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Re: [Texmacs-dev] Re: [Axiom-developer] RE: [xml-litprog-l] Re: noweb, p

From: Joris van der Hoeven
Subject: Re: [Texmacs-dev] Re: [Axiom-developer] RE: [xml-litprog-l] Re: noweb, pamphlets, and TeXmacs
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2002 12:01:40 +0100 (MET)

> LaTeX is fine as a rendering language but it does not have a regular
> syntax and is very hard to manipulate.  I've just spent several months
> working with XML documents with embedded fragments of LaTeX for
> mathematics and the upshot is that we're removing the LaTeX and
> replacing it with MathML. 

TeXmacs has reasonably good import and export filters for LaTeX,
and filters for MathML should be available soon.

> As far as rendering goes, Mozilla based its MathML rendering on TeX and
> is really quite good.  The same code also found its way into Netscape 7.

But this allows you only to *render* mathematics, not *editing* it.

> Having said all that you need to be careful when using MathML for
> content markup - the defined symbols are fairly trivial (US high-school
> maths) and you need to use one of the extension mechanisms such as
> csymbol to extend the namespace for more interesting things. You can
> use OpenMath ( for this, i.e. make the
> definitionURL attribute point to an appropriate OpenMath Content
> Dictionary, or do what Maple and Mathematica do and use system-specific
> URIs.  

I indeed think that the whole system MathML/Openmath is more complex
than necessary. Also, it has mainly been developed with rendering
in mind, not editing. I finally notice that Openmath does not seem
to work very well.

What we can give you quite quickly with TeXmacs is

  1) Adding markup for simple litterate programming of
     the type that we discussed before.

  2) Import and export filters for MathML.

This would allow you to have an integrated frontend/help browser/editor
for Axiom which is reasonably compatible with the outside world.
We will not spend any time on Openmath, unless someone else wants
to do all the work.

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