[LON-CAPA-users] square roots in formula response

Gerd Kortemeyer lon-capa-users@mail.lon-capa.org
Tue, 4 Sep 2007 10:28:40 -0400


On Sep 4, 2007, at 8:12 AM, Peter Riegler wrote:

> Also this issue here brings up my uneasy feelings that lonmaxima's
>    is(trigsimp(trigreduce(RESPONSE-ANSWER))=0);
> is not a good idea. It should be
> If an author wishes/needs to have simplification it should be his  
> task to put in the proper/desired command using the 2nd interface  
> called mathresponse.

Well, at the moment we are trying to mimic the old behavior of the  
sample-based <formularesponse>. Most authors would expect that  
<formularesponse> recognizes sin^2+cos^2=1 or sin/cos=tan without  
explicitly being told to do so.

<formularesponse> is a crude tool.

Several points:

* we don't want to completely bind ourselves to one computer algebra  
system, so on general purpose tags we need to abstract the details of  

* general purpose tags need to stay generic and do what most authors  

* as much as possible, what the tag does needs to be reflected in the  
XML, not in writing some sort of code

* we can add more specific tags easily. For example, we *could* (I am  
not suggesting right now that we should) add a tag for  
<mathequivalencyresponse>, which could in its XML definition:

  - specify the simplifications that should/should not be done

  - specify mandatory and prohibited structures

I am for keeping <formularesponse> the generic "catch-all" way it is,  
and reducing authors' dependence on the cryptic <mathresponse> and  
<customresponse> by making a more generally configurable mathematical  
equivalency tag in between the two ends of the spectrum.

- Gerd.