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Re: MathML vs HTML math, vs ???

From: Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Jan 1998 17:06:52 +0000 (GMT)
To: "Gregory A. Landrum" <landrum@hal9000.ac.rwth-aachen.de>
cc: www-math@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.WNT.3.96.980126165642.168I-100000@hazel.hpl.hp.com>
On Mon, 26 Jan 1998, Gregory A. Landrum wrote:

> 
> As I have been frustrated about the lack of support for
> mathematics in HTML for quite a while, I was quite excited
> today to find out about the W3C Math Activity today. 

Great!
  
> If I want interactivity, I can use CGI scripts and dynamically
> generated pages, or I can use a plug-in.  I'm sure that these
> things would come if there was some kind of basic support for the
> display of mathematics on the web.  This technology is
> well-established and it works.  Currently there is nothing that
> lets me display math, and it looks like what whatever is coming
> will not address these needs either. 

W3C aims to encourage interoperability. Wouldn't it be great if the
same page can be  viewed using plugins from different vendors?
This way vendors can compete on the features for manipulating and
animating the expressions and not on the data format.

> I could be cynical and speculate that the presence of the authors
> of the big math packages on the working group is the reason for
> the incredibly convoluted syntax.  They certainly have a financial
> interest in ensuring that special purpose editors are required,
> but I will refrain from going there. 

There are simple ways to create MathML, see my paper on EzMath[1]
which is a simple to learn notation inspired by what people
say when asked to read expressions aloud. I have developed a
plugin and an editor that automates the effort of setting the
width/height attributes and other such nonsense as required by
today's plugin interfaces.

[1] http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett/EzMath

I plan to add support for reading MathML later this year. The
plugin will be available free in a few days time from the HP Labs
server. Let me know if you are interested. 

Regards,

-- Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org> http://www.w3.org/People/Raggett
phone: +44 122 578 2984 (or 2521) +44 385 320 444 (gsm mobile)
World Wide Web Consortium (on assignment from HP Labs)
Received on Monday, 26 January 1998 12:29:47 GMT

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