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Re: How to write a "proper" math document

On 7/11/2011 3:58 AM, Murray Eisenberg wrote:
> Due to its verbosity alone, MathML is an utterly horrible language for
> directly writing or reading mathematical expressions.

This is entirely true and I think no one disagrees.  So is HTML.
Neither MathML nor HTML is generally written directly, but is a target 
language for editors and automatic generators of one sort or another.

I never directly write MathML, but then I rarely write Latex except for 
very small pieces.  I can generate Latex from a computer algebra system.

So the actual readability of MathML is not so important.  The fact is 
that it is a standard.   The way I would use it  (and at least one CAS 
does this) is to generate the blecherous MathML code but have in it a 
comment which says how a human would write it in the CAS syntax.

  (La)TeX, by
> contrast, is infinitely more writable and readable. Even more readable
> (and writable) than Content MathML.
> Moreover, not all browsers natively render MathML, e.g., Safari on a Mac.

That is probably a good reason not to use Safari for math documents.

Until relatively recently (and maybe even now), MathML is rarely used.
PDF for math dominates.  I haven't looked at recent surveys though.


> On 7/10/11 5:02 AM, Richard Fateman wrote:
>> ...I think that there is very little likelihood of the world standardizing
>> on CDF for digital distribution of mathematical documents.  There IS a
>> standard, and it is different. The www has evolved document
>> representation to include math, and MathML is how.  Numerous programs,
>> including Mathematica, can use MathML.  Is this a good standard?  Eh,
>> probably not the simplest way of representing a Mathematica notebook.
>> However, one can, via "save-as", save a Mathematica notebook as XML+MathML.
>> There is another standard, "OpenMath" which is more ambitious.
>> I have been critical of both of these, in part because they are
>> incredibly verbose....

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