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

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

From: <juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Jul 2006 08:50:01 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <3142.217.124.88.164.1152892201.squirrel@webmail.canonicalscience.com>
To: <www-math@w3.org>



David Carlisle wrote:

>> Just some days ago David Carlisle recognized that via absolute positioning
>> in CSS you can render math with high quality.

> That can hardly be considered an argument for using css from any humanly
> authored math markup, it's simply an observation that CSS can place
> characters at arbitrary coordinates on the screen so it can obviously
> produce any layout, but one may as well suggest hand writing postscript
> or pdf, which can similarly lay out characters by coordinates.

Therefore, CSS approach can draw mathematics better than p-MathML can.

You can provide a simple CSS stylesheet will be good enough for most
people and you can improve that basic stylesheet with scripting (XSLT, JS)
or with external tool (as SVG converters in Python). You can apply
TeX-like rules one use in SVG rendering approaches for obtaining Tex-like
rendering quality (without the need for special fonts).

The CSS-like approach works for HTML, SGML, XHTML, XML, and even could
work outside web. I am doing some experiences with RTF format for
instance.

Hand writing of final code is, of course, unnecesary, somewhat as you type
your math in LaTeX and engine transform everyting to boxes and
coordinates, you can type something as simple as <span>a + b</span> and
script or tool generate the advanced CSS (at quality you need) or uses a
default “basic” stylesheet.

Moreover, even using full CSS approach, the verbosity of MathML is by far
superior (parallel markup, redundant <mstyle>, presentational code cannot
be reused as CSS can...

Morever, I am noting here an impressive atack to the CSS rendering. Why?

If MathML is so good as claimed in propaganda, what is the problem with
discussion here of an alternative approach? If MathML is so good as is
being said here and plublicited during years in media, then any
alternative would be not prefered by people, and would naturally die no?

I believe that the MathML WG can continue the "long and exemplary history
at W3C"

[http://www.w3.org/Math/Documents/Charter2006.html]

whereas other people was using non-MathML approaches.

I can -if i want- ignore content MathML and use OpenMath. I can -if i
want- ignore p-MathML and render OpenMath via CSS or via SVG.

In fact, this list is for mathematics on the web not for only-MathML
approach.

What _is_ the problem folks?


Juan R.

Center for CANONICAL |SCIENCE)
Received on Friday, 14 July 2006 15:50:20 GMT

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.2.0+W3C-0.50 : Saturday, 20 February 2010 06:12:58 GMT