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[whatwg] Mathematics in HTML5

From: Robert O'Callahan <robert@ocallahan.org>
Date: Tue, 20 Jun 2006 22:53:32 +1200
Message-ID: <11e306600606200353w56c8900ci845c4ef1eb86b849@mail.gmail.com>
I'll speak up as one of the Mozilla layout developers, but speaking only for
myself.

Since we already have a MathML implementation --- which works fairly well in
my experience --- I think it makes more sense from our point of view to
fix/improve MathML than to deal with new CSS extensions to get decent
rendering. MathML's purported incompatibilities with DOM and CSS are not
serious from an implementor's point of view, at least no worse than lots of
other CSS-unfriendly content we have to deal with. I hope that the fonts
issue gets better when comprehensive STIX fonts are freely available online
and we can automatically download them whenever they're needed.

I strongly agree with Hixie and others that a new math dialect for HTML
needs to be proven before it can be standardized as *the* preferred solution
for mathematics in HTML. If MathML is as bad --- and CSS2.1 as adequate ---
as some say, then it should be easy to create a microformat that becomes
more popular than MathML. At that point there is a much stronger case for
inclusion. I would also like to see a complete description of the CSS
extensions required for real high-quality rendering.

>From my point of view, a <fraction> element that can be implemented using
inline-block in the UA style sheet seems like a reasonable thing to support
in HTML5, since it's basically no effort and is a small increment over
existing <sup> etc.

Rob
-- 
"[But] he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our
iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and
by his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5]
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