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**To**:*Thierry.Bouche@ujf-grenoble.fr***Subject**:**Re: MathML****From**:*Ulrik Vieth <vieth@thphy.uni-duesseldorf.de>***Date**: Tue, 7 Oct 1997 16:51:10 +0200**Cc**:*math-font-discuss%cogs.susx.ac.uk@rz.uni-duesseldorf.de*

Thierry Bouche: >> We already have an existing markup syntax, namely TeX, > ah! we have argued for hours within the comittee of the cahiers > gutenberg about this [because of a paper we finally couldn't > publish...], half of the people thought that tex is visual, not at all > semantic, the others (me, indeed) claiming it was at least > fortuitously semantic and not so much visual as so many things could > be altered in the background... My impression is that encoding math is always on the borderline between visual and semantic. Careless coding tends to be mostly visual, but there's at least a potential to make it more semantic by using high-level macros to encode symbols by their function and having them translated to low-level macros in the background. >> and refinements to that, such as adding more generic tags to allow >> switching between different conventions are relatively trivial to >> implement, once a sufficently rich symbol complement is available. > exactly my point, but what actual work (i mean on the tex macros side) > has been undertaken? I'm afraid the answer is: not much, if anything at all. At present, we have a newmath.sty as part of the preliminary test implementations, but this only serves to provide just about the same functionality we presently have in LaTeX with amsfonts/amssymb. As for higher-level markup, we would probably need specific solutions for various fields. I have some vague ideas specific to physics, but so far I haven't found the time to write up a discussion paper or really work on an implementation. >> Recalling that the >> EuroTeX call-for-papers mentioned HTML/XML/MathML as one of the >> potential topics, I wonder if there would any chance for a joint >> session on MathML and math font encodings? > as a member of the comittee, i do think this is good idea, but will > there be enough `meat'? As far as I experienced myself, it is very > hard to find people simultaneously knowledgeable and idle enough to > discuss on these topics. If something in this direction is proposed > (key-words: fonts, math fonts, encodings, XML, MathMl, portability) i > am sure it would be accepted. I brought up the idea of a math fonts session already a few weeks ago. However, I thing the main problem is not if there will be enough `meat' to present something (albeit still labeled as unfinished work in progress), but rather if there will be enough knowlegable and interested people who are attending. There is no point in scheduling a presentation and a panel discussion on math font encodings, if only two or three of the active participants will be able to attend. As for MathML the situation is probably even more difficult, since the majority of the participants of the W3C working group are more likely to attend a World Wide Web conference than a EuroTeX conference. > The cahiers gutenberg are also preparing an issue on maths typesetting > (including typesetting rules, how one can manage to follow them using > latex, we'd also like to have something on mathml & semantic markup) > If you have any piece of information on these issue, please tell me > where to grab them. What about compiling a bibliography on math font related papers? Cheers, Ulrik. P.S. When replying to my messages, please be careful about the reply address. At present, I'm posting through a local gateway to math-font-discuss%cogs.susx.ac.uk@rz.uni-duesseldorf.de since my messages to math-font-discuss@cogs.susx.ac.uk were being rejected due to difficulties in verifying my address. There should be not need for you to send your messages to Sussex via Duesseldorf.

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