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[whatwg] Mathematics in HTML5

From: <juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com>
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2006 03:01:07 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <3031.217.124.69.226.1149847267.squirrel@webmail.canonicalscience.com>

James Graham wrote:
> But you are, apparently, assuming that the problems with MathML are a
> result of ignorance on the part of the people working on the spec.

Maybe, you are right and there was not such one ignorance, but then I
cannot understand why just some months ago one of big guys of MathML IG
publicy asked to George what would be changed in the future MathML 3.0 for
doing it CSS compatible.

Would not one of authors of MathML know a lot of CSS rules and procesing
mechanisms? How is possible that asking after of 10 years?

And what about DOM and XML WS issues? And what about script model?

And what about reuse of ISO12083. This year I asked why was not reused the
script model of ISO12083 was more powerful and cheap than provided by
MathML 2.0. Reply I recevied at w3c mailing list was that ISO12083 did not
encode bases for scripts. Then what about the <subform> element? Still
today I am waiting a reply.

I am rather stupid and do not know lot of things (I love call myself
ignorant) but my personal experience is that MathML people is not very
knowledgeable.

If was not ignorance could you explain the 10 years of failures of
different technical specifications and drafts proposed from the w3c. With
the aim of being concrete, could you explain errors and variations on
binding, <over>, <right>, prefix vs postfix, <lowlimit> vs <min>, <fn>,
<atop>, <rel>, the problems with script model (for example lacking
<msubsupunderover>), the irrational <mprescripts> content model, the
inutility of <none/>, of <sep>, the many deprecated attributes on 2.0, the
imposibility to full encoding of differentials in the web (either you
choose correct visual rendering or correct aural rendering but both are
incompatible) and many dozens and dozens and dozens.

When the draft for HTML 3 was submited for open review (March 95) it
received replies as

<blockquote>
<!ELEMENT TR - O (%cell)* -- acts like row separator -->

This comment is incredible ! TR ___IS___ a table row (as a set of cells)
and not a row separator; a such comment gives a definition equivalent to
the former P definition ! We all know the result of a such misunderstanding.
</blockquote>


<blockquote>
<!--======================== Math ===================-->

My god... You are reinventing the wheel... But a stone-age wheel.

Why don't you use the Euromath DTD for mathematics ?????
Or even ISO 12083 ?????
Furthermore, I can see plenty of problems with this part of the DTD:

* ATOP is absolutely awful !!!! How can you write such things in SGML ????
* ABOVE and BELOW have a layout meaning !!!!!!! The correct names should
be NUMERATOR and DENOMINATOR at least in a fraction !
</blockquote>

<blockquote>
* you forget so many mathematical objects that this DTD is unuseable !
* ....

This part of the DTD is at my point of view the worst thing in the whole
file. I am sorry to be so negative Dave, but my opinion is that a such math
DTD makes HTML run towards a catastrophe.

****PLEASE**** take a look at Euromath DTD.
</blockquote>

Well, the prediction finally hold and HTML math run towards catastrophe.

When I received the reply about the encoding of bases in ISO12083 at the
MathML mailing list (several guys suggested than ISO12083 was better)
maybe I would had written

<blockquote>
****PLEASE**** take a look at ISO 12083.
</blockquote>

No?

>  a sane way). You have demonstrated that CSS can provide the first 80%
> (or whatever) of what's required for laying out maths - but there seems
> to be no way forward to address the last 20%.

I would aknowledge a detailed rationale for those figures.


Juan R.

Center for CANONICAL |SCIENCE)
Received on Friday, 9 June 2006 03:01:07 UTC

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