[racket] SMathML Support in Racket

From: Karl Winterling (kwinterling at gmail.com)
Date: Sun Aug 15 17:55:07 EDT 2010

Greetings Racketeers,

For some reason (perhaps because I have nonexistent fine motor skills) 
I've always had issues with programs for writing math on the computer. 
It seems like most of this software is either overly neglected by its 
developers (i.e., it's been in beta or experimental stage for over five 
years) or its developers and user base are terrified of any sort of 
change (LaTeX, which was designed to run efficiently on education-class 
1980's hardware). Based on my biased judgment and possibly arrogant 
personal tastes, I strongly believe that functional Lisp semantics would 
work well for manipulating and rendering mathematical structures. 
S-expressions give us a convenient way to write content-sensitive 
mathematics, especially since they give us <apply></apply> for free. 
Moreover, any general library for manipulating symbolic math comes in 
handy when writing applications, like GUI equation editors, word 
processor plugins, and computer algebra systems. In principle, any API 
would be simple because \newcommand-style macro substitution could 
involve a procedure that reads a hash table of substitution rules based 
on s-expressions. A pict (and therefore slideshow) interface might also 
be nice.

I've experimented with this a little by myself, but haven't come up with 
anything "industrial strength." I'm willing, though, to put a "bounty" 
on this because of how much it could benefit myself, people with similar 
problems, and math/physics/engineering geeks more generally (I'm sure 
some of them have cash to spare, also). If you can make something that 
lets me do my analysis and algebra homework in s-expressions then you 
get a free friendly morning discussion and coffee (with a doughnut or 
large pastry, if you so desire) with me in downtown Berkeley whenever 
you're in the area. If you come up with anything nicer then I'll set up 
a PayPal account, post some ads in the technical departments at my 
school, and we'll talk.

Karl Winterling
Skype: karl.winterling

Posted on the users mailing list.