W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-math@w3.org > July 2006

Re: Math on the web without MathML

From: David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2006 14:28:49 +0100
Message-Id: <200607141328.k6EDSnE4027376@edinburgh.nag.co.uk>
To: whitelynx@operamail.com
Cc: www-math@w3.org



It makes so much difference when you do what Juan has so consistently
failed to do, show some markup and the css that styles it.

the matrix brackets are of course straight rather than curved but still
they (and the superscript positioning) looks pretty good in your prince
formatted pdf, and in opera 9. firefox 1.5's understanding of css isn't as
good as yours and it makes a mess of it but that's not your problem:-(.

having square brackets is not as nice as using () (especially if you
also are using |..| for determinants as it makes them visually very
similar) but it's certainly usable in many cases and much better than
scaling a single character.

  There are some layouts that require quite verbose markup,
  which is not a problem in XSLT + CSS approach, but is a 
  problem in pure CSS approch where we want to keep markup
  as simple is possible, the problem however is likely to 
  be solved when CSS support will grow slightly stronger.

Certainly I should update the xslt at www.w3.org/Math/XSL to transform
to something like this for opera (if you  don't mind). 

Basically there are two ways currently to get browser-portable mathml

a) put in an xml-stylesheet reference to (a copy of) the xsl at the above
  site (but that doesn't know about opera yet) 


b) Restrict to presentation MathML (so mozilla works) and put in an an
   explict DOCTYPE (so that mathplayer auto-detection works). An opera
   user.js script such as one you've promoted from your site should
   allow these pages to work in opera as well.

Do you know if a similar XSLT+CSS+user-javascript solution would work in
Safari as well as Opera, I don't really have any Mac knowledge to know
how feasible that would be. Certainly once things have stabilised again
to Opera9/IE7/firefox2/safari-whatever, then we should update the
information on the W3C site letting people know what the state of the art
is (once we've discovered the state of the art:-)

The CSS rendering will always lack the typographical quality of
a real Math renderer, and also of course lacks the benefits of using a
standardised markup (for example I can cut MathML expressions out of
firefox and drop then into maple and have then interpretted as
mathematics) but it is still an important aim to ensure that the
mathematics is at least visually rendered in a legible way in as wide a
range of browsers as possible.

Received on Friday, 14 July 2006 13:29:20 UTC

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