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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: Thu, 13 Jul 2006 13:37:32 +0100
Message-Id: <200607131237.k6DCbWPs015178@edinburgh.nag.co.uk>
To: juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com
Cc: www-math@w3.org

> Well I never could imagine that when you write "reasonable xml syntax" you
> can mean XML, SGML, or even HTML. Sorry, I have not developed telepathic
> capabilities yet.

Clearly "any xml" includes xhtml and it's highly likely that any css
stylesheet that you have that works for xhtml markup would work (or
could be made to work) for the equivalent html markup, so in the context
of css rendering, "any xml" is not a restriction, it was simply a
suggestion (repeated below) that you show, given any markup, how to
style some simple mathematical layouts using CSS alone.

  Examples: - multiple-character identifiers are rendered roman

mathml allows you to use any of the mathvariants here. Roman is the
default,it's not forced. Defaulting to Roman seems perfectly
reasonable and accords with common practice (which is another way of
saying it's what TeX does)

  - it is impossible to label aligned equations at the page edge

MathML has facilities to do this (mlabeledtr) (which may not be fully
implemented in all rendering engines) so this is a comment on the
implementation, not the spec.

  - often large braces or integrals are too big

Subjective comment, and as Neil has said, MathML has facilities for fine
tuning operator size if necessary.

  - fonts are not as well chosen as TeX, e.g. italic v looks like

Choice of fonts is again largely a feature of the renderer, not of the
markup and would obviously apply equally to any markup system.

> > either it relies on some new font technology or is producing math
> > display whose quality has been deemed unacceptable in the past.
> Or simply once again MathML folks ignore CSS...

You've consistently failed to demonstrate how CSS can be used to produce
large operators. many people on this list would be interested to see if
you have a usable technique here (since we've tried and failed in the
past) even CSS 3 mechanisms for inserting content don't appear to me to
be enough, but if you have something that works, please show it.

To be explicit here's a document that displays in IE and
Firefox/Netscape/Mozilla with large brackets and a superscripted matrix,
with the baseline of the equation correctly aligned with the surrounding
text. The markup seems perfectly natural to me and not a lot more than
one would see for marking up html tables (the main thing being the extra mn
level) Can you suggest an alternative markup scheme together with some
CSS to style that markup that produces an equivalent rendered result?


<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.1 plus MathML 2.0 plus SVG 1.1//EN"
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">
    <math xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1998/Math/MathML">

Received on Thursday, 13 July 2006 12:38:11 UTC

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