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Re: Math on the web without MathML

From: David Carlisle <davidc@nag.co.uk>
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2006 14:57:15 +0100
Message-Id: <200607141357.k6EDvFKH027695@edinburgh.nag.co.uk>
To: whitelynx@operamail.com
Cc: www-math@w3.org


> We do not have any serious limitations on CSS side so you can stop
> spreading myths.

that of course depends on the definition of serious (ie on personal judgement)


> Feel free to use italic when appropriate, either using explicit markup,
> or appropriate Unicode characters. No one prohibits you to do so, but it is not 
> required by DTD as some people may not be partcularly interested in shaping.

> Feel free to use appropriate spacing, there are plenty of space characters in Unicode.
> You can use padding too. 

In any real document many people would need to do this for virtually
every character, and as soon as you do that all the supposed advantages
of a "simple" markup as opposed to a "verbose" MathML  markup vanish as
you have to put an element around every character to style it with CSS. that
basically leads to the MathML design, with mi around identifiers, so you
make them italic, mn around numbers so they can be roman, and mo around
+ to give you control over the spacing.

If you find the rendering of a + 1 acceptable, if they all come from the
same font, and with a normal word-space either side of the +, then it
will naturally follow that you find much of the MathML markup (which is
explictly designed to avoid those problems) as unnecessary baggage, but
as Neil commented earlier no widely used mathematical typesetting engine
(or human typesetter) would typeset even such a simple expression as a + 1
without taking more care over the spacing and font issues, so the
claimed "simplicity" of the (lack of) markup comes at a heavy price in
rendering quality.

David
Received on Friday, 14 July 2006 13:57:32 GMT

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