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[whatwg] Mathematics in HTML5

From: James Graham <jg307@cam.ac.uk>
Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2006 12:03:55 +0100
Message-ID: <44801B1B.6020304@cam.ac.uk>
H?kon Wium Lie wrote:
> 
> I think you make a compelling case for adding math to HTML the simple
> way. Personally, I'm open to adding it to HTML5. How much would it add
> to the specification?

I remain sceptical about this. However, if there is a serious effort to replace 
MathML I believe the resulting language must fulfil the following requirements:

1) Easy conversion from standard LaTeX2e. This probably means that the grammar 
should follow LaTeX as closely as possible. ISO standards that no-one uses are 
irrelevant in practice; LaTeX matters.

2) Excellent typography. Faking radical signs and so on is simply unacceptable. 
Mathematics is painful enough to read as it is without poor presentation making 
the reader's eyes bleed. A significant effort is needed to get as close as 
possible to TeX in this regard.

3) The provision of alternative fallback content should be easy. For 
accessibility reasons it should be possible to provide the LaTeX source and/or a 
textual description of the equation. It should also be possible to provide an 
image to display instead of the rendered equation. Indeed, it would be extremely 
beneficial if there were some way to make the current generation of browsers 
render the image and ignore the mathematical content which, given the 
enhancements to CSS likely to be needed to fulfil point 2, is likely to render 
extremely poorly in current generation browsers.

-- 
"You see stars that clear have been dead for years
But the idea just lives on..." -- Bright Eyes
Received on Friday, 2 June 2006 04:03:55 UTC

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