W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > whatwg@whatwg.org > June 2006

[whatwg] Mathematics in HTML5

From: Řistein E. Andersen <html5@xn--istein-9xa.com>
Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2006 23:07:39 +0200
Message-ID: <E1FooCh-0005b9-00@ws2.ou-data.net>
On 8 Jun 2006, at 10:3AM, White Lynx wrote:

>Oistein E. Andersen wrote:
>>each mark-up element must be kept as short as possible.

>Some people argue that short element names being misleading and not
>intuitive does not actually improve readability, some people like short element
>names as they are more convenient for authoring.

The importance of this convenience should not be underestimated. After all, we are discussing a hand-authored format (albeit not exclusively so).

Indeed, preferences vary between individuals. Even so, most people would probably accept (or even prefer) a shorter element name as long as it remains meaningful and/or is coherent with overall HTML style/conventions and/or re-uses well-known terms.

I would never insist on e.g. <r>2</r> instead of <radical>2</radical>, but no good argument against <root>2</root> has been presented yet. Words like radical, radix and radicand might even be quite unfamiliar to many of those who might potentially want to use something as trivial as a square root.

>>Assure compatibility with a reasonable subset of TeX

>Can anyone specify what steps should be made to assure this compatibility,

I will try to give some feedback on this.

>>Make font selection simple and natural
>See "Kerning and shape of the glyphs" section of current proposal,
>it mentions possible CSS extensions, that however are not part of this proposal

If roman is chosen as default type, all (ordinary) variables will need mark-up. Would italic be preferable, and would it be conceivable to make italic the default for Latin and Greek characters later on when these CSS extensions might become available? If so, then everything in roman type must also be marked up to make the code future proof. Is variable mark-up supposed to be compulsory anyway?

As an aside, traditional French typographical conventions for mathematics require lowercase variables in italic, but uppercase ones in roman.

More on fonts later.

-- 
Andersen
Received on Friday, 9 June 2006 14:07:39 UTC

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