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NIST Releases Updated Handbook of Math Functions 128

Posted by kdawson
from the essential-reference dept.
An anonymous reader writes "NIST announced the publishing of the NIST Handbook of Mathematical Functions reference text (967 pp), also available in digital form at the Digital Library of Mathematical Functions. Access it with a MathML-enabled browser (Firefox or IE+plugin) to view equations as scalable text rather than bitmaps; the 3-D graphs can also be viewed with a VRML plugin for local rotating / zooming." The original Handbook of Mathematical Functions was published 46 years ago; the revision has been in the works for a decade.
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NIST Releases Updated Handbook of Math Functions

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  • by mapkinase (958129) on Friday May 14, 2010 @10:12AM (#32206812) Homepage Journal

    It also has alternative coding for every equation in TeX, pMML [wikipedia.org] (XML wrapped default coding) and PNG

  • by hakey (1227664) on Friday May 14, 2010 @10:37AM (#32207130)
    You don't need to change user-agent. Take a look at the customization page http://dlmf.nist.gov/help/customize [nist.gov]. I wish all sites had something like that.
  • by bcrowell (177657) on Friday May 14, 2010 @10:44AM (#32207224) Homepage

    MathML has been around since 1998, which is a heck of a long time by web standards, and yet IE still doesn't support it out of the box. That's why IE users can't view this book properly without a plugin to provide mathml support. Yet another reason to encourage everyone you know to drop IE and get a decent browser. Supporting mathml in IE is also a ridiculous pain in the neck for people creating web pages. Even if you are willing to tell your readers that they can't view your site without the plugin, you still can't write standard xhtml with mathml embedded in it; if you want it to work with the MathPlayer plugin for IE, you have to write all kinds of ugly, nonstandard hacks, and serve up a different version of the page to IE users than to everyone else. The end result of all this is that MathML doesn't get used nearly as much as it should.

    For instance, Wikipedia renders bitmaps as equations, using software called texvc. A guy named D.M. Harvey at Harvard wrote software called blahtex that can be used as a drop-in replacement for texvc, rendering math as either MathML or bitmaps as required. There was a long discussion of this on WikiProject Mathematics, and there was a clear consensus that texvc was old, lame technology, and needed to be replaced with blahtex. However, the people who run the software setup for WP never implemented it -- never, apparently, even bothered to give an actual response, just blew it off. The attitude would presumably have been different if the situation with IE had been different. Since most people access WP with IE, those people would still have had to be served a version of the pages with bitmaps. That would have been a hassle in terms of software.

    I believe that the current plan is for html 5 to include support for embedded mathml and svg tags (even though html 5 isn't xhtml). It will be interesting to see whether MS supports this aspect of html 5, or just does a partial implementation that omits these features.

  • Re:Statistics (Score:3, Informative)

    by bzant (256795) on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:19AM (#32207646)

    Never mind I answered my own question

    http://mathworld.wolfram.com/topics/ProbabilityandStatistics.html [wolfram.com]

  • Re:42 (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 14, 2010 @11:25AM (#32207700)
    What hemisphere is named "America"?
  • by krull (48492) on Friday May 14, 2010 @01:10PM (#32209080)

    Install the STIX fonts as they suggest. I did and now the equations all render in MathML just fine and look pretty good...

    http://www.stixfonts.org/ [stixfonts.org]

  • Re:Epic Fail (Score:2, Informative)

    by BBTaeKwonDo (1540945) on Friday May 14, 2010 @06:02PM (#32213800)
    http://dlmf.nist.gov/about/notices [nist.gov] (the (C) 2010 NIST link at the bottom of the pages) gives the answer:

    Pursuant to Title 17 USC 105, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), United States Department of Commerce, is authorized to receive and hold copyrights transferred to it by assignment or otherwise. Authors of the works appearing in the Digital Library of Mathematical Functions (DLMF) have assigned copyright to the works to NIST, United States Department of Commerce, as represented by the Secretary of Commerce.

  • Re:42 (Score:2, Informative)

    by sumdumass (711423) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @04:11AM (#32218032) Journal

    I'm not aware of any country that claims the entire hemisphere.

    Lets see, there are no other countries in the Americas (notice how that is plural, that's because there are two continents) that use America in their name that ends the name of the country in America, IF you are refering to the people of a continent, you would need to use North or South as a prefix to America so no one is claiming even an entire continent. Hmm.. Americas is the hemispher, American(s) is people from the United States of America, they are also North Americans.....

    I'm failing to see your point. Could you please explain to me what your school is teaching that is supposedly so much better then the schools in America? I mean where is it that you think America means a whole hemisphere? I know the US schools are lax compared to other countries. Well, so they say, so please tell me how you equate the name of the people from a country to an entire hemisphere without making shit up?

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