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Re: Consider removing the MathML entities from text/html

From: David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>
Date: Mon, 5 Oct 2009 11:39:19 +0100
Message-Id: <200910051039.n95AdJas017169@edinburgh.nag.co.uk>
To: simonp@opera.com
Cc: public-html@w3.org


> Ah. I didn't know Firefox's view MathML source feature serialized with  
> entities. That doesn't work with pasting into XML without the right  
> doctype.

Right, there's all sorts of problems with entities, (not just for
mathml) one "feature" being that in practice if you use them them all then
fragments of xml that get moved around are not well formed, and if you
add a doctype to the fragment to make it well formed you have to remove
it again when merging the fragment in to wherever it's going. This is
why entities in html5 (being pre-defined) are likely to be a big
usability improvement over their XML equivalent.



>  Maybe XML should have all the entities as predefined?


There have been explict suggestions that a future xml do just that,

eg

http://lists.xml.org/archives/xml-dev/200202/msg00278.html


however given the overwhelming popularity of xml 1.1, I doubt that
anyone's in a hurry to spec an XML 2, and if they were to undertake that
I suspect there would be (as in the subject line of this thread)
pressure to drop entities altogether rather than baking in a fixed set.


If you compare MathML2 and MathML3

http://www.w3.org/TR/MathML2/chapter2.html#fund.pres

http://www.w3.org/TR/2009/WD-MathML3-20090924/chapter1.html#intro.example

You'll note that MathML3 doesn't use the entity form in examples any
more at all, what did appear as 
  <mo>&InvisibleTimes;</mo>
now appears as
  <mo>&#x2062;<!--INVISIBLE TIMES--></mo>

Exactly so that examples cut and pasted from the spec are in fact well
formed.


However whatever it says in the spec, real people and real software
still prefer to use the named entities, and I see no reason to believe
that will stop in html5.

David



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Received on Monday, 5 October 2009 10:39:57 GMT

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