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Subject: Re: [docbook] Q: How do I use entities like – in DocBook V5.0?

On Tuesday 08 November 2005 03:30 am, Jirka Kosek wrote:
> Steven T. Hatton wrote:
> >>Why? Once MathML is read through XML parser by some mathematical
> >>symbolic application this distinction is loss.
> >
> > Not really.  \[NotExists] is ∄, \[Implies] is ⇒, etc.
> XML parser will expand ∄ to a sequence of Unicode characters
> (and possibly also some markup) before handing in to the application.

In my case I don't want the entities replaced.  I just what them validated.  
The browser can do the rendering.

> So 
> with the support of good editor, you can type in Unicode characters
> directly in a way very similar to typing named entities.

If an application does not support the use of character entity references, it 
does not fully support XML.  And if I happen to be somewhere without a "good 
editor", how do I know what the cryptic symbols it shows me really signify?  
Remember one of the primary purposes of MathML is the transfer of formal 
mathematical information.  It is an absolute certainty that not all 
applications will have the same degree of support for unicode.  In some 
situations explicit unicode is forbidden beyond the ASCII subset.  For 
example, on the Mathematica mailing list.  

Bear in mind that "November 1995, representatives from Wolfram Research 
presented a proposal for doing mathematics in HTML to the W3C team". 

> > In MathML there are twenty tables of symbols similar to the table shown
> > here:
> >
> > http://www.w3.org/TR/MathML2/isoamsa.html
> >
> > There are about 150 unique characters listed in that table. Perhaps there
> > is a way to represent the entire collection in a single symbol to be
> > added to a document, but simply adding the particular entities of
> > interest is not an option.
> You can simply create small file that includes all these tables and then
> reference just this file from your internal subset.

So we are back to using DTDs.

> > How is the editor supposed to know what entities are intended to
> > represent a particular character?
> There are zillion ways to implement it.

It could mostlikely be implemented as an extension of the XML Catalogs 
Specification.  providing uniformity of interface where it makes sense is one 
of the most important functions that standards specifications can provide.  
The more unnecessary burdon that is placed on the developers, the less likely 
they are going to be to conform you the specification.  A paper standard does 
not a standard make.  Also, if functions which can be effectively 
standardized are not, there will be a proliferation of ad hoc solutions 
leading to excessive redundancy and incompatibility. 

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