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*Subject*: **Re: equations**

*From*:**Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com>***To*: Doug du Boulay <ddb@owari.msl.titech.ac.jp>*Date*: Wed, 02 Feb 2005 18:33:05 -0500

/ Doug du Boulay <ddb@owari.msl.titech.ac.jp> was heard to say: | Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com> wrote: |> DocBook NG still has both the formal and informal versions. |> |> The odd man out in all this is equation which, for backwards |> compatibility reasons in DocBook *4* still has an *optional* title, |> even though there's also an informalequation element. I see two |> possible ways forward: |> |> 1. Keep the formal/informal distinction and make title on equation |> required. (This is what I've actually done in DocBook NG.) |> |> 2. Drop the distinction, drop informal{equation,table,example,figure} |> and make title on all those elements optional. |> |> Option 1 is probably easier for users and for tools, so I'm inclined |> to go that way at the moment. The only advantage to option 2, really, |> is that DocBook becomes four elements smaller. But the semantic |> disjunction is probably too high a price to pay. | | For the record, even though many equations do actually have names, | in the scientific literature I think you will find exactly zero instances | of titles on equations (for that matter there would be no TOC equation | lists iether). For this reason IMHO option 1 would actually be a backwards | step hindering the adoption of DocBook amongst a broader | community. Hmm. So requiring title on equation is likely to be controversial :-) | Customarily equation blocks fall into two classes, these being | numerically labelled and unlabelled equations. The existing equation and | informalequation elements provide a useful method for distinguishing | between those cases and my hope is that they could be retained. Ah, so you use <equation> equation content </equation> (without a title) for equations that should be labeled with a number and <informalequation> equation content </informalequation> for ones that shouldn't be numbered? | Its a shame there isn't a third option: | | 3. The equation element be shifted out from the formal list into | a group of its own, because in reality it has a completely | different usage model. Voila! A third option :-) | Alternatively, if option 2 was adopted could some other standardised | means be established to discriminate between labelled and unlabelled | equation blocks? Yes, let's forget the informal/formal distinction for equations. My ideas were clearly based on a failure to understand how it's actually used in practice (my bad). How would you suggest distinguishing between labeled and unlabeled equations? Be seeing you, norm -- Norman Walsh <ndw@nwalsh.com> | Men do not quit playing because http://www.oasis-open.org/docbook/ | they grow old; they grow old Chair, DocBook Technical Committee | because they quit playing.--Oliver | Wendell Holmes

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