# RE: The problems with namespaces in text/html

From: Paul Topping <pault@dessci.com>
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2006 14:12:17 -0700
Message-ID: <D1EFB337111B674B8F1BE155B01C6DD601463474@franklin.corp.dessci>
To: "William F Hammond" <hammond@csc.albany.edu>, <dev-tech-mathml@lists.mozilla.org>, <www-math@w3.org>

MathML is just not an authoring language but a computer representation.
Because MathML is based on XML and is by definition constrained by its
structure, it is is and always will be a poor authoring language. While
there's no reason to deliberately make MathML wordy or difficult to
type, its main value is in its ability to represent math notation in a
precise way. Any introduction of ease-of-authoring features will likely
weaken it as a representation.

Paul Topping

> -----Original Message-----
> From: William F Hammond [mailto:hammond@csc.albany.edu]
> Sent: Monday, October 09, 2006 1:40 PM
> To: dev-tech-mathml@lists.mozilla.org; www-math@w3.org
> Subject: Re: The problems with namespaces in text/html
>
> "Paul Topping" <pault@dessci.com> writes:
>
> > I second these concerns. MathML already contains markup for
> > hyperlinks, spacing, and bolding.
>
> The topic here is small bits of commenting text inside math,
> wrapped in an <mtext> container.
>
> <mtext> is a tiny scratchpad for authors (like \text{} inside
> \displaymath{} in LaTeX), and if we want authors to join us,
> a few features will need to be there for them.
>
> Spacing is not the issue.  There is no way I know either to
> emphasize or to bold part of it.  (I suppose one could use
> multiple <mtext> containers with appropriate CSS clues, but
> that would be silly since the reasons for MathML granularity
> don't apply inside <mtext>.)
>
> It's true, as Distler said, that there is provision for an
> xlinked mrow with attributes using XML namespace ':'
> notation, but that will not fit in an Appendix C profile for
> math in HTML5.  In fact, I do not see it currently working
> inside [itex] in any user agent other than Mozilla.  And I do
> not see it in the W3C Test Suite,
> http://www.w3.org/Math/testsuite/ .  Have I missed something?
>
> > Nesting languages such as HTML inside MathML inside HTML sounds
> > desirable, ...
>
> I'm not in favor of non-math content anywhere recursively inside math.
>
> What I'm suggested is _taking_ _over_ the 4 names "a", "b"
> (or "strong"), "em", and "a" when used in "mtext".  That will
> allow us to control what happens.
>
>                                     -- Bill
>
>

Received on Monday, 9 October 2006 21:12:30 UTC

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