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HTML Extensibility Through Script

From: Doug Schepers <doug.schepers@vectoreal.com>
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2007 10:33:16 -0400
Message-ID: <469398AC.6070107@vectoreal.com>
To: public-html@w3.org

Hi-

I was in a discussion about MathML (and its poor support in browsers), 
and someone pointed out jsMath, a script library which can render math 
similarly to TeX (note that this lib does not actually parse and render 
MathML, but it could be made to).

The conversation then turned to how one might use this lib, given that 
some browsers might support MathML natively and some not.  There was a 
suggestion (a good one, I think) that a <script> element might be made 
somehow conditional (through a parameter, an attribute, or through 
encapsulation as the fallback for an <object>, doesn't matter to me), 
such that if the browser supported a that feature natively, the script 
implementation of that feature wouldn't run.

So, for this example, someone would reference the jsMathML script lib, 
and if the browser didn't support MathML, the script would execute and 
do its magic; the author of the page could rely on some level of 
functionality for their math content across browsers, and so use it with 
confidence.  Thus, one part of the chicken-egg dilemma would be solved.

This is akin to e.g. the dojo graphics lib, which uses SVG where 
available and VML in IE.  I think it may be an effective kluge forward. 
  Having some standardized way to facilitate it in HTML (a test 
attribute on <script>, for example) seems like it would be useful to me.

What do people think?  Is there already a good, generic way of doing 
this (either in current browsers, or proposed in the WHATWG specs)?  Are 
there any opinions about how to achieve this?


[1] http://www.math.union.edu/~dpvc/jsMath/

Regards-
-Doug
Received on Tuesday, 10 July 2007 14:33:32 GMT

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