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Consider removing the MathML entities from text/html

From: Simon Pieters <simonp@opera.com>
Date: Fri, 02 Oct 2009 00:08:15 +0200
To: "public-html@w3.org" <public-html@w3.org>
Message-ID: <op.u046f1gkidj3kv@pc205.coreteam.oslo.opera.com>
In  
http://lists.whatwg.org/pipermail/whatwg-whatwg.org/2008-April/014372.html  
, Hixie wrote:

>> XML entities on the Web are b0rked. Since MathML is not human-writable 
>> anyway, let's get rid of the entities.
>
> I've actually just added all the thousands of MathML entities to 
> text/html. It seemed easy enough to do.

I'd like to question this decision.

   * MathML entities' reason for existence seem to be based on the
     assumption that people will write MathML markup by hand. If it's not
     written by hand, it makes no sense to have entities. Given the
     verboseness of MathML, I would be surprised to find anyone to write
     MathML markup by hand more than as a try-once-never-again experience.

   * Have the MathML entities been researched for compat with existing
     text/html content? For instance, do pages expect "&wp;" to show those
     four characters rather than showing "℘"? I think it would be good to
     research this.

   * Do any commonly-used MathML-emitting tools emit entities? Microsoft
     Word apparently doesn't. I think it would be good to research this.

   * Having 2000+ entities instead of 200+ entities doesn't seem too nice
     for implementors.

-- 
Simon Pieters
Opera Software
Received on Thursday, 1 October 2009 22:08:51 GMT

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