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[Axiom-developer] Re: axiom, browsers, and crystal

From: Bob McElrath
Subject: [Axiom-developer] Re: axiom, browsers, and crystal
Date: Mon, 20 Jun 2005 21:40:36 -0700
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.6+20040523i

address@hidden address@hidden wrote:
> i am trying to avoid 1.2 million lines of javascript with browser
> dependent ifdefs. we already have that problem with C. instead of
> trying to work "on top" of the browser, which limits our abilities
> to the current available set, i'm trying to think of it as a large 
> library of code we can exploit in new ways. and the careful choice
> of a lisp available API would make the browser more useful as a
> front end and be less maintenance in the long run.

No browser-dependent code.  Pick a browser.  Sorry folks, no
IE/Opera/Safari.  Mozilla is free and people who want to use Axiom will
have to install it.

> we want to do everything the browser does (because people use them)
> but locally we want to do so much more. restricting ourselves to 
> require a network and vanilla browser code severely limits the possible
> creative choices.

Not vanilla.  I don't want to have anything to do with browser detection
or making it work in more than one browser.

The ability to independently address parts of the document is very
powerful.  In essence, the browser provides interaction with output math
for us.  We can attach javascript to MathML and know which element the
user clicked on after he clicked the "simplify" button.  We can have a
"show integers" button that will turn the variable "i" red.  We can
"hide output".  We can have mouse-overs indicate the domain of the
object under the mouse cursor.

All of the important user-interaction fundamentals are there.  The
entire mozilla API is accessible from javascript.  Output rendering is
there (jsMath or MathML).  Input editing is there.  Documentation in the
form of hyperlinks and mouse-overs is there.

It seems to me that the options are:
1) Build the math into the browser
2) Build the browser into the math

If a new C++ application is created which embeds the necessary mozilla
components, it will still require javascript ties to user interface
elements.  One step at a time... ;)

Bob McElrath [Univ. of California at Davis, Department of Physics]

    "One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen
    these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding
    fathers used in the great struggle for independence." --Charles A. Beard

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