Re: semantic markup for math

Daniel W. Connolly (connolly@w3.org)
Thu, 18 Jul 1996 22:28:15 -0400


Message-Id: <199607190228.WAA26399@anansi.w3.org>
To: Thomas Breuel <tmb@best.com>
cc: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: semantic markup for math 
In-reply-to: Your message of "Thu, 18 Jul 1996 15:50:31 MST."
             <199607182250.PAA08088@shellx.best.com> 
Date: Thu, 18 Jul 1996 22:28:15 -0400
From: "Daniel W. Connolly" <connolly@w3.org>

In message <199607182250.PAA08088@shellx.best.com>, Thomas Breuel writes:
>|This is only the case if it doesn't contain sufficient information
>|for deployment on the Web in the first place.  If the original
>|source contains the information necessary to present it on the Web,
>|then it follows that it is unambiguous enough to convert.
>
>I just don't see how you can say that.  LaTeX formulas certainly
>contain enough information for "deployment on the web".  They can be
>rendered on different output devices, scaled, and linearized and read
>out.

Thomas's skepticism about a whole new notation is well founded.
LaTeX _is_ known to work for many purposes, after all.

I agree that folks should be able to stick stuff on the
web without totally re-thinking it. In other words: I belive
in "automate what people do" and possibly allow them to
work smarter.

On the other hand, LaTeX is no longer state of the art. There
has been significant research and development since then.
For example:

>  Given that eqn could be rendered approximately as ASCII, I
>suspect that LaTeX style formulas can be as well.

Nope. At least not according to Soiffer's research (see
http://www.w3.org/team/WWW/MarkUp/Math/ for full citation).
He shows that you need the tree-structured representation of
a formula to do line-breaking. And I think automated linebreaking
is necessary in order to render formulas to ASCII -- or to
a resizable window, for that matter.


Dan