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Re: Math on the web without MathML (CSS 2.1 rendering for HTML and XML)

From: David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2006 12:58:18 +0100
Message-Id: <200607041158.k64BwIrY031207@edinburgh.nag.co.uk>
To: juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com
Cc: www-math@w3.org

Sorry but you appear to have completely missed the point as to why
Mozilla uses special math fonts, that the fonts with math characters in
unicode position simply don't (yet) exist. STIX (and other projects) may
change that situation one day, but not today. Your examples don't go
much further than a+b and an integral sign: yes you can find those
symbols in standard text fonts but that is hardly enough to cover the
range of mathematics that one would need.

Your screendumps show that your mozilla was incorrectly configured for
mathml (no math fonts) so its unsurprising that it does not render
mathml correctly. Incidentally in your discussion on the whatwg list
you gave a long list of pointers to the mathml test suite and implied
that they didn't work well in firefox. You didn't say what you thought
was wrong, but all the ones I looked at looked OK in firefox, perhaps
your problem was again just an incorrect local installation?

It's absolutely no surprise that if you have fonts with the symbols
that you need, and don't have any complicated requirements such as large
brackets or subscripts on large base expressions that you can go a long
way with css and/or css aided by a bit of javascript. For example there
is my effort from 2001 (I think)
and others have done similar things, either using MathML markup to base
the CSS or using a different markup.  But in all cases while the result
is "good enough" if you have very simple formulae, and your typesetting
requirements are not too high, the mechanisms are really only useful as
a fallback for cases where no mathematical rendering is possible.

Received on Tuesday, 4 July 2006 11:58:47 UTC

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