Paper:ewp-get/0004002 From: Thomas Cool < > Date: Tue, 11 Apr 2000 18:30:00 +0200 Date (revised): Sun, 16 Apr 2000 16:38:35 +0200
W3C is about to release MathML 2.0. This should have been a joyous occasion, but it appears to be a horror. They created a horrible way to do mathematics on the internet. It is Byzantinely complex, unintuitive, unesthetic, highly undocumented, it requires complex software support, etcetera. A quite perfect alternative already exists in Mathematica: simple, elegant, intuitive, highly documented etcetera - and users of Maple may think similarly about Maple. W3C is reinventing the wheel, making it square, and putting the horse behind the cart. Their talk about providing a ‘service to the scientific and educational community’ is pure nonsense, as they precisely do the opposite. The real reason why W3C developed MathML is (a) that they didn’t do their homework, (b) that they didn’t really deal with the makers of Mathematica (or Maple). We can only solve this situation by have a serious discussion of the copyright status of mathematics. A short run pragmatic solution is to use a
andbracket in HTML (with possible other values, like Maple). This may be ‘expensive’ in the short run, but much cheaper and beneficial in the longer term. Update: This discussion now includes answers to reactions of others. Readers should keep in focus that this paper concludes to the proposal to the scientific community that we have a discussion on the question: Are we going to accept this gift from W3C, or is it something like the Trojan horse, that will actually destroy the intellectual freedom of mathematics ?
EconWPA began as a conversation between Bob Parks and Larry Blume on January 28, 1993. I located Paul Ginsparg's archive (then xxx.lanl.gov) and he graciously installed his software on a Sun Sparc system which was supporting the department of economics email and computation. EconWPA began accepting papers July 1, 1993 and had ftp, email, gopher and web interfaces. The web interface for submissions was engineered into existence in July 1995. A complete and catastrophic machine failure in 1999 caused the loss of EconWPA's email new paper announcment service at which time there were over 15,000 subscriptions with over 8,000 unique email addresses.
I was told that I could keep operating EconWPA (as well as many other services including rfe.wustl.edu, barnett.wustl.edu, and three RePEc servers) but I would receive no support (hardware, software, or anthing else) and (as had been the case) no compensation. At that point, given the apparent low valuation of my activities by the department, and university, it made no sense for me to continue operating EconWPA or other services.
Thanks to all who have supported EconWPA in the past.
A Chinese curse states May you live in intersting times. I have. Bob Parks - Jan 2006