Re: ***MATH*** (fwd)

MegaZone (
Tue, 16 Jul 1996 16:33:47 -0700 (PDT)

Message-Id: <>
Subject: RE: ***MATH*** (fwd)
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 1996 16:33:47 -0700 (PDT)
From: MegaZone <>

Once upon a time Solko, Dave shaped the electrons to say...
>I have a lot of Profs and some departments who whould kill to even have
>a display option. IMHO, math display should be added to Cougar, and
>leave the rest to be added in some other rev. Math is long overdue to
>HTML. It seems rediculous play "all or nothing" with this.

Until you know what the tags are you can't do a display - and the tags
are tied up in the other functionality.

Picking tags just to display is BAD, then you end up with tags that don't
work for other features later, or two tags for the same thing, etc.  Or
you get people who use them in pages only to find all the browsers decide
to drop them in favor of the new tags - or never support them like 3.0.

The word from the browser makers has been that they will support the full
math standard when it is ready, so talking about getting them to do something
in the meantime is a moot point.

Besides - face it, there isn't profit there.  This is a business and Frames
will make money as will style sheets because most authors are looking for
things like that - Math is nice, but a *very* small user base needs it so
there is no pressure on them to add anything before the spec comes out.  
If you can find a way to help the W3C Math WG then maybe you can advance it
faster.  Until they are done you are basically stuck with plug-ins or using
3.0 tags and forcing use of Arena or some other small time browser.

Personally I would have been upset to see Math before, say, OBJECT or CSS -
but that is because I have little to no use for MATH and a lot of desire for
the others.  I'm just lucky in that my desires coincide with the majority of
the market currently.  You win some and lose some.

Look, just about ANY standard will not have the one feature you think is
invaluable.  I participate in the IETF-RADIUS mailing list and I see all the
companies, each pulling for the features they think RADIUS *must have*.  
Some win, some lose, and some find a compromise.  I watched the development
of PPP extensions - M$ wanted their DNS extentions in there, they failed. So
they issued RFC 1877 as informational and did it anyway.  M$ has the size to
get away with that - they created the market for it and comm servers added it
on their end.

Life isn't perfect and we don't always get the things we want - and sometimes
we get them but way too late for our needs.

I hope the people who want math so badly have contacted the WG and offered
their help, and have written *polite* letters to the browser makers to
nudge them along.  Angry letters are pointless, most of the time a ranting
letter 'demanding' some feature ends up on the office cork-board with a
sarcastic note attached. 

Well, that's what I do with them. ;-)

Polite letters get taken much more seriously, especially those with some
constructive criticism or helpful directions.

Livingston Enterprises - Chair, Department of Interstitial Affairs
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