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Re: Exploring new vocabularies for HTML

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Sat, 29 Mar 2008 06:31:09 +0000 (UTC)
To: Robert Miner <robertm@dessci.com>
Cc: public-html@w3.org, www-math@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0803290609340.12640@hixie.dreamhostps.com>


I'm investigating possible options for addressing the problem of "Putting 
an equation in a Web page". One of the options is doing something with 
MathML. To that end, I have some questions for the MathML community about 
what options are available along these lines.

On Thu, 27 Mar 2008, Robert Miner wrote:
> 
> - Our main priority is merely having a good solution for using MathML in 
> HTML.  That is hopefully not controversial, but there have been calls 
> for alternatives, so we wanted to emphasize that we believe that any 
> specification of mathematics in HTML5 ought to be based on MathML. While 
> MathML adoption has taken a while, it is in wide use today and supported 
> in main stream tools, so having it available in HTML in some fashion is 
> important.

Could you point me to further information on this? I'm interested in 
investigating how much support there is for editing MathML content, in 
particular, since it's not a very human-friendly format.


> - That said, the Math WG doesn't see any problem with coming up with a 
> lax-parsing model that produces a well-defined DOM, particularly if it 
> enables export of standard MathML as XML.

Cool, that's very encouraging. Any knowledge you have about that would be 
great. Is there any documentation on common MathML errors? Is there any 
documentation on what elements could be implied? Is there any reason 
digits couldn't imply <mn>, for example, and punctuation couldn't imply 
<mo>? Any help here would be greatly appreciated.


MathML is a very big language, with just shy of 190 unique elements in 
MathML2 (HTML4, including all the deprecated elements, has but 91). Could 
we get away with making that simpler for HTML, e.g. by not including 
support for Content markup in the text/html variant?


One of the use cases is the mixing of graphics and form controls into 
equations. Is it possible to extend MathML to allow specific HTML5 
phrasing-level elements (like <em>, <img>, <input>, also maybe the <svg> 
element) wherever the <mglyph> element is currently allowed, or something 
along those lines?


I'm working on this as we speak, so any information, suggestions, or other 
help you may be able to give would be immediately useful.

Cheers,
-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Saturday, 29 March 2008 06:31:52 GMT

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