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Re: MathML-in-HTML5

From: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2006 21:45:13 +0000 (UTC)
To: juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com
Cc: www-math@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.62.0610022128540.25753@dhalsim.dreamhost.com>

On Sun, 1 Oct 2006 juanrgonzaleza@canonicalscience.com wrote:
> 
> Then silent... and now Mozilla community and Ian launch this approach.

Um, I'm not launching anything. I was asked by a Mozilla developer for 
comments on an experimental implementation of allowing MathML content to 
be included in text/html documents, and I gave technical feedback. That's 
all.

In general, though, your e-mail seems to imply that the way things should 
work is that first we write a specification, and then we have 
implementations, and we somehow manage to get the specification perfect 
the first time. This isn't how things work. To get a specification, we 
first have to have experimental implementations and proof-of-concepts, we 
have to do research into authoring practices, etc. Only once implementors 
and authors have experience can they give the spec writers feedback that 
allow us to write a useful spec.

I support Roger's experimentation here, as it will provide us with 
valuable implementation experience and thus allow us to work out how to 
move forward on this.


> 4) At the one hand, Mozilla is implementing alternatives to W3C specs.
> HTML 5 vs XHTML 2

Currently, HTML5 and XHTML2 are orthogonal and are not mutually exclusive. 
They use different namespaces. (I've heard that the ex-HTML working group 
might be considering using the same namespace for XHTML2 and XHTML1, which 
_would_ make the HTML5 and XHTML2 proposals incompatible, but that isn't 
the case yet.)


> canvas vs SVG

Again, these are not mutually exclusive; they have different use cases and 
all the browsers that implement <canvas> also have SVG implementations.


> WGforms vs XForms, etc

"WGForms", more properly known as HTML forms, are a W3C technology (see 
HTML4). The Web Forms 2 proposal merely extends these and has no bearing 
on XForms. Mozilla in fact has a more complete implementation of XForms 
than Web Forms 2.


> Then the natural way would be HTML-Math vs MathML with HTML-Math fitting 
> into the rest of the WathWG philosophy. Now it is now broken.

The "WHATWG philosophy" is pragmatism. Mozilla already has a MathML 
implementation; the easiest and most pragmatic way forward is to reuse it.


> I see Ian claiming that he want to see stuff as <none> in HTML 5 instead 
> valid <none/> of MathML. He want no MathML entities except two or three 
> he choosed, he changes the syntax from &InvisibleTimes; to 
> &InvisibleTimes and does other further changes. That, of course, looks 
> somewhat like MathML but is not MathML.

I'm not sure what makes you think I would want semicolons to be optional 
on entities; this is in fact not the case. My concern over not introducing 
the several thousand MathML entities into text/html content is again one 
of mere pragmatism -- it is a fact that pages will break if we introduce 
new entities willy nilly, and without thorough research I do not feel 
comfortable introducing such entities.

On the long term I would imagine that most entities probably could be 
introduced, and certain entities will have to be left out for 
compatibility reasons.

Cheers,
-- 
Ian Hickson               U+1047E                )\._.,--....,'``.    fL
http://ln.hixie.ch/       U+263A                /,   _.. \   _\  ;`._ ,.
Things that are impossible just take longer.   `._.-(,_..'--(,_..'`-.;.'
Received on Monday, 2 October 2006 21:45:26 GMT

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