html-math announcement

Following is a response to the recent W3C announcement on HTML-Math.
This is just FYI.  I think it's in the same vein as Bill Hammond's



Date: Mon, 16 Sep 1996 12:14:47 -0700
From: gramlich@bigbang.Eng.Sun.COM (Wayne C. Gramlich)
Subject: Math HTML
To: html-math-response@w3.org
Cc: gramlich@bigbang.Eng.Sun.COM


> 2. Math Markup in HTML
> by Dave Raggett
> There has been considerable interest in developing a standard for markup of
> mathematical notation within HTML documents ("HTML-Math"). In addition to
> support of standard visual rendering, this would include markup which will
> enable conversion of HTML-Math to other targets such as speech synthesizers,
> computer algebra systems, and theorem-provers. We expect also that HTML-Math
> will be a target of conversions from existing renderable markup (such as TeX
> notation). Program code showing the viability of the proposed standard will
> be written. The provisional charter [14] of the group will be refined at the 
> end
> of September.
> The Consortium would be interested to hear from Members their opinion about
> W3 Consortium involvement in this area. Please email
> html-math-response@w3.org to indicate interest.  From those interested, a
> commitment to material participation is requested. We may have up to two
> physical meetings per year and expect to have many teleconference calls in
> addition to regular email correspondence. The first meeting of this Working
> Group would likely be a teleconference in December 1996 or January 1997.

My primary concern is that we not go "overboard" on math mark-up.
One of the reasons why HTML was so successful in the marketplace
was because it was easy to learn and use.  The vast majority of
the marketplace will be happy with something that is substantially
less than TEX (3rd item in charter statement.)  Furthermore, something
that is simple is much more likely to be implemented by the browser
vendors sometime this decade.