Re: New tags. (fwd) -Reply (fwd)

Dave Carter (
Tue, 11 Feb 1997 16:48:54 +0000 (GMT)

Date: Tue, 11 Feb 1997 16:48:54 +0000 (GMT)
From: Dave Carter <>
To: Jim Wise <>
cc: Subir Grewal <>, HTML Discussion List <>
Subject: Re: New tags. (fwd) -Reply (fwd)
In-Reply-To: <>
Message-ID: <Pine.GSO.3.94.970211163928.1073K-100000@cass26>

On Tue, 11 Feb 1997, Jim Wise wrote:

> There is room in <OBJECT> and CSS1 for most of <MATH>.  However, if you would
> prefer <MATH> as per 3.0, by all means press for this during the comment
> period for Cougar.  The fact that 3.0 was rejected as a standard does not mean
> that no element in it will ever be back.  (Although I think <MATH> was dropped
> with good cause -- see below)

Well I tried during the discussion process for 3.2, which was supposed to
represent "current practice", on the grounds that <MATH> was common
practice among scientific users particularly those that use latex2html, at
least the more recent versions. No response from W3C, but Peter Flynn did
put <MATH> in HTML Pro. Which is why I now use that where I cannot use

> > It may be that the problem with <MATH> is more the fault of vendors of
> > mathematical packages than browser vendors. The implementation was
> > criticised for being presentation oriented. How this is different with
> > words I do not understand.
> > 
> > What can be more platform dependent than <FONT>??? So why is this in 3.2
> > if W3C is still interested in cross-platform interoperability. 
> Well, you won't see me praising <FONT> ;/, but I think <MATH> does have the
> same problems as font, and more (for example, where <FONT> is used, simply
> not changing presentation, as per lynx, generally does not really interfere
> with the page, but <MATH> is unreadable on a browser which cannot implement
> it...)  The fact that, IMHO, the W3C was wrong to include <FONT> doesn't
> mean that we should open the presentational floodgates...

Now I am very, very keen on platform independence, since I use Acorn
RISCOS at home it matters a lot to me. But I cannot think of a platform
which cannot display mathematical symbols. A VT220 certainly can, so
a text browser would have a lot better chance with mathematical symbols
than with a specified font. I bet even these new Nokia things can display
the mathematical symbols we mostly use.

Dave Carter