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Re: Method to get math to the most people?

From: Ka-Ping Yee <ping@lfw.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 1999 02:44:26 -0600 (EST)
To: "Wayne S. Lewis" <lewisway@hcc.hawaii.edu>, Erik Gillespie <elgilles@cs.wmich.edu>
cc: www-math@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.10.9912180231020.27507-100000@server1.lfw.org>
Erik Gillespie wrote:
> 
> What is the best way currently (and months down the road for that matter)
> to get nicely formatted math to the largest number of people?  I've looked
> at many methods and I was hoping to use MathML, but I'd like have the math
> viewable in Internet Explorer 5 and Netscape 4.61 and up.

Wayne S. Lewis wrote:
> 
> 	I, too, would like to use MathML on IE5 (so that students can interact
> on-line using math notation without third party software).

See http://www.lfw.org/math/ for one possible solution.  There
are examples at http://www.lfw.org/math/demo.html.  The design
and implementation of this system took place in summer 1996.

Mathematics entered this way is more concise and easier to write
than MathML, accessible not only to IE5 and Netscape 4 but any
graphical browser, right down to IE and Netscape 2, and even can
be rendered in ASCII art for Lynx users.  I worked on a spoken
audio renderer at one point but it wasn't finished.

No client-side software is required.  Any user can see the math.

No authoring software is required.  MINSE is simple enough to
enter by hand.  For example, try guessing what these mean:

    <se> x = (_b +/- 'root(b^2 - 4*a*c)) / (2*a) </se>

    <se> 'deriv(f(x), x) = 'lim((f(x+h) - f(x))/h, h -> 0) </se>

The design of MINSE went beyond math, with the intention of being
a general extensible representation for trees with programmable
stylesheet transformations, thus anticipating much of the philosophy
of XML before XML was big.  These days, however, XML has a huge
amount of momentum, so it is likely that MINSE will be superseded by
MathML or some XML-based standard.

Nonetheless, it is over three years later and MINSE is still the
only system with a widely accessible implementation.


-- ?!ng
Received on Saturday, 18 December 1999 03:32:16 GMT

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