From: Michel Fortin <michel.fortin@michelf.com>

Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2006 14:46:20 -0400

Message-ID: <5054F7E7-2049-46A8-ABB3-CD1A86E34C30@michelf.com>

Date: Mon, 19 Jun 2006 14:46:20 -0400

Message-ID: <5054F7E7-2049-46A8-ABB3-CD1A86E34C30@michelf.com>

Le 19 juin 2006 ? 10:25, <juanrgonzaleza at canonicalscience.com> <juanrgonzaleza at canonicalscience.com> a ?crit : >>> In other words math proposal is rejected, mathematics in HTML is >>> blocked one more time. >> >> I have suggested a process by which you could prove your proposal >> would >> work. That is hardly a rejection. > > Some people can read between lines. The way I read into Ian's lines, he simply says he is not at all convinced that whatever we can come with will be preferred by authors than MathML currently is. And I think it only makes sense that as long as he is not convinced of that he will not agree about adding it to HTML (hence "reject" it). That doesn't mean he isn't open to the idea. I think Ian is right in some way: adding full mathematics correctly, even with CSS, isn't going to be a piece of cake. Bugs will need to be fixed with many CSS engines, and even then the current markup proposal isn't something I'd call pretty even for simpler structures (<fenced><fence>1</fence></fenced> or <radical><radix></ radix><radicand>2</radicand></radical> for example). This makes the markup a little counter intuitive and will probably prevent a consensus. The idea of a microformat isn't a so bad idea either. A microformat does for HTML mostly what a namespace does in XML. The one really big issue I expect is that it's going to make the syntax a lot more verbose less pretty that it is currently (<span class="radical"><span class="radix"></span><span class="radicand">2</span></span> anyone?). I can understand why someone wouldn't want to take that route. I think there is still a lot to be done and discussed and maybe the WhatWG mailing list isn't the best place for that at this point. Isn't this discussion delaying other important things in the spec? - - - Personally, I'm beginning to look at the problem from an other angle. Instead of trying to support everything in mathematics, maybe we could just improve what HTML currently offers by offering just a little more. It's pretty easy to find elementary algebra formulas like this one on the web: x<sup>2</sup> + y<sup>2</sup> = 1 But while you can express most of elementary algebra easily in HTML, you can't do fractions. Something that's definitely missing for elementary algebra is a construct capable of representing a fraction. So I propose that HTML 5 adds fractions, and only fractions. I think there is a good consensus on how to markup a fraction. I believe fractions can also be somewhat useful outside the realm of mathematical formulas. And a fraction construct would encourage implementors to fix their inline-block and vertical alignment CSS bugs, opening the door to more CSS-based mathematical markup in the future. I understand I'm ditching all of the more complicated stuff. I'm retaining only the part that can work with the least effort, the part with a simple undisputed markup, the part which I expect every author and user will understand for what it means and which has the biggest relevance inside and outside of the field of mathematics. Maybe more can be added to HTML in the future, but if only one thing about math is to be added to HTML 5, it obviously has to be the fraction. I guess one argument against this is that it will constitue an incomplete mathematical markup. I'd point out that HTML is already used as a simple (incomplete) mathematical markup with <sup> for exponents. And it seems that even MathML fails at being a complete mathematical markup. Let's keep things simple and just improve what we already have. Michel Fortin michel.fortin at michelf.com http://www.michelf.com/Received on Monday, 19 June 2006 11:46:20 UTC

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