Unique Names & content scope

Lineaer Algebraiker (ma104@math.uio.no)
Sun, 05 May 1996 16:42:20 +0200

Message-Id: <199605051442.QAA06984@gilgamesj.uio.no>
To: www-html@w3.org
Cc: ma104@math.uio.no
Subject: Unique Names & content scope
Date: Sun, 05 May 1996 16:42:20 +0200
From: Lineaer Algebraiker <ma104@math.uio.no>

I have for a while been irritated by the fact that HTML3 demands that
certain tags can only be used inside a <math> - container. Why can't I
write &lambda; anywhere where plain text (or other &--; -
constructions) is valid? According to the (expired) proposal nice
constructions like &ldots; (three dots at the baseline in text ie.
"...") must be enclosed in math - tags. This seems like an inheritance
from LaTeX (one of LaTeX's features I also despise) and I claim that
it is totally unnecessary and on the whole a nuisance for an author.

I propose that all &--; constructions be made valid anywhere inside
the scope of the <body> tag. There should be enough unique names for
all of these, and a specific tag should retain it's presenatation in
all contexts (except for font changes etc.).
	The prime example of this is Arena (beta1-e) which lets
&times; be represented by an 'x' outside of math mode, and by a
centered dot (^.^) in math mode. OK, this is an Arena bug, but the
fact that &cdot; and &middot; exist (and are supported by arena)
indicate that something needs to be done.
	&middot; (as far as I can see) is represented as ('mapped
to') a centered dot in all modes (inside <body>).
	&cdot; is from LaTeX and is mapped to a centered dot in math
mode, nothing outside.
	&times; as I said is represented ambiguously in arena - it
_should_ be a stylised 'x' in all modes.

Favorite Peeve:
A document that is used by a large number of people should _not_
expire until an adequate substitute exists. It is rubbish that the
HTML3 definition has expired, that is only a beaurocratic idiosyncrasy
and a damn nuisance!

Other HTML (more minor) problems:
(our www-server hasn't been at it's best recently - please try later
if you cannot connect)

James =D8. Baum
MA104 Line=E6r Algebra Fjernundervisningsprosjektet -
MA104 Linear Algebra 'Open University Project'
Institute of Mathematics, University of Oslo, Norway
(standard disclaimer applies!)