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RE: [mediaqueries] MathML

From: Paul Topping <pault@dessci.com>
Date: Mon, 3 Oct 2016 15:31:14 +0000
To: Florian Rivoal <florian@rivoal.net>
CC: www-style list <www-style@w3.org>, W3C Digital Publishing IG <public-digipub-ig@w3.org>, Peter Krautzberger <peter.krautzberger@mathjax.org>
Message-ID: <B6C5B1ABA88AF446821B281774E6DB71B77C29B0@FERMAT.corp.dessci>
Hi,

Peter Krautzberger has made his arguments against MathML. I have no dispute with his assessment of a MathML media query. MathML implementations vary greatly, all fall short of implementing 100% of the spec, which is [deliberately] open to interpretation anyway.  The problems MathML intended to solve are difficult. It has to capture mathematical notation which is a human language and, as such, is not conducive to the kind of precise representation we would prefer. Imagine trying to come up with a representation for English grammar. Sure, the easy parts are ... easy. But to approach any sense of completeness would involve a lot of arguments and would probably be impossible to get right. MathML's domain is a couple of orders of magnitude simpler but its attempt to capture math notation and be computable, accessible, look good, while supporting a range of math typesetting styles, multiple languages, etc. is still a tough problem. While MathML is flawed, it is the best we have right now. We can improve MathML and its implementations, or develop a replacement, but let's not dump MathML until its replacement exists and can be seen to be an improvement.

Paul Topping

Design Science, Inc.
"How Science Communicates"
Makers of MathType, MathFlow, MathPlayer, Equation Editor
http://www.dessci.com
Received on Monday, 3 October 2016 15:32:10 UTC

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