W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > public-html@w3.org > April 2009

Re: MathML in HTML: syntax for hypertext links

From: Boris Zbarsky <bzbarsky@MIT.EDU>
Date: Thu, 02 Apr 2009 20:07:58 -0400
Message-ID: <49D5535E.3060101@mit.edu>
To: David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>
CC: public-html@w3.org
David Carlisle wrote:
> (Firefox 3 pulled support for
> xlink, thus removing link support from all existing XHTML+MathML pages).

Actually, all that happened is that we stopped using generic XMLElement 
nodes for MathML, and those are the only ones that ever supported 
"generic" XLink in Gecko.  The fact that MathMLElement didn't get the 
XLink support was just a mistake, and is a bug.  Generic XLink continues 
to be supported on elements in unknown namespaces, for now, but we do 
plan to remove it.

That said, I fully applaud not deferring to the incredibly poorly 
defined XML Linking specification for any sort of behavior.  Per that 
specification, it's not even clear what

   <mi xlimk:type="simple" xlink:href="http:.....">text</mi>

should do.

> Clearly the final decision about MathML design rests with the Math WG,
> but (X)HTML(5) integration is a very important goal for us, so we would
> be interested to know from the HTML WG, and in particular any browser
> vendors considering mathml-in-html support, whether there are advantages
> or disadvantages to either of these design choices, or if there are
> other options that we could consider.

Offhand, restricting linking behavior to only some nodes has certain 
benefits (e.g. one only needs to worry about a subset of nodes when 
dealing with visited state).  I'm not sure how much of a concern that 
should be (the main difference is a few words of state per node, basically).

If you allow links on all elements, there needs to be a clear definition 
of how nested links should behave.  But I guess you have that problem 
with just <maction> anyway...

One question I do have: what are the main reasons for links in MathML 
right now in the first place?

Received on Friday, 3 April 2009 00:08:43 UTC

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