From: Max Froumentin <mf@w3.org>

Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 15:31:37 +0200

To: "Dick Farrell" <dick@cowtown.net>

Cc: <www-math@w3.org>

Message-ID: <86elfzrq6e.fsf@sophia.inria.fr>

Date: Sun, 26 May 2002 15:31:37 +0200

To: "Dick Farrell" <dick@cowtown.net>

Cc: <www-math@w3.org>

Message-ID: <86elfzrq6e.fsf@sophia.inria.fr>

"Dick Farrell" <dick@cowtown.net> writes: > how can i send math symbols in email? Hi Dick, There are several ways to do this, depending on who you are sending the email to. Of course, as long as you agree with the recipient what the meaning of what you are sending is, you can create your own encoding of math symbols, or attach images of the symbols or any way you agree on. However a few ways of encoding symbols, or more generally whole formulas, are more standard than others, and you are more likely to reach more people/systems if you use them. You could use TeX syntax, for instance sending "\infty, \phi". The TeX syntax is well known in the math community so there's a high probability of the recipient knowing what this means. The other way you might do it, more approporiate on the Web, is to use Unicode [1], which is a set of character/number pairs, which uniquely defines thousands of characters, including mathematical symbols. For instance the example symbols above could be sent by email as "U+221E, U+03C6" (or INFINITY, GREEK SMALL LETTER PHI). Even better, if your email client understands unicode, it will display the symbols as you expect them to appear. The whole unicode character repository is available at [2]. Of course this is not very readable, but it is standard and when you talk about "U+03C6", it uniquely represents a symbol, and is therefore unambiguous. MathML [3] provides another way to describ symbols, compatible with Unicode and specified in the "character entities" part of the specification [4]: "&infinity;, "φ". Just like Unicode numbers, these can be included in a MathML equation, such as, <math> <mi>&phi</mi> <!-- mi is for math identifier --> <mo> = </mo> <!-- mo is for math operator --> <mm>&infiniy;<mn> <!-- mn is for math operator --> </math> Although this might seem a bit complex to represent just "phi equals infinity", MathML has the advantage of being a widespread interchange format used by a lot of mathematical software, as well as being understood by Web browsers, which can display the equation in a much nicer way. I hope this helps, to know more about MathML, see [5] or subscribe to the www-math@w3.org list, and just ask away. Max. [1] http://www.unicode.org/unicode/standard/WhatIsUnicode.html [2] http://www.unicode.org/charts/ [3] http://www.w3.org/TR/MathML2/ [4] http://www.w3.org/TR/MathML2/chapter6.html [5] http://www.w3.org/MathReceived on Sunday, 26 May 2002 09:31:40 UTC

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