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Re: [Texmacs-dev] plugins

From: Joris van der Hoeven
Subject: Re: [Texmacs-dev] plugins
Date: Sat, 25 Apr 2009 22:25:12 +0200
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.9i

Hi Andrea,

The TeXmacs philosophy is to support semantics for plug-ins,
but not imposing it. So the "copy-and-pasteability" depends on
the implementation of the plug-in. TeXmacs supports presentation MathML,
but with a precise semantics for well-built expressions (documentation, 
I have precise plans since ten years for content math markup, but never found 
to implement them yet. Sage, as mentioned on the list, goes a bit further
in interoperability, but Python is rather poor on the specification level,
so they will probably run into problems too at a certain point.

Best wishes, Joris

On Wed, Apr 22, 2009 at 12:44:39PM +0200, Andrea Gamba wrote:
> I think that the possibility to have a common open source interface to 
> different mathematical packages is an awesome feature of Texmacs, 
> something really unique, but a stronger effort is needed to make it work 
> reliably, taking also into account software upgrades, etc.
> In principle it would be nice to have some degree of unification, for 
> instance one should be able to copy and paste mathematical expressions 
> between different mathematical packages.
> That would make different mathematical packages interoperable by 
> providing a common translation based on texmacs. It would then become 
> extremely easy to check for instance with Mathematica a computation 
> previously performed with Maple or Axiom.
> To achieve that, it would be necessary to provide a precise 
> specification of a standard format to describe mathematical expressions, 
> to be used both in the input and output of all texmacs plugins. That 
> would free users e.g. from the necessity to remember that the same 
> integral can be
> int(sin(x),x=1..100) in Maple,
> integrate(sin(x),x=1..100) in Axiom,
> integrate(sin(x),x,1,100) in Maxima,
> Integrate[Sin[x],{x,1,100}] in Mathematica,
> etc.
> At the moment, it is not even possible to paste back an output as an 
> input to the same package. As an example, if I write at the Maple prompt
> \frac 2 * \pi (down arrow) 3 (right arrow) (enter)
> I get as an output:
> 2/3pi
> (i.e.: 2/3<space|0.25spc><pi>  )
> which cannot obviously be fed back to any other plugin, not even to 
> Maple itself.
> This kind of Maple output (which is the common way fractional factors 
> are printed by the plugin) is also quite confusing in practice, because 
> it tends to be read as
> 2/(3 pi).
> With the same input, the Axiom plugin gives
> <frac|2|3>p*i
> which is quite unsatisfactory.
> The Mathematica plugin gives:
> <frac|2<pi>|3>
> which is missing a "*" sign.
> Only the Maxima plugin gives the correct answer:
> <frac|2*<pi>|3>
> Andrea
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