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

From: Bruce Miller <bruce.miller@nist.gov>
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2006 11:33:11 -0400
Message-ID: <44B7B937.5000509@nist.gov>
To: www-math@w3.org

juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com wrote:
> It would be not the first time is claimed that the MathML WG reinvented
> the wheel whereas ignored other specs. Hakon Wium Lie, from w3c CSS WG,
> wrote last month,
> 
> <blockquote>
> Historically, it's a common mistake to develop markup systems without
> giving much thought to presentation. [...] Given that CSS existed when
> MathML was created, I think the developers made a mistake by not creating
> a markup language that could be presented using existing CSS properties.
> </blockquote>

While it certainly would have been a nicer world had MathML fit
better into the CSS scheme, this criticism is, I think, extremely
unfair.

The CSS1 spec came out at the end of 1996, the MathML spec near
the beginning of 1998; roughly a year apart, which means that
most of the development was going on in parallel.  Decent
implementation of CSS, of course, took even longer.

Perhaps there should have been more awareness of CSS within the
Math group.  But the Math group could hardly have designed MathML to
render as anything vaguely resembling mathematics using
"the existing CSS properties" of CSS1.  Surely, Hakon Lie must
recognize that. I'd challenge even a CSS wiz like George to do that :>

Even the _drafts_ for CSS3 --- only partially and inconsistently
implemented, and to become a recommendation when? --- just begin
to hint at the capability (and for some of us, still falls far short).


-- 
bruce.miller@nist.gov
http://math.nist.gov/~BMiller/
Received on Friday, 14 July 2006 15:31:54 GMT

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