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

Re: Math and MathML [forethought about rendering]

From: Mark P. Line <mark@polymathix.com>
Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 12:00:02 -0500 (CDT)
Message-ID: <1305.>
To: www-math@w3.org

juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com wrote:
> Mark P. Line wrote:
>>juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com wrote:
>>> MathML developers ignored CSS (it is obvious), providing us a markup
>>> was
>>> CSS unfriendly, generating lot of headaches to developers.
>> It's not obvious to me that they ignored CSS. Were you present at the
>> meetings, or what makes you think they ignored it?
> Well i cannot convice you if you cannot.

Surely you have reasons to believe that the MathML group ignored CSS, if
you think it's obvious? Especially since those who were there seem to be
saying that CSS was not ignored at the time. If you weren't there
yourself, then you must be privy to better information than they, and I'd
like to know what it is. Alternatively, you wish to claim that they're

>>> Of course CSS is limited (presentation MathML is also) but the group
>>> would stop from spreading myths about like only p-MathML is good or
>>> render good.
>> So, what's your vested interest in CSS? (I have none, so I can afford to
>> be agnostic. But knowing yours would help me relativize the parts of
>> this discussion that sound like they're out to lunch.)
> Well, i like non-presentational strict markup and would be ugly using
> presentational, structurally invalid, and non-accesible MathML. My
> users/visitors also dislike plugins and fonts and specific browsers (e.g.
> from Mac or Unix comunities).

How many users/visitors do you have?

>>> The group was familiar with rendering but not with rendering on
>>> browsers
>>> via CSS, not with other stuff is cause that MathML is not popular in
>>> despite of many publicity efforts.
>> What metric are you using to assess the popularity of MathML?
> Already cited some of them here. I will not repeat.

I'm afraid you'll have to unless you don't want me to know. Because I
understand only a fraction of what you write, it takes me too long to
track back through your copious verbiage to find a particular statement.

>> Well, maybe not *just* MathML. I've been in favor of presentational
>> markup in HTML since I started using it in 1993, and I've never used CSS
>> for real work in my life. And I'm not alone, at least not out here in
>> the trenches. So my prediction is that the W3C will ultimately recognize
>> their mistake in shifting presentation from HTML to CSS, that they will
>> start shifting it back, and that finally nobody will need to use CSS for
>> much of anything.
> Interesting! This would explain some of your replies at this list.

Indeed. Beliefs are highly explanatory of utterances. And utterances are
highly indicative of beliefs.

>>> Some of us prefer follow more standard design with content and
>>> structural
>>> markup for mathematics and rendering via stylesheet: CSS.
>> And some prefer to do otherwise. Is that a problem?
> Contrary to some MathML folks, we let any to use they prefer.

So, there are are some MathML folks who do not let people use whatever
approach they prefer? Can you give me an example? Also, what means do they
use to prevent others from using alternative approaches? I'd like to apply
the same technique to my home-grown upper ontology.

> The problem is when MathML is not satisfying the goals promised or when
> MathML folks devote many time and efforts to critize the limitations of
> alternative approaches by others (MathML folks have critized TeX,
> plugins, GIFs, HTML-table, and ISO 12083) whereas do not doing the same
> at the MathML side.

I guess it would be interesting to conduct some statistical text analysis
to see how much effort has been spent criticizing what and by whom. Maybe
an undergrad could take that as a senior project or something.

-- Mark

Mark P. Line
San Antonio, TX
Received on Tuesday, 18 July 2006 17:00:15 UTC

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