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Re: Mathematica doesn't know what it's doing.

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  • Subject: [mg67175] Re: [mg67146] Mathematica doesn't know what it's doing.
  • From: "Chris Chiasson" <chris at>
  • Date: Sun, 11 Jun 2006 02:18:12 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Instead of trying to make a TheoremBox (first), why not make a symbol
called Theorem that holds the content you want to present. Then you
can add appropriate transformations via Format and MakeBoxes, or
possibly the notation package, to create the appropriate typeset

If you would like to be able to copy/paste the output back to input,
then you will need to use TagBox to embed the semantic meaning into
the output.

Direct input of a theorem could be accomplished by means of a pallet
that will insert the appropriate TagBox(es).

If things get really hairy, read the notation package notes on
creating a typeset form of a symbol (to separate parsing from

IMHO, if document processing can be done with XML technology, it
should also be doable in Mathematica. That said, if you build a good
notebook to docbook converter with high quality output of graphics to
pdf, html, xhtml, svg, mathml, etc ... well, let's just say I think
you will have a lot interest from both communities.

On 6/10/06, Steven T. Hatton <hattons at> wrote:
> I have come to the conclusion that part of my difficulty in getting
> Mathematica to do what I want is because Mathematica doesn't know what it's
> doing.  That is not to say that Mathematica is doing something wrong.  I am
> speaking in the sense that Russell used when he said: "Thus [pure]
> mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we
> are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true."
> For the most part, Mathematica is a-semantic.  That is to say, it is
> strongly biased toward syntax.  This accounts for its strength as a
> mathematics tool.  To a great extent, mathematics is about manipulating
> symbols with algebraic uniformity.
> In fields such as document processing, general purpose programming,
> electronics, systems integration, and even differential geometry, where I
> have more experience, semantics tend to dominate.
> So what exactly is it that I am having trouble with?  A good example has
> little to do with Mathematica, per se.  It has to do with document
> preparation. I think in terms of book, part, chapter, section, subsection,
> theorem, definition, axiom, example, paragraph, etc.  These are nested
> concepts.  I want to write a theorem and have it contained in a TheoremBox.
> I know that Mathematica arranges some textual units hierarchically, but it
> does this indirectly through the use of GroupBoxes.
> It may well be that I could accomplish what I want through the creation of
> style sheets.  There are many existing style sheets available, but they
> seem to lack this semantic aspect of document organization.  There is a lot
> more I could say on this topic, but before I continue, I would like to know
> what others think about these matters.
> If anybody knows of a good source which really explains the art of document
> creation using Mathematica, I am very interested.
> --


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