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Re: How Do I Render Unicode Math Symbols in a Web Browser?

From: David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 10 Sep 2004 10:10:42 +0100
Message-Id: <200409100910.KAA24418@penguin.nag.co.uk>
To: ryman@ca.ibm.com
CC: www-math@w3.org


> I noticed that in 
> http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/REC-MathML2-20031021/chapter2.html
> you use images instead of a MathML renderer.

there is an xhtml+mathml one at the same URI using .
http://www.w3.org/TR/2003/REC-MathML2-20031021/chapter2.xml

> Why did you make that choice? 

I think the situation is different for the mathml spec itsef, for example
it has to give normative examples of what mathml expressions are
supposed to look like. The MathML spec can't really assume the prior
existence of a MathML renderer that implements the spec, so it has to
use image examples. For MathML1 (back in 1998) of course there wasn't really
any mathml in the browser, there were renderers but not integrated into
the browser as they are today. For each mathml release the situation in
browsers has become better however the argument above about the
requirement for the normative version of the mathml definition not to
depend on mathml for chicken and egg reasons has meant that we used
images. Incidentally all the images are generated during the build
process from the XML sources (using the TeX that you will find in the
alt attribute in the html) So even the image based version does have a
full character based source of the images which is good for wai reasons,
as well as being useful as a maintenance tool.


>  Do you consider 
> that prerequing a MathML renderer poses an unacceptable requirement for 
> W3C specs?

Not any more no, except in the case of the mathml rec itself.

>  Do you have an example of a W3C spec that uses a MathML 
> renderer?

The only one that I know is the xhtml+mathml version which isn't
normative. If you have a normative xhtml+mathml version you can have a
non-normative html version automatically derived from that as a fallback
for non mathml aware browsers (you could even use content neg and serve
it from the same URI) one way would be to use the pmathmlcss.xsl
stylesheet available from http://www.w3.org/Math/XSL that will convert 
the mathml to css and javascript based rendering. In the case of ZZ I
seem to recall you get a Z with some CSS styling suggesting some double
struck fonts and falling back to a bold font (If it doesn't do this, it
certainly could easily be made to)

David

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Received on Friday, 10 September 2004 09:11:09 UTC

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