Summary of some discussions and conclusions at the
6th OpenMath Workshop,
Informatik, ETH Zürich, July 27-28, 1996.
If you find any inaccuracies, please
me any suggestions/corrections/additions/deletions.
Since the meeting in Bath (Jan 1996), the concepts of context
and semantic dictionaries evolved in a way of increasing
At this time it was decided that these two concepts should
be unified, and renamed.
Five names were nominated for a vote (contexts, semantic dictionaries,
context dictionaries, content dictionaries and contents ).
Voting was done in two rounds, the first round selecting the names
context dictionaries and content dictionaries and the second electing
content dictionaries by a majority of one.
So the official name is a content dictionary or CD for short.
It was agreed that a Content Dictionary is an OpenMath object.
This means that a CD can be described using the syntax for OpenMath objects,
and could be transmitted electronically between any OM-communicating processes.
It was also agreed, and it is a logical conclusion, that the format of the
CD's can be described in a CD.
This is standard in the field of databases, e.g. relational databases.
The CD which describes the format and semantics of the CDs will be called
The following people are responsible for heading the committees which will
define a few of the basic CDs.
These CDs will be part of the version 1.0 of OpenMath to be released
before December 31th, 1996.
- Meta - Gaston Gonnet
- Basic - Angel Diaz
- Polynomials - Mark Gaetano
- LinearAlgebra - Arne Storjohann (subject to confirmation)
By August 15th all the committees should be formed, and
there will be some mechanism to broadcast e-mail messages to the
participants of these groups (John Abbott will handle the logistics
of the e-mail groups).
To be on a particular group, send a message to
a single line "subscribe openmath-xxxx" in its body,
where xxxx is either "dev" or the group you want to
By October 15th a draft of all the CDs should be
available to the OpenMath community at large.
Comments/corrections/changes will follow.
By the Dublin Workshop or very shortly thereafter but before
the end of the year, the definition
of the most basic CDs will be frozen to satisfy the deadlines from the
It was agreed that the CD writers will make their results available
as soon as possible to allow the groups who plan implementations to
start working as soon as possible.
It was viewed as extremely desirable to have some implementations to
show to the funders by mid 1997.
Mika Seppala distributed copies of the
INFO 2000 program.
It is possible that we could apply for support for the OpenMath
Consortium under their
We would like to apply to obtain support for two full-time positions and
for support for the two workshops per year.
Of these two positions, one would be mostly in charge of the
technical development of the OpenMath definition, and the other
would be mostly in charge of the dissemination and application
of the idea.
Mika Seppala proposed the following tentative budget
(all in ECUs)
|1 ||Post Doc's 2 @ 50,000 ECU/year, 3 years
|2 ||Travel for Post Doc's 10,000 ECU/year
|3 ||Workshops and similar meetings (promotional)
|4 ||Overheads ||78,000 |
| ||Total ||468,000 |
Implement the present OpenMath definition, promote its use, develop it further
and create an environment which makes scientific publishing in the WWW
Bath, CAN, ZIB, RISC-Linz (?), ETH, Helsinki (?).
The deadline for submitting the proposal is September 13th, 1996.
James Davenport agreed to distribute the tasks among groups by August
People should notice that there is relatively little time to get this
proposal written and submitted.
Computation commands in OpenMath
A somewhat lengthy and lively discussion centred around whether
OpenMath should transmit objects alone, or objects and commands.
It is my view that nobody disagreed with the desirability of
sending commands (like evaluate, plot, edit, display, print, etc.).
The disagreement comes with the fact that
the semantics of some commands, most notably "evaluate"
will preclude any type of easy agreement between the very different
systems which aspire to be OM-compliant.
Mika Seppala pointed out that for December we are supposed to produce
a specification for the transmission of mathematical objects alone,
and that we should concentrate on this aspect for now.
There was an informal agreement that we may offer a list of such
commands without a very precise semantic attached to any of them.
Last update: Mon Jul 29 16:18:22 MET DST 1996
The next workshop, the 7th Workshop, will take
place in Dublin on December 7-8, 1996 (Saturday and Sunday).
Professor Richard Timoney
will be hosting the meeting.
Committees should schedule their meetings on
Friday December 6th.