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Still incorrect MathML code

From: <juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com>
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2006 06:59:05 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <3270.217.124.69.201.1149602345.squirrel@webmail.canonicalscience.com>
To: <www-math@w3.org>

I have revised many sites serving MathML code and pointed main
difficulties and errors.

This was done with the aim of clarifying the real role that MathML is
playing in the Internet. MathML promised accesibility, structure,
automated search and first-class rendering. Therefore i think that it is
very interesting an analysis of how many of those goals are achieved *in
practice*.

Please try to understand my point, many people think that writting
$E=mc^2$ is inadequate (of course it is) for web, but think that using a
MathML version

<mi>E</mi><mo>=</mo><mi>m</mi><msup><mi>c</mi><mn>2</mn></msup>

the code is automatically accesible, structurally valid for liquid
layouts, and easily searched by web automated engines.

One of sites with most number of errors known is Distler blog Musings
(which w3c calificates as "cool").

[http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/~distler/blog/archives/000507.html#more]:

--------------

W3C News

W3C: Is there a blog which has actual MathML content out there?

Jacques: A bit behind the times? [Links to Musings and some other
MathML-enabled blogs]

W3C: Yeah, I guess so… But it’s really cool.

--------------

At least today, this link works (maybe tomorrow was changed by Distler ;-)

In the past, Distler was serving (ds)^2 as 2s ds, which is obiously wrong
in his self-proclaimed the most advanced blog of the planet.

Above code *was* being served in several posts, for example in (first
equation of)

<mi>d</mi><msup><mi>s</mi><mn>2</mn></msup>

[http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/%7Edistler/blog/archives/000635.html]

Other errors remain but now the "bigthinker"

[http://golem.ph.utexas.edu/~distler/blog/images/bigthinker.jpg]

has changed the code to

<msup><mi>ds</mi> <mn>2</mn></msup>

I find a disapointment on that he has not explicitely noticed the update
of the page. Above new code (yesterday?) appears inspired in my review of

[http://canonicalscience.blogspot.com/2006/04/scientific-language-canonml-is.html]

Where i suggested (without aim to be rigorous) HTML 3.2 code

<SPAN>ds</SPAN><SUP>2</SUP>

and where i cited several examples of HTML pages encoding the element of
line in a better way that Distler was doing in his ultrasophisticated
blog.

Distler has changed the code "by hand" but did not correctly still. Using
the identificator mi for ds is wrong by several motives.

1) <mi> of several tokens is rendered in roman. Note difference between
the roman d in that equation and d in equation (1) which is cursive.

2) ds is not a single variable are two and encoding it as a single
variable is contrary to token-oriented desing of MathML specification.

3) d is an differential operator, difficulty can be understood as an <mi>

Therefore, even if the code has been changed, the result is very inefficient.


Juan R.

Center for CANONICAL |SCIENCE)
Received on Tuesday, 6 June 2006 13:59:32 GMT

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