Jonathan Cooper wrote:
> * Andrew Miller <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> [2007-04-29 23:51]:
>> I have defined a file format specification, called MAL (or 
>> MathML-language mapping) designed to contain all the information needed 
>> to generate expressions for a specific programming language. I would 
>> welcome any feedback anyone may have on the specification. I would be 
>> particularly interested in hearing if you can think of some extension to 
>> the language which is needed to support generation for a certain 
>> language. The specification follows...
> I think this is a sensible direction to go in.  I am curious, however, as
> to whether there was any particular reason not to use an XML format for
> MAL?
This hasn't been discussed with a wider group yet, but I though about 
making it an XML format, and decided against it for several reasons:
1) Most of the structure of the MAL file couldn't be represented 
efficiently as XML. For examples of why separate languages are needed 
for representing this type of information efficiently, look at XPath for 
example, which has also chosen not to use XML for similar reasons.

2) The remaining structure (which is basically just a mapping between 
keys and values) could be represented in XML, but I feel that it would 
add complexity (at least in the sense of verboseness) to MAL without a 
lot of gain. If MAL had more complicated hierarchical structures, there 
might have been a better case for using XML.

I was actually originally going to have the API ask for the pattern for 
each MathML operator through a programmatic interface, but I decided 
that this would just result in the need to write some sort of table in 
your programming language, as opposed to writing a nice language 
independent, re-usable table.

We don't want to require specialised tools to edit MAL, because it is 
intended to simplify the process of creating language bindings, not 
complicate it.

Best regards,

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