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Re: Why is it difficult to render math(s) in a browser?

From: Dave Raggett <dsr@w3.org>
Date: Tue, 19 May 1998 17:58:23 +0100 (British Summer Time)
To: J_BUTLER <james.butler@reuters.com>
cc: www-math@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.WNT.3.96.980519174823.186H-100000@hazel.hpl.hp.com>
On Tue, 19 May 1998, J_BUTLER wrote:

> OK. I am new to MathML so forgive my ignorance.
> 
> But, I have heard it said that math(s) is difficult to render in a
> browser. 
> 
> Why so???

The main problem is that existing browsers don't provide an adequate
interface for 3rd party software used to render plugins, applets or
ActiveX controls. Hopefully this will be solved as a result on work
on the next generation of HTML, DOM and CSS.

As an example, of the kinds of problems faced: the math rendering
code would like to use a font size and family that matches the font
used for the rest of the document's text. The plugin would like to
control the vertical positioning for a math expression relative to
the baseline of the text line in which the math is placed. The
plugin would like to negotiate the height and width for the math
object according to the space needed and not have this fixed at
authoring time.

A richer model for the rendering objects that compose a document,
that doesn't treat plugins as impoverished distant relatives would
go a long way to solving the problem.

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 Tuesday, 19 May 1998 12:58:23 GMT

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