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Review of WWW Mathematics Browsers, MathML and HTML.

From: Ian Hutchinson <hutch@psfc.mit.edu>
Date: Sat, 19 Dec 1998 00:17:55 -0500
Message-ID: <367B3703.A5926FB4@psfc.mit.edu>
To: www-math@w3.org, www-amaya@w3.org
Since there has been a lot of theorizing on MathML lately, I thought I
would explore the practical performance of the existing renderers. I
wrote a little article that can be seen on
http://hutchinson.belmont.ma.us/tth/mmlreview/
The abstract is attached below. 
If you have any comments or corrections, I would be happy to hear them,
if they are polite!


Comparative Review of World-Wide-Web Mathematics Renderers. 

                     Ian Hutchinson 

Abstract
I review three available means of browsing mathematical documents on
the web. Two consist of Browsers with MathML rendering built in:
Amaya, sponsored by W3C, and e-Lite, a Java-based commercial offering
from IceSoft in collaboration with WebEQ. The comparison is with
Netscape rendering mathematics created by the TeX to HTML translator
TtH in HTML4.0.  The MathML browsers compare very unfavorably with
Netscape. e-Lite is extremely slow and consumes vast resources on the
client platform. Its equation alignment is poor and it can't cope with
large equations. Amaya is significantly faster rendering, is more
robust, and has much smaller footprint. Its equation alignment is much
better but it lacks support for most attributes of the Presentation
MathML standard, including ``bold'', limiting its
usefulness. Netscape, with minor settings adjustments on X and Mac
platforms, renders equations produced with TtH at full text speed with
more complete support of symbols and styles than either of the
others. At present, therefore, Netscape has the overwhelming
advantage, but of course, it is not rendering MathML.
Received on Friday, 18 December 1998 23:18:31 GMT

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