Good day, everyone. I submitted the following proposal for a session at OSCON 2004 in Portland, Oregon, USA. I'd very much like speedy commentaries on this, so I can adjust the proposal as appropriate.
Dear Alexander Vincent:
Thank you for submitting a conference proposal to
O'Reilly & Associates. Please take a few moments to
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The O'Reilly Open Source Convention 2004 Committee
O'Reilly & Associates
Title: Mathematics and the WWW: The abacus.mozdev project
Conference: O'Reilly Open Source Convention 2004
Audience Level: General
Audience Type: Primarily aimed at educators and scientists, with web designers and programmers in particular welcome. High-school teachers and students are most welcome.
The W3C has done a great job in introducing MathML to the public, including its Amaya editor. However, MathML by itself is not enough to teach math on the web. For public school districts, commercial programs such as Mathematica are often out of the question. Online textbooks in mathematics often do not have interactivity on the client side.
The abacus project intends to create and release a free Mozilla-based MathML editor, using MathML templates and putting an emphasis on content MathML as well as presentation MathML in multiple human languages. The editor itself will be a component in a larger goal to create commercial, inexpensive tools for interactive mathematics education.
Simultaneously, the abacus project intends to define two new XML languages beyond MathML. One is tentatively called GeoML (Geometry Markup Language), and the other TheoremML (Theorem Markup Language). Combining these two languages with MathML allows for a more XML-friendly understanding of mathematics than MathML alone.
With Mozilla products as a foundation, an inexpensive service may become feasible for public schools. Taking advantage of open source technologies, online textbooks would be easy to create, access, translate, update, and correct errata in.
Mathematics on the Web have been a mixed success to date. The abacus.mozdev.org project intends to change that, first with a MathML editor written in XUL, followed by the introduction and implementation of two new XML languages to handle analytical geometry and mathematical proofs.
He specializes in client-side technologies such as XUL and XBL, and in creating more powerful tools using current technology.
Speaker notes and comments: Though the initial implementation will be based on the Mozilla Application Suite, GeoML and TheoremML are XML languages and thus platform-independent.
The abacus project's products are not intended in any way to compete directly with Mathematica, Maple, or any professional grade mathematics engine. It is intended for an educational audience primarily at the high-school and middle-school levels. Mathematica and Maple are aimed more at college levels and professional mathematicians.
Other enhancements to the Mozilla Application Suite are being developed to support this project.