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: Mark P. Line <mark@polymathix.com>
Date: Mon, 17 Jul 2006 10:28:54 -0500 (CDT)
Message-ID: <1246.>
To: www-math@w3.org

juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com wrote:
> 1) as I already said in my reply to Carlisle in [1], I did not install
> the special fonts because I was comparing pure MathML and CSS (not MathML
> + special fonts). Your emphasis remember me XSL folks comparisons of CSS
> with full XSL instead _just_ CSS vs XSL-FO or _just_ CSS + JS vs. XSL.

I recently ran a comparison between Java and Python. I installed the Java
compiler and the Python compiler/interpreter.

I've had to reject Java out of hand because it can't do the things that
Python can do -- in fact, it can't do anything at all. It kept telling me
there was no JVM installed. Python doesn't require a JVM, and I wanted to
compare Java to Python, not Java + JVM to Python. So Java is out and
Python is in.

I've been posting about 10 messages a day to Sun's community forums about
this problem, but they just don't listen.

>> If you are saying most people choose CSS over MathML for rendering math,
>> you are starting with a hypothesis that you have not backed with data.
> Pardon? I said "look this screenshots" and asked "what do you prefer?"
> and people said.

There's an ambiguity here. Are you claiming (a) that people choose the way
the screen looks when math is rendered with CSS over the way it looks when
MathML is used for rendering, or (b) that CSS is used more frequently by
more people for rendering math than is MathML?

If you're claiming (a), so what? The way the screen looks is only one
factor, and for many people, not even the most important factor.

If you're claiming (b) and have data to support it, may I see it please?

> Including other people has said
> about the acceptance of MathML off-line and rejection on-line (remember
> that MathML was designed for the web).

RDF was also designed for the web. So what?

HTTP was designed as a stateless protocol for serving static documents,
but has evolved into broader uses.

I'm quite happy that MathML has been inducted into offline content use,
because I don't want to have to work in a standards vacuum for that bit of
the puzzle.

> But whereas I am citing data and statistics from third parties with no a
> priori economic interest in MathML, you and Miner are citing data from
> Design Science. Data is just a list to consumers and says nothing about
> trend or global percentages.

For those of us with a connection to the marketplace, the growth of a list
of installations says much more than nothing.

> Is this irony? What is the problem with alternative approach? If MathML
> is so powerfull, render so good, is so popular as you state and the
> websites using MatHML are accesible and all that, what is then the
> problem? People would masively reject the CSS approach and in a few years
> it would be just a historical curiosity...

Joe: "Emacs is better!!!"

Harry: "vi is better!!!"

Mark: "Real programmers use 'cat'."

-- Mark

Mark P. Line
San Antonio, TX
Received on Monday, 17 July 2006 15:29:10 UTC

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