Annotation of abacus/www/roadmap.html, revision 1.1

1.1     ! ajvincen    1: <!-- MAIN CONTENT -->
        !             2: <h5 class="page-header"><a id="content" name="content">Roadmap</a></h5>
        !             3: 
        !             4: <p>There are a lot of areas for improvement in the Abacus MathML Editor.  The major, difficult items are:</p>
        !             5: <ul>
        !             6:   <li>Integration with <a href="http://www.nvu.com">N|Vu</a> and other Mozilla-based projects</li>
        !             7:   <li>True support for adding human/markup language sets to the edited expression</li>
        !             8:   <li>Implementing a text-based content MathML parser for each textbox (Abacus 0.2 requirement)</li>
        !             9:   <li>Adding lots of MathML templates via the Abacus Template Editor, including a matrix template</li>
        !            10:   <li>Making the user-interface more user-friendly / visually appealing, particularly in accessibility</li>
        !            11:   <li>Preventing data loss when an error occurs in saving templates</li>
        !            12:   <li>Exporting MathML markup that doesn't rely on chrome stylesheets</li>
        !            13:   <li>Writing a help section and tying it to the "Help" dialog button</li>
        !            14: </ul>
        !            15: 
        !            16: <p>Other areas for work include:</p>
        !            17: <ul>
        !            18:   <li>Fixing the strict warnings (all deliberately thrown to flag developers of known weaknesses)</li>
        !            19:   <li>Reviewing the code for inefficiencies, documentation, and what's "just plain wrong"</li>
        !            20:   <li>Filing and fixing bugs in Mozilla which Abacus reveals (there's more than one!)</li>
        !            21:   <li>Localizations, particularly of error messages</li>
        !            22:   <li>Separating the Abacus Template Editor and the Abacus MathML Editor into two separate projects</li>
        !            23:   <li>Separating the dialog from the actual MathML Editor for XML editors to use (modal dialogs <em>suck</em>!)</li>
        !            24:   <li>Exploring further the use and development of design-by-contract in JavaScript (asserts, preconditions,
        !            25:  postconditions)</li>
        !            26: </ul>
        !            27: 
        !            28: <p>Some possible subprojects include:</p>
        !            29: <ul>
        !            30:   <li>Using content MathML to calculate an expression's value</li>
        !            31:   <li>A graphing calculator based on SVG (this is easier than it sounds... I've done it before)</li>
        !            32:   <li>A native-code replacement for java.math.BigDecimal() (JS source code included in abacus.xpi)</li>
        !            33:   <li>Developing a Geometry Markup Language, and appropriate user-interface for it</li>
        !            34:   <li>Developing a Theorem Markup Language, and tools to use in secondary schools</li>
        !            35: </ul>
        !            36: 
        !            37: <p>So, where does Abacus go from here?</p>
        !            38: 
        !            39: <p>At this point, there is only one major requirement "set in stone" for Abacus 0.2.  It would be really, really slick
        !            40: to take a text expression and translate it directly into MathML.  TeX and LaTeX come to mind, although there is also
        !            41: the possibility of an ASCII expression.  With that in mind, and the respective author's permission, I've relicensed and
        !            42: included the source code for the ASCIIMathML project in abacus.xpi.  The code is not currently used, as Abacus isn't quite
        !            43: ready to use it.  (Content is king; ASCIIMathML is currently configured for presentation MathML only.  Plus, there are
        !            44: some more fundamental bugs in the current Abacus implementation which block its development.)</p>
        !            45: 
        !            46: <p>I haven't made any solid plans beyond Abacus 0.2, or for that matter, beyond that one major requirement.  In one sense,
        !            47: the Abacus 0.1.1 release is a moment for me to step back and ask for help in developing this project.  I've taken it a long
        !            48: way in at least making it work on a fundamental level.  I call it "dogfood" because I and other developers can use it in
        !            49: small daily tasks.  But is this a tool I would recommend for the average student or mathematics teacher?  Not at this
        !            50: time.</p>
        !            51: 
        !            52: <p>Teachers and students:  I am particularly interested in getting feedback from you!  If you are a student seeking a
        !            53: project to work on, and this fits your bill, I'll be more than happy to write a nice letter (not an e-mail, but something
        !            54: for your academic record) recognizing your contributions.  If you are a teacher who would like to bring computers into
        !            55: the math classroom, I want to hear from you your ideas on making it work!  If you are a teacher who knows how to write
        !            56: JavaScript... let's talk.</p>
        !            57: 
        !            58: <p>Financial contributions are also welcome.  If you are interested in directly sponsoring development of Abacus or 
        !            59: related projects, please <a href="mailto:ajvincent@juno.com">e-mail me</a>.  I am available for hire, and my resume 
        !            60: is <a href="http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/weirdal/archives/resume.doc">here</a>.</p>
        !            61: 
        !            62: <p>Alexander J. Vincent</p>

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