From: William F Hammond <hammond@csc.albany.edu>

Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 15:20:17 -0400

To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>

Cc: www-math@w3.org, EMJ@listserv.albany.edu

Message-ID: <i7k5jpz40e.fsf@hilbert.math.albany.edu>

Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2008 15:20:17 -0400

To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>

Cc: www-math@w3.org, EMJ@listserv.albany.edu

Message-ID: <i7k5jpz40e.fsf@hilbert.math.albany.edu>

(copies to www-math and emj) Hi Ian -- You reference: [1] http://www.whatwg.org/issues/#html-parsing-rules-namespaces-discussion [2] http://wiki.whatwg.org/wiki/New_Vocabularies [3] http://lists.w3.org/Archives/Public/public-html/2008Mar/0156.html I very briefly scanned your references. I have a few comments that may only be tangentially related to your present concerns with math in html5. 1. Math in browsers: xhtml+mathml is rock solid in Firefox and IE+MathPlayer. (Moreover, it's fully interoperable with Dave Raggett's slidy. I think that it is now the best slide show presentation format since screen real estate is so easy to manage.) 2. Web visible adoption: Some search engines seem not to see application/xhtml+xml. Though adoption has been slow, it's happening. There are are at least three math journal operations using xhtml+mathml at least for article abstracts: 1. Mathematical Sciences Publishers, Berkeley and Warwick, http://www.mathscipub.org/ 2. NUMDAM, Grenoble, http://www.numdam.org/ 3. Project Euclid (some of its journals, i.e., Duke, JMSJ, ...), Cornell, http://projecteuclid.org/ AFAIK full articles in xhtml+mathml have not appeared at the above yet, but the Lobachevskii Journal of Mathematics, Tatarstan, http://ljm.ksu.ru/ is doing that, apparently by translating LaTeX with tex4ht. 3. Direct authoring: Forget "direct authoring" of MathML. 4. Authoring xhtml+mathml: The best techniques are based on the use of an author-level XML document type supporting math. The document type represented by axgellmu.dtd in the tarball at CTAN:/support/gellmu or at http://www.albany.edu/~hammond/gellmu/xml/axgellmu.dtd is an example. Apart from "regular" gellmu, the gellmu syntactic translator can be used for latex-like "compact" markup, analogous to but different from compact relaxng notation, with any xml document type. Other currently supported examples providing author-level math seem to exist only behind closed doors. 5. Translating LaTeX: More than 10 years of experimentation shows this is not a free ride. Tex4ht, suitably configured, is good and gets wide use, but requires care. http://www.cse.ohio-state.edu/~gurari/TeX4ht/mn.html Another interesting translation project is "latexml", http://dlmf.nist.gov/LaTeXML/, that is being used in an ambitious project called "arXMLiv" at Bremen to translate the contents of the arXiv http://kwarc.info/projects/arXMLiv/ Translation of LaTeX is important because there is more than 30 years of legacy content. Translation of LaTeX is a workable, but inferior, route for new content. It is inferior if only because it is essentially impossible to define in a precise way what is correct markup. 6. Named entities, an observation: Of course, we all know that a named cdata character entity becomes numeric on first parse. However, it seems to be the case that some user agents handling mathml are internally converting numeric data points to names. The sticky thing here is not the retro conversion but the fact that nuggets of cdata have become decision points. Remember that in sgml sdata entities (not currently available in xml) can survive parsing and are sensible decision points. 7. Searching in math: I will only speculate that the searching technique should operate through attribute values. For the interim I would like to see web search engines that enable the user to search enter requests like: attr%href:uchicago.edu attr%div.class:^subsection$ attr%div.class:(display|inlineblock) attr%key:thetaGenus1WithChar1001 8. Printing: The best approach with new content is for the author to write latex (to be translated, as above) or to write for an author-level XML document that admits formatting both toward latex and toward xhtml+mathml. For good results one may want more power than is available with xslt. It is sane to translate xhtml+mathml to latex. I expect that piping from a browser to an external formatter is likely to be better than what I imagine for any future browser print service. You wrote: > 4. Writing documents that include diagrams that include > typographically-correct mathematics. I assume you mean an svg diagram or a png image. Someone from the WG might want to speak to this. -- BillReceived on Wednesday, 26 March 2008 19:21:05 UTC

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