbrücken, Deutschland

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