Simple encoding and decoding

The basic OpenMath API can be used to create OpenMath data structures of arbitrary complexity and type. But most use cases can be handled with only a subset of that full complexity, and we provide the following tools for doing so.

Simple encoding

OMNode.simpleDecode() takes a string as input (like OMNode.decode() does), but this string is in a much simpler form. Here are the formats it supports.

  • anyIdentifier will be treated as a variable. Examples:
    • x
    • thing_7
  • ident1.ident2 will be treated as a symbol (CD and name, respectively). Examples:
    • transc1.arcsin
  • any integer will be treated as an integer. Examples:
    • -6
    • 57328074078459027340 (value will be a string, due to size)
  • any float will be treated as a float. Examples:
    • 582.53280
    • -0.00001
  • a string literal enclosed in quotation marks (") will be treated as a string, but with no support for escape codes, other than \". Examples:
    • "this is a string"
    • ""
  • a string literal enclosed in single quotes (') behaves the same way, escaping only \'
    • 'this is also a string, ain\'t it?'
    • '""'
  • F(A1,...,An), where F is any valid form and each Ai is as well, is interpreted as the application of F to the Ai in the order given. Here n may be zero. Examples:
    • f(x)
    • transc1.arcsin(arith1.divide(1,2))
  • F[A1,...,An] behaves the same as the previous case, except that the Ai entries before An must all be variables, and they will be bound; i.e., this yields an OpenMath binding object, not an application object. Examples:
    • logic.forall[x,P(x)]
    • foo.lambda[x,f(x,7,"bar")]

This syntax does not allow for the expression of OpenMath error objects, attributions, symbol URIs, byte arrays, or very large integers.

Simple decoding

The inverse to the above function is a simple encoding function. It can operate on only a subset of the full complexity of OMNode trees, and thus in some cases it gives results that are not representative of the input. Here are the details:

  • integers, floats, and strings will all be correctly encoded
  • variables without dots in their names will be correctly encoded; those with dots in their names conflict with the naming of symbols in the simple encoding, but will be encoded as their names
  • symbols will be correctly encoded with the exception that any URI will be dropped, and the same issue with dots applies to symbol and CD names
  • byte arrays and errors have no simple encoding, and will thus all be converted to a string containing the words "byte array" or "error," respectively
  • all attributions are dropped

Example use: const sum = OM.simple( ' 3, 4 )' )