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Re: Semantical writing (was: logical markup)

Hans Aberg:

>   One can classify symbols according to different principles, according
> rendering (looks), and according to semantics (meaning). One can combine
> the two by ideas of "object oriented programming" (OOP), as follows:

>   Set the catcode of "/" to letter. Then \Laplace is a mathematical
> concept, so we could give it the command (say)
>     \math/Laplace
> and \Delta and \triangle are symbols, so we could give them names
>     \symb/Delta
>     \symb/triangle
> Then we could have different renderings of the Laplace symbol, say for
> mathematicians and physicists, so we could call those
>     \math/Laplace/math
>     \math/Laplace/phys
> These could have default renderings, defined by say
>     \let\math/Laplace/math=\symb/triangle
>     \let\math/Laplace/phys=\symb/Delta
>     \def\math/Laplace{\math/Laplace/math}

Sure, you can do this.  But the problem is that there isn't such a
clear distinction between "math" and "phys", but rather that each
publisher of physics journals may have a different opinion as to which
rules to follow.  Even worse, as long as there isn't a standardized
interface for the concepts, most authors tend to refer directly to the
symbols, which obviously makes it unnecessarily difficult to convert
between the different publisher's conventions.

Thus, in addition to developing a new font encding, it would seem like
a worthwhile goal to develop a consistent markup syntax catering for
the concepts needed in various fields, not only for the symbols. 
Perhaps we need something along the lines of


It remains to be decided, how much of this could or should be
implemented at the macro level or at the font encoding level,
i.e. whether or not it is sufficient to switch the mapping of a
concept to different symbols or whether to reserve a specific slot 
for a specific concept.

Cheers, Ulrik.