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Re: Exploring new vocabularies for HTML

From: <juan@canonicalscience.com>
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2008 05:43:35 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <44290.>
To: <public-html@w3.org>, <www-math@w3.org>

Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch> wrote:

> I'm investigating possible options for addressing the problem of
> "Putting an equation in a Web page".

This problem was discussed at some extension in the WhatWG mailing
list some time ago, when i opened one specific thread on this.

I remember two W3 people at that discussion were not specially
interested on the MathML-into-HTML5 thing.

You received many suggestions from several people to not include
MathML into HTML5. Several alternative proposals were discussed then.

Then we did not reach consensus. Your reply to us was something like
HTML5 would not include *new* mathematical languages/syntaxes had not
been experimentally tested before.

Then you 'closed' the thread recommending us to follow a microformat

I am seeing with interest that again the whole issue of math for
the web has raised again a 'hot' debate because of doubts about the
MathML format.

Ian, it seems you are really proposing a non-MathML syntax like

<math> 3 + n = 6 </math>

I am now writing from memory -correct me if wrong- but is not the
same proposal that you did on the WhatWG list years ago and was

I do not know what has changed with HTML5 group since because i am
not subscribed and i am not following the whole stuff.

But i have followed this discussion and wiki links to WhatWG


Since the group is now doing some research on how people is putting
equations on the web (both MathML and non-MathML), you may find useful
next links to using a 'microformat' way to put mathematical formulae
on HTML4:



The approach is still in a 'beta' stage and CSS rendering of math is
limited by the current support on browsers. For instance, stretchy
brackets are simulated rather than being really stretched:




The model will be improved when better browser support was available. In
fact, a CSS expertise has just communicated me today that

> good news is that Mozilla and Safari now have better support for
> inline-blocks, so CSS formatted fractions can work in cross browser way..

Therefore, when site was updated four main browsers will be able to render
the math [#] on the site.

[#] Safari users can still navigate the site at present.

Juan R. González-Álvarez

Received on Wednesday, 9 April 2008 06:22:52 UTC

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