Re: <math>, <fig>, ... (fwd)

Daniel W. Connolly (connolly@beach.w3.org)
Fri, 10 May 1996 09:54:06 -0400


Message-Id: <m0uHsdz-0002UPC@beach.w3.org>
To: MegaZone <megazone@livingston.com>
Cc: www-html@w3.org
Subject: Re: <math>, <fig>, ... (fwd) 
In-Reply-To: Your message of "Fri, 10 May 1996 02:36:26 PDT."
             <199605100936.CAA04392@server.livingston.com> 
Date: Fri, 10 May 1996 09:54:06 -0400
From: "Daniel W. Connolly" <connolly@beach.w3.org>

In message <199605100936.CAA04392@server.livingston.com>, MegaZone writes:
>Once upon a time schwarte@iwb.uni-stuttgart.de shaped the electrons to say...
>>I don t see ANY reason to eliminate these HTML-features.
>
>Why do I get thie feeling you didn't read my first reply?
>
><MATH> is *not* dead - you just *do not* put tags that are not ready in
>an official DTD like 3.2.  You *must* understand that '3.0' was purely
>experimental and 3.2 is not.

On this count, I agree. Math is definitely on the agenda.
I'm somewhat out of the loop in the Math review board, but
from what I gather,

	(1) HTML math will interoperate richly with symbolic
	math systems like maple and mathematica
and
	(2) it won't look very much like HTML 3.0 math
	(though the HTML 3.0 markup might be supported as
	an option)

><FIG> on the other hand is dead - because <OBJECT> is *better*.  Why
>would you want to cripple yourself with a weaker tag?  Let it die and
>move on to the future.

Here, I have to disagree. <object> obviates some of the needs
for <fig>, but not all. For example, in place of the HTML 3.0 idiom:

	<fig src="foo.gif">
		Sorry, you can't see the <em>really</em> cool picture.
	</fig>

I do expect folks to write:

	<object data="foo.gif">
		Sorry, you can't see the <em>really</em> cool picture.
	</object>

So <object> subsumes the fallback-to-text functionality of FIG.
In that regard, it mainly addresses the limitations of the ALT
attribute on IMG.

But <object> doesn't address the need to represent figures
with descriptive markup. In recent proposals for FIG that I've
seen, a figure wouldn't even necessarily involve a graphic.
For example:

	<fig>
	<caption>RSA in three lines of Perl</caption>
	<pre>
	lksjerlij34liwj34lij
	</pre>
	</fig>

Of course, fig and object can be combined.

Dan