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Re: Method to get math to the most people?

From: Robert Miner <rminer@geomtech.com>
Date: Sun, 19 Dec 1999 12:46:16 -0600
Message-Id: <199912191846.MAA17086@wisdom.geomtech.com>
To: hutch@psfc.mit.edu
CC: RogerBlake@btinternet.com, www-math@w3.org

Hi.

Ian wrote:

> What we want is a standard way that anyone can read our mathematics on
> their favorite browser, the same way they read anything else. I sure hope
> that Mozilla will give us that. If it does. Then IE will be forced to
> compete. Then (and only then IMHO) MathML will become established.

I agree completely.

> Could MathML become like Acrobat? A standard of its own that one can
> assume people have downloaded the viewer for? Most unlikely, I think. 

I think this is also true, since as you point out, MathML doesn't have
nearly the breadth of appeal that PDF does.  However, I probably made
a bad choice in drawing an analogy with Acrobat.  Something like the
MS media player would have been better.  Technically, this is a
plug-in or ActiveX control or something, but it is distributed with
IE5, and most people don't think of it as separate.

My hunch is that the IE people at Microsoft would be open to
considering something like this for MathML, since as I have said, they
really do seem to be generally supportive, and there will be a fair
amount of pressure assuming AOL let's the Mozilla guys do a new
Netscape release with MathML in it.  But I think it is also the case
that unlike the media player, they aren't going to develop it
themselves, and someone is going to have to establish the viablility
of a plug-in on their own first.

As Ian wrote:

> I mean no unjustified slight to WebEQ, which of course also solves
> the automatic download problem but at a big cost in bandwidth and
> usability

Again, I agree, and so from my point of view, the main hurdle to
getting something really acceptible into IE is to scrape up enough
resources to really solve the usability issues.  At that point, MS
could eliminate the bandwidth problem by bundling it, and we would
have a real solution.

--Robert

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Robert Miner                          http://www.webeq.com
Geometry Technologies, Inc.           email: rminer@geomtech.com
                                      phone: 651-223-2884
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Received on Sunday, 19 December 1999 13:46:20 GMT

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